Few Executives Are Self-Aware, But Women Have the Edge
So is the best man for the job a woman?
Notes that the leadership traits they examined included: empathy and compassion, influence, conflict management, and problem solving. The study found that in general women are more likely to possess these strengths at higher levels than men.
Women leaders frequently face obstacles throughout their work experience that force them to develop these skills, more so than men, if they are going to advance. Recent shifts away from the masculine hierarchy of individual leadership places women in a better position for management roles as they are more effective at teamwork than isolated power.
Women face two major obstacles in acquiring leadership roles. If their communication and leadership skills are seen as too feminine, they are not perceived as strong leaders. However, if they are perceived as too masculine, they are viewed as threatening and overly ambitious. This paradoxical expectation of women is likely the reason we don't see more women in management roles.
Women find that they must negotiate these two extreme stereotypes, possessing both masculine and feminine leadership qualities, while men only need exhibit the masculine traits to be seen as a strong leader.
Women need to work at improving their self-awareness and self-concept, and seeking positive sources of unbiased feedback is essential. To know herself, she must be able to perceive how other people see her, and feedback from trusted sources can help, whether it is from a fellow worker or from roleplaying with a mentor.
Women should be confident in the fact that they possess strong leadership qualities which place them above men. However, it is not enough to know you possess these qualities. You must demonstrate them everyday on the job.
Source is blogs.HBR.org
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