Have you ever felt completely misunderstood by a member of the
opposite sex? No matter how clearly you give directions they just
don't understand? This is not surprising, since research shows men
and women communicate as if from different cultures.
Girls and boys are taught from birth to see the world differently
from one another. The male view of reality and the female view are
so dissimilar it's as though we're from opposite sides of the
Think about this in relation to your job. Today's workforce is
mostly women. That's right: 52 percent of America's workforce is
female, and it's the first time in history women have been the
However, current management styles and theories are hold-overs from
World War II and thus are male biased. New, more inclusive systems
of management are now beginning to surface, and many more will
certainly be developed in the future.
I have summarized some of the ideas and observations that
management theorists are working with these days.
How Men Manage
The male CEO works at an unrelenting pace, with no breaks in
activity during the day. Nearly 60 percent said their time is taken
up in formal scheduled meetings.
Male CEOs' days are characterized by interruptions, discontinuities
and fragmentations. They spare little time for activities not
directly related to their work.
They report a high degree of intellectual isolation. They exhibit a
preference for life action encounters. They prefer getting
information from phone calls and face to face encounters. They do
not like attending to their mail.
Men in power maintain a complex network of relationships with
people outside the organizations. Anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of
an executive's time might be spent outside the office. They
identify themselves as a spokesperson for the corporation.
They report being immersed in the day-to-day need to keep the
company going. They lack time for reflection. (A major function of
a leader is long-range planning; however these men are so immersed
in daily problems they rarely have time for reflection, much less
They identify themselves with their jobs. They are more comfortable
knowing and implementing the rules and traditional solutions to
problems. They are not good at innovation and resist change.
Men have difficulty sharing information. They prefer hierarchy and
chain of command structures. The focus is on achievement or
realizing the goal, and their overriding strategy is to win.
How Women Manage
Women work at a steady pace, but executives report building in
stress breaks throughout the day. Women do not view unscheduled
tasks and encounters as interruptions. They maintain an open door
policy to all employees. The see themselves as caring, being
involved, and helping. They want to keep relationships in good
repair throughout the organizations.
They make time for activities not directly related to their work.
They prefer live action encounters, but also schedule time to
attend to mail. They maintain a complex network of relationships
outside the organizations. Being a spokesperson for their companies
was only one aspect of their lives.
Women focus on the ecology of leadership. They are very aware of
the long-term implications of their decisions and day-to-day
activities. They see their own identities as complex and
multifaceted. They are comfortable inventing solutions for
situations as they arise and see strict enforcement of the rules as
limiting and unimaginative.
Women schedule time for sharing information. Give and take helps
them keep relationships in good repair.
In general, women are not comfortable hording information. They
think of themselves, instead, as transmitters of information.
Women focus on process. They report that doing the task, even if
it's repetitive and never-ending, can be satisfying. The pleasure
is in the doing, not the end or goal.
Women prefer inclusive and equal access structures. Their
overriding strategy is to make a contribution to others or to
improver themselves as people.
Information taken from the works of:
Peter F. Drucker
Ester Wachs Book
For more information on references or ideas, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .