by Caroline | May 20, 2014 | feminine leadership strengths, gender diversity in leadership, Masculine Feminine Difference, Strengths of feminine leadership |
A recent study in the UK concludes that women are seen as just as good, or even better, leaders than men in areas including business. The issue is not whether men or women are better leaders. All women do not think or lead the same – just as men do not. I join John Gerzema in the proposition that leaders today need both masculine and feminine strengths. The point is to raise feminine leadership style (in both men and women) to a position equal to masculine leadership style – to value both.
by Caroline | Feb 11, 2014 | bottom line value of gender diversity, business case for gender diversity, business value of gender diversity, feminine strengths, gender diversity in leadership, Inclusive culture, Inclusive leadership, Inclusivity, Masculine Feminine Difference, strengths of feminine approaches, Strengths of feminine leadership, workshops gender diversity |
Men in my workshops used to hesitate to claim feminine strengths, perhaps concerned they would be called a “sissy.” In my book and workshops, I use prototypes for masculine and feminine – Max and Fran. Men in our workshops seem comfortable acknowledging their “Fran” strengths. Maybe it is because more of them understand the value of gender diversity. Some may be convinced, e.g., by the work of McKinsey & Co. and John Gerzema, that leadership must include feminine as well as masculine perspectives. Valuing feminine strengths personally enables authenticity, effectiveness and health. Valuing feminine strengths in others contributes to inclusivity, which drives engagement and results.
by Caroline | Aug 13, 2013 | appreciating difference, collaborative leadership style, feminine leadership strengths, Gender difference, Inclusive leadership, invisible mind-sets, judging difference, leading from the front, Masculine Feminine Difference, Men and women at work, obstacles to gender diversity, Strengths of feminine leadership, strengths of masculine approaches, understanding difference, understanding difference |
The masculine form of influencing others is based on a hierarchical world-view. The feminine form is based on building and maintaining relationships. Those (men and women) who influence in a masculine way command, tell, and demonstrate dominance. Men and women who influence in a feminine way do so through persuasion. We can wisely use our understanding of these differences, and the strengths of each approach, to be more effective. Our understanding and appreciation of these differences enables us to be more inclusive. Leader who appreciate these differences are aware that they can create obstacles, for example, for feminine leaders who do not “lead from the front.” They can see leadership strengths in those who lead collaboratively.
by Caroline | Aug 6, 2013 | better decisions, Business Case, business case for gender diversity, Business Results, Engagement, feminine leadership strengths, Masculine Feminine Difference, progress of women, strengths of feminine approaches, Strengths of feminine leadership, strengths of masculine approaches, Strengths of women's leadership |
Leigh Buchanan’s article talks about a new book by John Gerzema, “Between Venus and Mars.” I see many parallels. Both our work and Gerzema’s are based upon the importance of employee engagement to productivity and profitability. We both see that women have typically conformed to masculine workplace values and styles. Most important, we agree that the workplace needs both masculine and feminine styles of leadership and that the best leaders combine strengths of both. We agree that the best decisions result from having both masculine and feminine thinkers involved and find value in both masculine and feminine forms of communication. We need more women in leadership because a balance of men and women means we are more likely to have a balance of masculine and feminine strengths. And that leads to better business results.
by Caroline | Jul 9, 2013 | appreciating difference, Business Case, Business Results, confidence, Diversity and engagement, Gender Balance, gender communication, gender inclusive, Inclusive leadership, judging difference, leveraging differences, Masculine Feminine Difference, obstacles to gender diversity, Strengths of feminine leadership, strengths of masculine approaches, understanding difference |
There are two “languages” in the workplace — masculine and feminine. We use the term “Frax-wise” to describe people who understand, appreciate and leverage both masculine and feminine ways. (We are all “Frax,” a combination of Fran, the feminine prototype, and “Max,” the masculine.) If I am personally Frax-wise, I know which “language” is most effective in which circumstances. In working with others, as a Frax-wise person, I do not take speech styles literally; I know Fran may simply not be expressing his or her ideas powerfully and Max (though sounding confident) may be expressing an opinion. As a Frax-wise leader, I understand that these differences may create obstacles for those who speak “Fran” and I can lower those obstacles. I can be an inclusive leader and get the upsides of gender diversity.
by Caroline | Jul 1, 2013 | appreciating difference, Balance of masculine feminine, Difference, Diversity and engagement, Effectiveness, engagement, Engagement, Gender diversity, gender inclusive, gender stereotypes, Inclusive culture, Inclusive leadership, Leveraging Difference, Masculine Feminine Difference, Organizational culture, Strengths of feminine leadership, understanding difference |
To avoid stereotyping, I use a prototype named Fran to describe feminine approaches to work and a prototype named Max to represent masculine approaches. All of us are both Fran and Max; we are “Frax.” A person who understands and appreciates both approaches can be “Frax-wise. in the sphere of personal effectiveness, a Frax-wise individual can shift his or her approach depending on the circumstance. In the sphere of relationships — working with and leading others — being Frax-wise enables one to appreciate and leverage difference, increasing engagement. In the sphere of organization, Frax-wise leaders understand how differences in Fran and Max create obstacles to gender diversity — and eliminate them.