The Feminization of Leadership

“Great necessities call forth great leaders.”

– Abigail Adams


Recent studies highlight a long-held suspicion about the brains of males and females. They’re not the same. I’m fascinated by the fact that men and women’s brains operate differently.

When I first started researching this, I wanted to learn more about how this impacted me personally, in relationship to the different communication styles between my husband and I. But the more I read about this, the more interesting it became on a much wider level.

A recent study showed Six Things Women Do Better Than Men. 

  1. Women handle stress better
  2. Women are better at sustaining relationships
  3. Women are better at communicating
  4. Women are better at grooming themselves
  5. Women have sharper memory
  6. Women are better with finances

Now of course this is a tendency, not a rule, and there are lots of things that men tend to do better than women. But this list interested me when put in combination with a discussion of a change in leadership style that is happening globally as the Baby Boomers retire and Gen X and Gen Y take the helm. A recent studey reported on CNN shows:

The rise of women into positions of power will create a “feminization” of leadership which will be reflected in the increasing importance of emotional intelligence, people skills and flexibility. The demands of the X and Y generations are aligned to the skill-set of female leadership styles.

Hanna Rosin, author and journalist, gives a fascinating TED Talk about the Rise of Women. She talks about Women’s skill sets and the new economy.

What the economy requires now is a whole different set of skills. You basically need intelligence, you need inability to sit still in focus, to communicate openly, to be able to listen to people and operate in a workplace that is much more fluid than it used to be. And those are things that women do extremely well as we’re seeing. If you read management books now, a leader is somebody who can foster creativity, who can get the employees to talk to each other, who can basically build teams and get them to be created. Those are things that women do very well.

I don’t know if this is really The End of Men, as Rosin’s book proclaims, but it is a fascinating theme.

 

 

Have you experienced The Feminization of Leadership?   Please take the time to share your stories.  And as always, thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

 

Women, Men, Communication and Humor

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

– George Bernard Shaw


In my last entry, I closed the post with I’d love to hear what helps you communicate better and how you make your relationships work.

I had quite a few people email me, post me on Facebook,  reply to blog post directly, and even stop me on the street to comment.  And the overwhelming response was Humor! (Mind you all the responses were from women.  Not sure exactly what that means . . .)

But if we accept that men and women are hard-wired differently, as cited in several recent articles, and if we accept that if we actually think differently, communicate differently and process differently, what can we do but keep a sense of humor as we wander through the minefield? That, and as my cousin Diana suggested, keep small stashes of M & Ms handy!

I want to close with a short video from the TV show, Friends – looking at communication style differences between men and women.

 

 

I’d love to hear how humor has helped your relationship survive . . . or not survive as the case may be.  And as always thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.