Not long ago, female bosses were seen as successful because they emulated their male counterparts. It was still men that set the tone for becoming great leaders. This, however, is changing rapidly.
Exhibiting feminine traits is no longer viewed as a handicap for women taking on leadership roles. Showing empathy and emotional intelligence are just as relevant as being assertive and authoritative.
Also, while men tend to be more controlling, women prefer participation. With women leaders, organizations realize that highly-engaged employees become more productive.
Not all leadership styles, though, are suited for all organizations. Certain traits may work better in some environments. For instance, a company that wants to drive sales up may encourage its different business units to compete against each other. Clearly, this would not be a situation that calls for cooperation.
Nevertheless, specific gender traits can have positive effects in the workplace. The key is finding out which is best for an organization.
In the meantime, here’s our advice to women on how they can be better at breaking the mold of traditional leadership.
Forget about adopting a persona. Instead, be a genuine. For instance, you can be a strong leader yet still show compassion. People no longer view this as being soft.
Let the real you shine. Don’t advance or get promoted because of false pretenses. You are to make a difference and not go with the flow.
You may learn how the former boss does things, but don’t copy. Instead, add your personal touch.
>> Make use of your strengths.
Think of the qualities that make you successful. Determine which of those can help you as a leader.
Maybe it’s time for more participation or empathy? Both improve communication and dialogue in any organization. Women leaders are not hesitant to create emotional connections with their colleagues. This is always a plus.
Also, there’s always room for new ideas and other ways to solve problems. So, if you support collaborative work, encourage it at your workplace.
Instead of conforming, assert your femininity and embrace your uniqueness.
>> Be a transformational leader.
Traditionally, men are transactional leaders. They reward desired behavior and are a stickler for rules. Often, they prefer structured policies and focus on results.
On the other hand, women can be effective leaders when they motivate, inspire, and support employees. They are flexible and open to change. Also, they treat each employee as a unique individual.
Make sure that a transformational style will work in your organization. There might be instances when you have to become a transactional leader.
There’s no doubt that women leaders are making their mark in society. So, if you live the life you want, lead the way like a woman.