BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

A Shout Out to the Ladies

Posted by egehl on August 18, 2009

women and businessWomen in power, women in business, women in the workplace can get a bad rap for being, well, women.  We are pegged the emotional ones, the bitchy ones if we appear too strong or aggressive, or the ones who will have a harder time reaching success because of our inherent nature.  Which is why I enjoyed reading MSN’s “Top 10 Ways to Use Your Female Advantage in Business”.

They list the top ways women can use their qualities to enhance their career and success in any organization.  Here they are with my added twist:

1. Empathy is a strength not a weakness

Women are inherently empathetic individuals and this is a strength in the workplace, not a weakness.  Certain situations in the workplace call for empathy and being cognizant of the behaviors and actions of others.  Female managers can especially use this skill to their advantage when reporting out good or bad news, and delineating tasks and assignments.  Empathy is needed in a work environment to build consensus around a common goal and mediate disputes.

2. The power of being a connector

Women have an innate ability to build relationships and connect with people. Women naturally create partnerships, enjoy positions that foster networking, and like to build teams of diverse people and attitudes.  Any successful workplace must have employees that possess these qualities and abilities to bring together a diverse range of stakeholders that can foster critical thinking and creativity.

3. The advantages of fostering a large network

Women are good at building large networks and they like when their network grows significantly.  They know this leads to more career capitol and opportunities to learn about new positions and ways to move within an organization.  Women will use their networks in their internal and external work environment to help them professionally as they develop their job skills and careers.

4. Communication skills

Women routinely outscore men on oral and written tests because they use both hemispheres of the brain — left and right — to process verbal and emotional messages.  At heart, women are communicators and feel comfortable expressing their emotions and thoughts about colleagues or a work situation.

5. Verbal strengths

Women are skillful at asking great questions and listening actively.  Women speak up when something needs to be addressed and we look for ways to hone our business conversation and presentation skills.

6. The power of being inclusive

Women naturally act inclusive rather than exclusive.  This is a powerful strength especially in today’s modern world when the ability to work well with diverse groups is a requirement not a luxury.  This talent will set women apart and show that they can work across different cultures, backgrounds, and generations. By encouraging different perspectives women have the opportunity to create more friends than foes, and cultivate strong alliances through their actions of loyalty and consistency.

7.  Utilizing an intuitive nature

Women are much better at picking up subtle emotional messages. We can pick up body language and detect unspoken signals of unhappiness, frustration, and confusion.  Women can look beyond verbal messages to the real message people are conveying in meetings and conversations. If something feels uncomfortable or incomplete, women will act on their intuition and inquire what might be going on with a project or person.

8. Empowering others

Women like to work together collaboratively and empower different members of their team to contribute and accomplish tasks.  Unfortunately this is not always the case with female bullying however typically women will give credit when credit is due.  Women like to feel empowered so when given the opportunity they will try to show the same toward their counterparts.

9. Seeing the big picture

Women tend to take in various perspectives and consider a larger framework when solving a problem or making a decision.  Women can use their problem-solving style to uncover risks and opportunities, and bring more creativity and innovation to their work.

10. The art of compassion and connection

Women’s gifts for relationships, compassion and connection make them an asset to any workplace.  Every workplace has a diverse mix of personalities and women have a knack for resolving differences between work styles, attitudes and priorities.

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