Women have unique leadership abilities which stem from a range of natural qualities that bring out the best in their teams. Organisations must make it a business imperative to invest in cultural and gendered diversity of leadership, allowing for the space to harness equal opportunities for all.
As a Leadership Coach, I observe certain qualities and characteristics that make women natural leaders. In my view, these are the very traits that would serve the leaders of tomorrow to drive business results. With the challenges of the increasingly competitive economies where working with diverse teams and geographic locations would be the norm, such people-focused skills would serve them to keep their lead intact.
Organisations must make it a business imperative to invest in cultural and gendered diversity of leadership, allowing for the space to harness equal opportunities for all. #EmbraceEquity
A study was conducted to examine the effect of women on boards and as team leaders. The report, titled “When is Female Leadership an Advantage?” was published in November 2015, in the Journal of Organisational Behaviour. Corinne Post, an associate professor of management at Lehigh University’s College of Business and Economics who led the study, stated that women leaders bring a number of very special qualities to their teams, from more cooperative learning to more inclusive communication. This resulted in stronger, closer, more connected teams that perform better.
Here are 7 reasons which give female leaders a significant advantage in managing and leading a team:
Women invest in relationships. Women are good at bringing people together. In a group setting, they take the time to know their team members. They are able to motivate others to get along and have the ability to make each person feel important. This is an especially crucial skill to have when trying to encourage teamwork.
Women excel at managing others. Women tend to be more nurturing, understanding, respectful, and empathetic. The best leaders today are not dictatorial, but rather, the ones who are encouraging, approachable, and sensitive to the needs of their employees.
Women are passionate and inspirational. When women set about a task, they do it with enthusiasm and excellence and commit themselves to see it through. When employees observe such a positive attitude in their leaders, they are inspired to approach their work in the same way.
Women are generally better communicators. From a young age, they were taught to express themselves more openly and speak their mind. At the same time, they also make great listeners. This equates to leaders who are inclusive of others’ ideas, resulting in more collaborative relationships.
Women naturally excel at multitasking. As an inbuilt ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, women get more work done. They are able to ensure all boxes get checked.
Women are extremely organised. When it comes to planning and coordinating, they invest a lot of creative energy in executing their plans.
Women use their intuitive abilities. If there is trouble up ahead, women are likely to see it coming. Knowing that a plan could go awry, they would have alternative strategies and solutions up their sleeve. If something does not go according to the brief, they can be trusted to take a new or different direction that will achieve results. In short, they are resourceful and typically well-prepared for anything, and seldom leave a plan to change.
To conclude, while our past leadership models have predominantly been male, understanding female leadership styles and strengths would help establish a holistic culture that can recognize and enable women leaders to support the business objectives.
All leaders, men or women would need to find a balance between their male and women sides to enhance influence. Men who gain a better understanding of engaging their women colleagues, enable greater engagements. At the same time, women need to be advocates for themselves. Being true to their own needs and going out to find the career of choice, being more assertive, and being courageous to show how they add value to the business.