A Man’s Advice

A Man’s Advice for Women in Management

I read an interesting article not too long ago, interesting in that it gave a male view of what women managers should or should not do to further succeed in their career. Here are some choice pieces of proffered advice from a respected sales and ex-HR director of well-known multinationals:

– “When women make it to certain level they don’t necessarily need to demonstrate that they deserve it –- a little more self-confidence would serve them well.”
– “Women need to realize that if roles and positions have been attributed to them, trying too hard to copy male characteristics, such as authoritativeness, is not only unnecessary, but it can also be counterproductive. If women occupy a certain position, it’s because they possess the appropriate qualities for that specific position.”
– “Men don’t worry too much about why they hold a certain position, which gives them more energy to understand their surroundings and develop relationships. On the other hand, women are strongly focused on themselves once they get to a certain level, as if they constantly need to convince themselves of their role.”

Miranda Priestley (Meryl Streep)Alas, I too have experienced a number of women like the ones that this man is referring to, akin to Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada”. Fortunately, not all successful women in management try to emulate men, are overly demonstrative of their capabilities, and are too self-centered.

What do those other women do differently? They frequently adopt a coach approach to management, where their oft-innate skills of listening, encouragement and showing empathy, for example, are expressed and appreciated. In short, women allow themselves to be more natural without necessarily trying to fit into a male mold.

Try it, it works.

To sharpen your management skills in coaching and avoid Miranda’s fate, see the News & Events section for upcoming courses on this subject: “Nuove competenze al femminile: Affiancare e sviluppare i propri collaboratori” and “Coaching e strumenti di sviluppo manageriale” within Il Sole 24 Ore’s Master’s program, Management della Formazione.

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