Q. In your opinion, what is one important leadership trait that male leaders can learn from women in business?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Situational Understanding
Males have a “fix-it” mentality when it comes to any situation, issue or problem that arises. While this is a great trait to have, one thing we can learn from women in business is to care about the person and situation at hand. Place a strong focus on that part of the equation. Listen, wait to speak and understand the human emotion that drives an issue before jumping in to fix things.
– Matt Shoup, MattShoup.com
According to a recent article published in Business Insider, building on an ongoing study by leadership consultancy firm Zenger Folkman, women are perceived as more effective leaders particularly in the area of “taking initiative.” If this is a feminine trait, count me in! All effective leaders, regardless of gender, need the ability to see what needs to get done, and just do it.
– David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services
3. Patient Problem Solving
Males often tackle problems immediately with whatever tools or solutions they have available to them at that moment. However, they could take a cue from female leaders by waiting and allowing time for multiple solutions to bubble up. Allowing time to come up with the best solution instead of going with the first solution at hand is a great lesson for male leaders.
– Kim Kaupe, ZinePak
4. Ability to Change Perspective
The effective female leaders I’ve had the pleasure of learning from have a great ability to see things from another person’s perspective. This ability lays the foundation for effective communication with customers, communicates problems across teams and establishes a mutual purpose between the company, employees and partners.
– Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Technologies, Inc.
6. Ability to Understand Empathy
The key to understanding customers, employees and even investors is to understand why they react the way they do when exposed to a certain set of stimuli. It helps create a frame for future conversations based on the person you are talking to. If you can understand why someone reacts a certain way, you can help guide those reactions in future meetings.
– Benish Shah, Before the Label
7. Natural Intuition
Women are naturally intuitive creatures who tend to trust gut instincts that tell them what to do and what not to do. It is important to respect and listen to your intuition when making big decisions and pay attention to the cues you feel in situations. If it feels right, go forward. If not, proceed with caution or not at all.
– Sunny Bonnell, Motto
8. Collaborative Mindset
At The Beauty Bean, we firmly believe in the power of collaboration and community. This more feminine leadership strategy has allowed us to collapse our hierarchy and work smarter.
– Alexis Wolfer, The Beauty Bean
9. Natural Encouragement
In my observation, women tend to express the positive thoughts they have toward someone or something more than men. Little nuggets of praise and appreciation like, “Nice work on that project,” or “You just made my day,” can go a long way in keeping team members motivated and encouraged.
– Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®
10. Effective Listening
Women are able to listen and really understand people’s concerns because they sometimes look a little deeper than face value. That helps them better understand how people are motivated and, as a result, how to more effectively work with them.
– Michael Mogill, Crisp Video Group
11. Effective Team-Building
While most men learn team-building skills through sports, they often do not bring those skills to the workplace. Women are natural collaborators and are able to find natural points of connection. In the 21st century, this skill-set will be crucial, and those with the skills to collaborate will advance in business more quickly.
– Suzanne Smith, Social Impact Architects
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