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The Female Boss Syndrome. Do You Have It?

The Female Boss Syndrome. Do You Have It?
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“I seriously don’t like working under a female boss”, “a female boss is too tough to handle”; these are several phrases we overhear from the subordinates that work under a female boss. Cribbing about the manager is quite common, but these are special cases of gender stereotyping when you have a lady boss as your manager.

When I was looking for my first job, numerous people advised me not to accept the offers that had a female manager since they are not resilient and often lack leadership qualities. While I agree that there are countless managers who lack ability to lead though worth pondering is that has it really got something to do with the gender?

Name it cultural backgrounds, social set ups or merely genetics, but there are several mistakes that adhere to female managers solely.

If broadly categorised there are two categories we can put a female manager into. One is the “Miss Queen” and the other is “fairy godmother”

Miss Queen

She has worked her own way up at the male dominant positions and marvelled in achieving the achievements that she flaunts on her forehead. This makes her imitate men quite naturally. She is authoritative and invites no emotional attachment. She is detached to an emotional attachment between herself and her employees. She acts like a queen bee here who minds her business only and has no business is knowing anything else

This kind of behaviour without a doubt makes us rigid, robust, competitive and credible, however the lack of compassion and empathy pushes her employees away from her. These actions further end up distancing the employees from her creating the deficiency of motivation. She often feels threatened at her own position, hence she is hesitant to provide proper guidance especially to her female employees.

Fairy Godmother

Unlike the above leadership pattern, the fairy god mother style of leadership is much more caring, nurturing and compassionate. Here the boss doesn’t emotionally distances herself from the employees rather she makes them feel like a family. She is much more caring and encouraging. The warm facet of her personality is dominant here. However, being too much attached emotionally is not a good side professionally either. This way of leadership might surely strengthen the bond between the employee and the female boss however it can also backfire.

There are instances when the circumstances would demand her to be authoritative and lead. Blurring the professional lines and mingling them with personal attachment can become a hurdle when circumstances arrive that require you to be tough. Such approach often allows the employees to take you for granted as well.

Most of you must be wondering if these both the approaches are non-beneficial to the organization then what is the correct approach. Well, we are answering it below read on.

Striking a correct balance between being authoritative yet compassionate is integral for any manager especially the lady boss. Being too rigorous can cause the employees lose out their motivation while being too soft would make them take you for granted.

Here is how you can strike the accurate balance –

  • Lead but don’t command – Being at a managerial position it is significant to make your stance clear as a leader. You need to take the lead entertaining no non sense at all. However, do not force your ideas on them and shut it down. Knowing that your manager is commanding you instead of guiding often creates disappointments.
  • Prepare a line of control – You tend to deal with humans and not machines, hence an inhuman approach would never work in your favour.Getting a little friendly to your employees is a good sign. You can consider spending tea breaks with them or cracking jokes when the time is free. However limit yourself from getting too closer at it might backfire. Developing best friendship with your employees makes it tough to establish authority on them later on.
  • Be considerate but not easy – Being considerate towards their requirements is important. If your employee needs 4 days off you should be considerate enough to ask them the reason, but make sure that they don’t keep the work pending and respect you as their manager. Don’t give them a chance to easily fool you. Remember, your every nod, to them should be earned enough to be valued.
Most women fail to strike this accurate balance and end up making the employee’s life miserable and adding fuel to this female boss stereotype. In the scenario that is dominated by men, the women who climb their success stairs and make it to the top deserve immense respect. At the same time they must remember that being the leader in that arena, they are responsible to keep their employees motivated as much as they are dedicated towards the growth of the company itself.
 
Edition: June 2017

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