Male vs Female Leadership Styles Is There Really A Difference?

Men and women in the same position within an organization might behave very differently and take very different decisions. The way they work the kind of support they seek and the kind of support that they deliver all have slight differences in them. Even when it comes to leadership in the workplace men and women can make very different leaders. The leadership styles have subtle differences. Though there are many that argue that women make better leaders than men in several occasions the truth is that every organization needs both male and female leaders. Both male and female leadership styles have their strengths and weaknesses and the best way for both to succeed is by complementing each other. Given that the workplace culture itself tends to sometimes be biased and given that male and female employees are often treated differently, it is natural to expect differences in the styles in which they lead.

Women are in a position to take bigger risks most of the time

For women who are looking to become leaders, there is a number of risks and bigger ones too. As long as the gender gap prevails in the workplaces, the situation is more likely to remain tough for women leaders. Though they have to put up with bigger hurdles, the expectations are always set higher for women leaders. This is why most organizations feel that leadership coaching can go a long way toward helping female leaders sharpen their skills. The mentorship or coaching can also alleviate the struggle and clear out the path a bit to make them better leaders. Most of the differences that occur are due to the societal opinions and judgemental decisions that several workplaces take. The entrepreneurs of the current generation are standing out for being innovators and risk takers. If the entrepreneurs take adequate measures to bring in gender equality in the workplace there can be a huge change.

There are no differences in some cases

The difference in the leadership styles displayed by the male and female leaders are more on the basis of the situation, the work environment. In some work cultures, there is not a single difference when it comes to their leadership styles. In fact irrespective of the gender, leadership styles can be different – like transformational, transactional, democratic, autocratic, bureaucratic, charismatic and other types of leadership. This varies from one individual to another and from one organizational setup to another. There is no talk about gender in this case. But a common observation is that there are small differences even when it comes to following these common leadership styles, among the male and female leaders.

Collaborative approach

Women are often found to be better collaborators than men. Women leaders are known to make it easy to establish a collaborative environment in the workplace. When it comes to bringing the team together women are definitely great leaders. One strength that makes it easy for women to collaborate in the efforts they take to keep everyone happy. But this also happens to be one of the weaknesses of women leaders. As they try to keep everyone happy sometimes this makes them struggle to attain perfection. Perfectionism is not something that a leader needs. It can also make the leader overwork himself or herself and result in disappointments.

Patience is a pretty big deal

Leaders need ample amount of patience in every occasion. Women tend to be more patient than men, at least in most cases. This patience does benefit them as leaders. Sometimes as a leader, with the authority at hand, people are likely to take impulsive decisions. But women leaders are known to be patient and they put a lot of thought before taking any decision. This patience pays off pretty well. They do not grab every chance that comes their way. Instead, they wait, study and evaluate every opportunity and pick the ones that are stable and value adding. Male leaders are however good risk takers. Which does help on several occasions? Every team has to practice a balance between the willingness to take risks and the patience to study so as to take calculative risks.

Habits that characterize a good leader

Do men make better leaders or women? This is a never-ending debate. But the undeniable fact is that both can make great leaders provided they develop a collaborative approach, and learn to work as a team rather than incorporate a dictatorship. Here are a few habits that both male and female leaders should develop in order to grow and help others grow-

Accountability – leaders are willing to take the burden of the blame on to themselves on behalf of the team. And they are ready to be accountable for every single decision they make. They also integrate this accountability in every team member

Create an atmosphere that welcomes brainstorming– you never know where are great idea might come from. So even the tiniest suggestion that a team member has, might lead to huge differences when the options are weighed. Leaders are great listeners and they value the ideas given by everyone around them.

Appreciate and acknowledge- work that goes unnoticed is one of the biggest demotivation in any workplace. A good leader makes sure that the team members’ efforts are acknowledged. A good leader thinks twice before criticising and never hesitates to appreciate. Even the criticisms are framed constructively so as to benefit the overall growth of the team members.

Be a solver than a blamer- a leader makes sure that the goals are understood and the processes are planned so as to avoid blunders. And when a blunder does occur a leader stays away from blame games. The leader starts looking for a solution instead and also identifies ways to prevent the problem from recurring.

A source of positivity- a good leader is optimistic and charismatic. This positivity is contagious in a team and a leader can thus create a positive work environment.

On the whole, gender doesn’t determine whether a person can turn out to be a good leader or not. It is the desire to work on oneself, the desire to continuously learn and improve and to help others improve.

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