5 Skills That Might Be Missing From Your Team
“Over the past decades, scientific studies have consistently shown that on most of the key traits that make leaders more effective, women tend to outperform men. For example, humility, self-awareness, self-control, moral sensitivity, social skills, emotional intelligence, kindness, a prosocial and moral orientation, are all more likely to be found in women than men.” Forbes Article
In another study done by Harvard Business Review, women out performed men in 17 of the 19 capabilities that differentiate excellent leaders from average or poor ones. These capabilities included: initiative, resilience, results driven, integrity, bold leadership, champions change, collaboration and teamwork.
And yet while women excel at skills that help build effective teams, studies also show that women are far less confident in their strengths, often resulting in being less assertive to seek out or step into more leadership roles.
I believe our teams are better and our cultures are healthier when both men and women are at the leadership table confidently bringing their respective perspectives, gifts, and strengths to the whole organization.
In a time when the war on talent is greater than ever and the great resignation has every leader hyper aware of how to attract and retain great talent, we need to be actively engaging the best gifts of our team members - especially our women leaders - in order to create healthy and sustainable cultures.
Let’s take a look at 5 of these competencies where women shine and consider how elevating these strengths could impact your team right now.
Perhaps it seems like a contradiction to list humility when I previously implied that women need to be more confident. This is one of the paradoxes of leadership that Dr. Tim Elmore talks about in his new book. (We discussed this on a recent podcast episode.)
While women need to be confident to come to the table, maintaining their humility as they do so is a powerful gift in leadership. Humble leaders remain open to ideas, they seek out insights from others, they are curious and ask good questions, they are comfortable admitting when they don’t have the answer or when they have made a mistake.
In a culture where younger team members sniff out inauthenticity quickly and trust in leadership is staggeringly low, humble leaders are essential.
In the aforementioned Harvard Business Review study, resilience was one of the strongest traits women leaders demonstrated. Shadow a working mom for a day and watch her juggle the myriad of responsibilities she manages and you quickly realize why resilience is a strength for most women.
We’re living in a season of leadership that requires us to quickly react and adapt to ever-changing dynamics. Leaders who are resilient and in turn can help their teams be resilient will be able to survive the whirlwind of unpredictability.
My personal mantra is ‘lead yourself well to lead others better.” (I wrote extensively about this in my book, The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.) This phrase became a passion point for me when I began to realize that my lack of self-awareness was beginning to hinder my effectiveness as a leader.
Self-aware leaders are not only aware of what is going on within themselves but they are attuned to how they are impacting others. Self-awareness leads to greater results, more focus on the right things, and greater emotional intelligence.
4. Develop, Inspire and Motivate others
Great leaders realize that leadership is not about them or for them. As we gain more leadership responsibility our focus should be on the development of others.
Women tend to do this more instinctively. Perhaps it's in our nature to nurture others, but whatever it is I have yet to meet a team that didn’t list leadership development as one of their greatest challenges. When you include women in your leadership, you have a better chance you’ll increase the leadership development culture in your organization.
5. Drives for Results
Women like to make things happen. We are attuned to the impact of our legacy. From non-profit to business, when a woman makes up her mind to do something she is going to make it happen.
But I think the real power in a woman leader’s ability to drive for results is when it builds upon the four competencies named above. When a humble, resilient self-aware leader develops and motivates her team, results are a natural overflow of that momentum.
Women leaders - we need you to step into your leadership gifts and strengths. The teams that you are a part of need your courage and confidence. You don’t need to have it all figured out to show up. Show up with what you have and keep learning and growing along the way.
Men leaders - we need you and want to work with you. Develop, inspire and motivate the women on your team. Believe in them. Support them. Encourage them. Trust their instincts and recognize that when women share the leadership table with you we’re collectively bringing the best of our gifts for the greater good of our mission.
Investing and developing in women leaders has been a passion point for me long before 4Sight was started. For nearly 12 years I have had the privilege of gathering groups of women leaders to help them find clarity and confidence in their leadership. You can learn more about our Women in Leadership Coaching Groups here.
How do you feel when the driver in front of you slams on their brakes and makes a hard turn without signaling? At best, it's a little frustrating. Worst case scenario, it can cause a crash. The same is true of careless communication practices within a team. But, when a team is intentional about the way they communicate, it builds trust, efficiency, and collaboration.
In this episode, Jenni Catron poses 5 questions you can ask to dramatically improve the communication among those you lead. When you "use your blinker" and communicate well, you don't simply avoid crashes, you get where you're going faster and more effectively.