Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bossiness, Leadership, Compassion, Strength: What does the workforce want from women?

So you’re a woman in business and you want to be a leader, but what does that really mean for your behavior? This is a question women have been asking for decades, and the latest research may be able to help answer it.

According to new psychology research, strength and "niceness" account for 90 percent of our opinion of a person. Women have been told that in the workplace these two personality attributes are opposites, but that is not the case.

Research, done by Jack Zeneger and Joseph Folkman, shows the chance of a person who is strongly disliked being considered a good leader is 1 in 2,000. This tells us if you are not perceived as a nice person initially, it will be more difficult for you to demonstrate if you have skills and strength.

The majority of leaders begin with showing strength which projects that they are dominant and overbearing, therefore untrustworthy. However, the best way to become a good and trusted leader is to begin with warmth. Warmth creates a clear path to influence. Zig Ziglar may have said it best when he said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Even with all the new research and more answers for women in the workplace, there is no hard and fast solution to finding a balance between compassion and strength. Thanks to the abundance of accessible research, women today can be more prepared and better equipped to handle all that the world of business can throw at them. The most important thing to realize is that every work environment is different and it is important to always remain true to you.

If you have any questions about how your business can help the women in your workplace succeed, or if you personally have any questions, please contact Connor|Caitlin.