I received an email from one of our Contagious Community members regarding his point of view of women's leadership skills... he has some great ideas and is a proponent of us bringing rah-rah back to the conference. he-he... not that it ever left... it merely is a part of the conference, rather than the whole of it. :)
First, women frequently run into communication barriers in the business world because the men in their organizations rarely understand the female perspective. I have had huge success providing cross-gender communications training and it can be as simple for an organization as learning semantics. Because the fundamental essence of the human male is the need for independence, any male in a subordinate role to a female will view, "I need this on my desk by tomorrow" as a conflict confrontation. In his mind, he get's enough, "Honey, when are you going to take out the trash and mow the lawn?" at home. He naturally bristles when he hears it.However, if his female boss were to simply put it another way, "Roger, would you be willing to look at this?" or "Roger, I need your assistance with this and it must be done asap."The conflict with his need not to be told what to do is gone. In the second example, he becomes the knight, i.e. I need your assistance. Even gay men can't resist the call to chivalry. They feel needed, thus respected. Yes, I know this shallow and somewhat juvenial, but we're talking men here. I am the former Training and Development Manager for the State of xxxx (name deleted on purpose) where I once took these concepts to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The supervisors there in turn taught their front counter staff and low and behold there was a huge change in the public's perception of an agency they all hated to deal with. Now when a big burly man from this state walks in and stands before a small young female behind the counter, she says, "Sir before I can properly help you, would you be willing to fill out all the boxes on this form?" That simple phrase, "Would you be willing?" seems to work on most men. Try it if you are married.
Second, you mentioned your Leadership Confrence for women wasn't going to be a rah rah session. In daily performing the leadership function, there is one factor which, is rarely a solid given in men and very iffy in women. Confidence. Not confidence built on a false sense of self-importance, but true confidence built on a strong self-esteem. The average CEO in this country stumbles along, at best, when it comes to making individual decisions. I think there is a great need for women to be praised and lifted up in the business world and told that when they bring their true selves to the table with all their natural compassion, their desire to serve, and their male mind boggling ability to mutitask, they bring an unbeatable force. Rah rah has its place and women need it today. When I was seventeen, I was conoeing down a long set of rapids on a whitewater river and was met by a sixtyfive year old women kayaking back up stream. There is nothing so inspirational, nothing so empowering, and few things more glorious than a women, with confidence and courage facing whatever life throws at her. Give em some rah rah.
Thanks much my friend and stay contagious!