The male and female ego go head-to-head when a woman is the boss. Many men can’t handle it, but of course the problem is each man’s. Her best practice at all times rests with dodging disrespect. Using or avoiding the following practices accumulate benefits over time.
1. Leadership means to inspire people to do what they may not particularly care to do and do it well. Over-supervision squelches inspiration and trust, which weakens belief in the leader, which reduces respect.
2. Management means arranging things, shaping events, and coordinating outcomes. Micromanaging squelches initiative, signals distrust, and undercuts the authority of others. Each of these results earns disrespect, and men are particularly sensitive to loss of authority.
3. The female nature easily leads to miscalculations and misjudgments in the workplace. For example, some women pay too much attention to emotional disturbances that men expect to resolve or live with on their own. Interference can breed disrespect.
4. Some women imitate the way they think men lead, manage, and emphatically boss. They duplicate what they see, have seen, or deduce that men do. Acting outside her female character earns disrespect, and getting bossier from frustration earns more.
5. Some women focus more on the process of working than producing results. They seek to integrate relationships and manage emotions. By taking their eye off what workers are producing, they lose respect.
6. Their child-raising instincts push women into bad habits dealing with subordinates. The male nature cringes at orders from an authority figure female. Men can adjust to women telling them WHAT to do but not HOW to do it. When told HOW, men lose interest in doing it, and she loses respect. (Women can test this first hand with their Honey-do list.)
7. Don’t complain and don’t explain. When the boss does either, she empowers others to judge her—and they will. Their respect for her declines with each judgment that they or someone else could do better.
8. Whatever policies, practices, and rules she formulates or follows need no explanation when they have been violated. If she explains to the violator, she gives up her authority as discriminator about violations and will be judged weak. Either her or her rules will be found wanting and disrespected.
9. Women focus on relationships in the workplace. Men deal with principles that smooth and level out emotions. For example: Men work best under these leadership principles. Assign responsibility to each person such that everyone is aware of who does what. Delegate authority to each person sufficient to fulfill their responsibility. Hold everyone accountable for a job well done or not done satisfactorily. Bosses that do this well earn greater respect.
10. Praise and chastise individuals ONLY in private for reasons explained next below.
11. Praise and chastise teams as a whole and don’t cite individuals for special recognition, good or bad. Other team members will disagree when they are not included. This far too easily breeds envy, jealousy, and whining that fertilizes disrespect for the boss. Those not recognized in front of others do not have access to the boss’ agenda. So, they can’t be expected to understand how ‘heroic’ is someone else. Also, they feel they contributed at least as much and maybe more. That is, “The boss just doesn’t know what all goes on where I work.”
12. The female nature automatically earns less respect and less enthusiasm from people in a structured organization. So, a woman boss’ strength lies with femininity. Why? Because men greatly respect women strong on feminine mystique, female modesty, religious loyalty, and moral standards that men would not choose for or by themselves, and female-defined and -friendly manners, expectations, and social standards. Any effective leader needs respect above all else.
All this is not to say a woman can’t be a good boss, but she has a much tougher assignment than men. See CONTENTS page at blog top for more about Woman as Boss.