Abilities, strengths, and personality determine whether one can be a great leader, not gender. Nevertheless, data shows that women are encouraged to take roles of leadership less frequently than men are, even when women have the same qualifications as men. Why does this immense gap exist?
The fact of the matter is, many natural-born traits that women have are not associated with the view of leadership perpetuated in male-dominated industries and popular media. However, it is these very traits that make women so effective as leaders. Here, I want to explore some behaviors that should be fostered for any individual to thrive and excel as leaders.
1) A Checked Ego
In the article Three Reasons Why women Can Excel In Leadership, Robyn Benincasa writes, “Rather than trying to impress their teams, the best leaders left their egos behind. They realized they didn’t have to be amazing all the time, bark orders, or know all the answers.” By checking their ego, leaders demonstrate that they u truly care about the team’s input, ideas, and the solutions they come up with. Showing appreciation goes a long way.
2) A Bond with the Team
Empathy, a sense of nurture, focus, and strong listening skills are often classified as feminine traits. By capitalizing on these traits, leaders can build an emotional connection and bond to the team. This allows leaders to more accurately gauge the state of individual team members and identify issues like overworking or strained relationships sooner, heading off issues like burn-out and fracturing.
3) An Ability to Multitask
Women s. Women are natural multitaskers, able to tune out interference when carrying out tasks. The importance of this quality in a leader cannot be understated. Leaders are required to think on their feet, pivot, and respond to a wide variety of team needs – all while keeping their eye on the overarching goals of the business. To this end, women’s propensity to multi-task is a major boon that allows the team and leaders themselves grow.
4) An Ability to Wear Multiple Hats
Women are often required to wear multiple hats, that of a worker and that of a caregiver. As such, women have a unique respect for the importance of work-life balance. Studies show that working parents excel at time management and are comfortable recognizing when the best way to complete a task is by passing the torch to an employee. This increases overall team efficiency and promotes employees to take pride, care, and ownership of their work.
The above traits are imperative for any leader to succeed, regardless of gender. However, many of these traits are inherent to women, giving them an edge when it comes to effective leadership. By leaning in to their strengths, women can be particularly effective leaders, not only for the development of those they manage, but for the betterment of their companies as a whole.