In my last post I wrote about accepting the leadership component of my new job. In effort to do that, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a good leader, particularly for a woman. And as you might imagine there is no real difference between a good leader who is a woman or a good leader who happens to be a man. A good leader will possess a basic set of personality traits, regardless of gender. However, there are some traits that seem to be more naturally inherent in women than men.
Here are the top 4 traits that are more readily associated with women:
Women employ a more persuasive attitude.
Studies have shown that women tend to use more persuasive tactics when working in a team environment. Surprisingly, women tend to be more assertive, empathic, and willing to take risks. We bring this type of energy into a group setting and use them to try to get others to see things our way; whereas men tend to try to advocate for their point of view, instead of working toward persuading others to agree with them. As natural nurturers, women are more adept at reading the emotions of others and using that to inform decisions. By honing in on the objections and concerns of others, we are better able to disarm potential adversaries and promote ideas that leave all involved feeling appreciated and valued.
Women are inclined to learn and grow from adversity.
A combination of assertiveness and strong interpersonal skills put most women in a good position to bounce back from feelings of rejection and disappointment. A sense of resilience and flexibility allows for a healthy rebound when things do not go the way we necessarily want. We have all felt rejection at one point or another. And we know that as women we are our own worse critics and we may give a negative situation more attention than it deserves. However, as a group, we do not tend to dwell on those feelings for too long. It is not uncommon for a woman to feel compelled to do better when faced with rejection – it can serve to fuel our ambitions. Driven by a sense of sociability, we are much more inclined to learn what we can from failures, commit ourselves to applying lessons learned to future scenarios and trying again with renewed fortitude.
Women leaders are risk takers.
Because women tend to operate from a place of urgency, we are more inclined to take risks in order to get things done. Studies have shown that women are more likely to push back against rules and regulations in order to employ more innovative problem solving. As nurturers, it seems we feel a greater need to ‘get things done’ and are willing to go out on a limb and think outside of the box to accomplish this.
Women are team builders.
Women tend to work with a more inclusive way of leading. The underlying motivation is to include the ideas of others and to strive for a more inclusive journey toward success. As stated previously, as nurturers we are interested in hearing all points of view and making decisions that are based upon all possible avenues. We are more prone to engage active communication: listening, processing, considering and implementing ideas from others. This type of open communication fosters critical and creative thinking as well as trust.
Are you a born leader? Do you possess any of these traits?