Women’s majlis: In the workplace, we empower each other

Women have a fantastic identity; with their feelings, attitudes and behaviour, they can make effective changes in their own lives and others. In the workplace we usually find women who support other female employees. However, when it comes to the situation of women who are bosses, there is sometimes resistance.

In my training programs, I usually find women not feeling relaxed with female bosses. In a general discussion, one of the participants said to me: “My boss is a lady. There is no problem. She is so kind and speaks nicely as a friend, but when it comes to the professional situation I can find her to be someone totally different. The problem here is that she is not supportive at all and always puts up barriers to my development plan.”

Her position may require her to maintain discipline and be assertive, but it is very important to do this positively, and that is what I train women to do as part of the Springboard Women’s Development Program, a training consultancy that empowers women in the workplace.

I can remember my boss in 2006. I will never forget her, because she was a great example of a female leader. She was supportive and assertive in a positive way. She understood women and treated them with emotion and logic. All of the other employees liked to do more work for her and to take on more responsibilities.

That type of strategy makes employees more productive because they have the faith that their boss wants the best for them, whereas in some bad-female-boss situations, we can find a lot of gossips, poor quality of work and not much productivity. When a woman changes her attitude and becomes more aggressive, she might think that being a boss means enforcing more discipline.

No matter the reasons, in my view they can benefit from female empowerment and development. We must learn to understand each other as part of a whole, encouraging one another and keeping our self-esteem high no matter the circumstances.

In my Springboard programme, I train women to know themselves, to deal with others, to handle negative comments or situations, to find balance in their personal and professional lives and control their emotions.

Women play different roles and go through many changes in their lives, and it helps to be motivated and encouraged, especially by their peers. It is very strange when you hear the negative response from women who have a female boss.

Employees should think what they might do in her place. What would their expectations be?

Never take things so personally in the workplace, because this will break all good connections. Deal with the situations as there is no need to judge women because you believe that some of them are too emotional.

Respect is the perfect behaviour in any relationship, so dealing with others with respect motivates them to work harder and become more productive.

* Aaesha Al Zaabi

This week’s columnist is a leadership coach and founder of key2success consultancy.

Published: May 1, 2014 04:00 AM

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