If I had a tenner for every time another woman has bemoaned having a female boss, I’d be saving at least a couple of weeks on lattes. It’s not that female bosses are no good – they are! It’s just that sometimes the dynamic between a female boss and her female team members can be an ‘interesting’ one, for want of a better describing word.
According to a survey by Gallup, taken in America, nearly 405 of women would rather have a male boss than their male counterparts. In contrast, just 26 per cent of men would prefer to have a male boss, with 58 per cent not caring either way.
So, whether it’s competition, too many hormones, clashing because of similarities, or just a coincidence, there is definitely something there. It’s not uncommon to have a boss who refuses to share information, much less power or credit. People who behave like this are insecure, resistant to change, or lack self-worth…or all of those things combined. When this happens, it often creates interpersonal barriers in the workplace and barriers within the organisation. But the sign of a good leader is that the people involved with her are successful in their own right, too.
If you’re a female boss, take note of the following tips so you don’t end up being judged (incorrectly) in the workplace.
Empower, not overpower
Being at the top of the management tree is a sign that you’re reliable and good at your job. So, your team will expect you to show that you know your stuff. This doesn’t mean you can’t listen to their ideas, or that you must be harsh at all times by virtue of your position – you should empower them instead.
Empowerment enriches the person being developed, meaning they put out better work, are happy to work with you and generally make the work feel easier.
Give a compliment when it’s due
A great technique to use in developing others is to point out their strengths. We’re all accustomed to seeing our weaknesses, but often our strengths go unnoticed and it can cause resent. But when you compliment your staff, you’ll see how much apprereicated they feel and how much they’ll wants to do more good for you and the company.
Learn to talk to, not at, people
If talking isn’t your strong point, or you just don’t know how to build a better rapport with your team, maybe you’re not talking to them enough. Here are some good starting points:
- Ask them about their dreams and goals.
- Give validity to the said dreams and goal.
- Ask your staff about the challenges or hurdles they are experiencing.
- Offer to help them through those challenges and hurdles.
- Check in to see their progress.
Some people find these mundane, others find it a necessity. You don’t have to book a weekend residential in Spain with the team to get to know them – a coffee may be enough. Whatever you choose, time out of the work environment will help you (and them) see that there is a human at the end of the office or email, who might not be that bad after all.