Jen Dalitz
Little Wins

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Women make better leaders in turbulent times: true or false?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New evidence suggests that women may be better than their male counterparts in improving employee morale, motivation and performance – crucial factors that can enhance chances of organizations survival in turbulent times - according to Shabeer Ahmad on

Ahmad says that during turbulent times, "a management style that is more characteristic of women leaders really produces positive results", and that this is because:

  • Collaboration becomes vital if the organization is to capture all ideas and opinions to ensure that the best possible course is taken. Women consult more with their peers and teams than men.
  • Showing empathy when people are distraught will provide stability in the workplace. Women are better at expressing empathy than men.
  • Similarly, responding to people’s emotional needs will ensure that they continue to perform under pressure – and women are much better at using emotions in a positive way.
  • Women also tend to reduce or avoid hierarchical layers and to short-circuit communication channels, and this leads to improved trust and better communication.
  • Being less aggressive will ensure that risk is reduced. Women take fewer risks than men so the organization’s chances of survival are higher.

What's your take: true or false?

Claudia commented on 04-Mar-2012 05:01 PM
This article is well detailed and I agree. Based on my experience, women that do not shy away from taking charge of a stressful situation really do lead a group to a more stable level. Men usually focus on one part only, whichever it may be. To address
employee's emotional states such as confusion or fear does not get prioritised at all. Also men do not seem to recognise the importance of communication during stressful times. Women are more likely to communicate which subdues the stress somewhat of a situation.
Recognising that men like to 'do' and women like to 'talk', talking eliminates confusion and addresses fear and confusion which promotes teamwork.
Jeff commented on 13-May-2012 10:06 PM
Rubbish! Utter rubbish
TheSheEO commented on 14-May-2012 11:32 AM
Is it the research method you disagree with Jeff, or my summary of it here? Jen
seona commented on 23-May-2012 10:07 PM
I think women make better leaders full stop. But I admit to some prejudice, being one myself - a women that is.. But in turbulent times (which seems to becoming a constant, we revert to what we think is more secure and what we know - and that tends to
be male leadership. Not sure if I agree with the article to the extent that it is overly generalised but there is additional argument of taking risks is a good idea when times are turbulent - best time to be innovative? But at the risk of generalising myself,
if EQ is advantageous for good leadership, I'd say many women (as well as some men) are very suited!
Malbrown2 commented on 22-Jun-2012 08:16 PM
True. It's my thought that 75% of politicians should be women and the remaining men, gay.
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