How to deal with men, when you're the woman in charge. What Women in the Work place, get as issues being the boss.
Being the boss lady.
Although being a woman in the work place has no doubt progressed leaps and bounds, there are still many issues females have to contend with. The work life balance can throw up all kinds of obstacles especially if you have children and the old adage of having it all, just feels like you're doing it all. Inequality in the rates of pay are still common practice and men continue to secure the majority of higher company positions. Maternity pay and family plans are a sore subject especially in smaller businesses, leading many woman to choose either to postpone having children or decide not to become a mother all together, simply because of the detrimental effects it would place on their career.
However despite these dilemmas some woman have managed to over come any potential problems and climb to an impressive level of the corporate ladder. You may well be one of them, if you are congratulations, I bet it's been tough.
Well it finally happened, promotion came and your now the boss lady. Which is great or at least it should be, you should be feeling on top of the world, proud and excited at the prospect of gaining this new position. However if your not it's not that unusual, many woman feel guilty, even though they are clearly the best person for the job and unquestionably deserved of it. Some don't feel entirely confident that they can do it justice and were more then a little shocked that they did so well. Woman on the whole are not taught to be winners or to put there needs and desires first. The general consensus is still rather surprisingly for women to be submissive, to take a back seat in life and in the work place.
For those that have dared, fought feelings of doubt or insecurity and come out on top, then have their male colleagues to face. Working with and alongside men can occasionally be a challenge however it is probably something that's become second nature. Managing men on the other hand is a whole new ball game but rest assured it is one that has been mastered by many a good woman and can be won, if played right.
The 10 steps to success.
Be friendly not flirty.
Some woman swear by and encourage flirting at work and claim it has really helped them in furthering their career. However many successful women and I personally tend to disagree with this philosophy. There are many negative implications and consequences to flirting at work. Firstly you diminish your chances to be taken seriously by the men you are suppose to be managing and it will impinge on your credibility. They will take little or no notice of your stance or opinion as a result. They are less likely to be concentrating on the job in hand and more likely to be viewing you as a sexual object not as an authoritative figure. What is intended as harmless flirting on your part may well be misinterpreted and lead to unwelcome advances in the future.
Watch your wardrobe.
Similarly what you wear will determine how you are perceived. Men are more sensitive and reactive to what they see visually then women. By thinking about what you wear and what it is saying about you, you can avoid any uncomfortable feelings for you or unnecessary distraction for them. Keep it smart, professional and appropriate. There is nothing wrong with looking attractive, feminine and even fashionable, it is still perfectly attainable without harming your professionalism.
Keep your hands to yourself.
Hand gestures are not very popular amongst men, they find it distracting. Men on the whole find it difficult to concentrate on more then one thing at a time. By keeping your hands still, hand gestures small and infrequent, you will be keeping there attention directed at you. Making it easier for them to listen to what your saying, not watching your hands waving around.
Boy's will be boy's.
Have a sense of humour. You don't have to be a rigid kill joy get respect. As long as the joke is not at the expense of anyone else, some office fun can be really good for morale. Men use humour as a form of bonding and by including you in the frivolities is actually a good sign, it indicates that they view you as someone they want to spend time with and want around. You will be viewed as more approachable and someone they can bring new ideas or problems too.
But you don't have to be one of them.
Having a sense of humour does not mean however that you have to tolerate bad behaviour or offencive language. If it's something that makes you uncomfortable or you feel is inappropriate let them know firmly, fairly and quickly that it is not acceptable. You are the boss and it is your responsibility to manage a fair and enjoyable work experience for everyone, after all.
Don't talk about your feelings.
Not necessarily because they won't care or don't understand or don't want to hear it, although that's probably true. The fact is there are at work to get a job done, what you think is important what you feel is not. Harness and deal with your emotions by all means just hold back from sharing them.
Get organized and be prepared.
Men will respect you if you know what your talking about and can hold your own. Women back down to interruption 50% more then men, don't be a victim of the talk down, nip it in the bud at the first instance and continue to voice your opinion until you are heard. Make it clear that everyone will get a chance to speak and there is actually no need to talk over anyone else.
It's nothing personal.
Take what they say and do with a pinch of salt, it's nothing personal. Men don't bear grunges like women do and chances are any gripe they are experiencing will soon pass. They are probably more likely to be upset with themselves, then you and were looking for an outlet.
There is no excuse however for abusive or threatening language or behaviour towards you or your employees. This is a matter that should be dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
Get the job done.
In any environment there are going to be people that just don't seem to get along and the workplace is no exception. Getting the job done is paramount and personality clashes should not get in the way of this, when working with those that you don't particularly like, keep the job in hand firmly at the for front of your mind and put personal differences aside.
It's alright to ask for help.
In fact men will respect you more for being upfront and telling it how it is, then finding out you haven't got a clue and will prevent you becoming a figure of fun. It will also show you value their opinion and expertise.
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