What Do Women Leaders Do Better?
Speaking from experience, I found that most women leaders lead from the heart rather than from the head.
1. What do I mean by that?
As a former Headteacher, I found that my staff worked much better when I did the following things: Cared about them and their families.
So, I would usually start a conversation with a teacher like this:
“Glad you are here.. How are you today? And how is your family?”
Usually, the answers were both: “Fine, thank you”, but if not, then I would let them tell me what was wrong. I would take a few minutes to find out how they were tackling the “problem” and, if I had any suggestions, I would give them.
After all that, I would then ask them if they could take on the new responsiblity I wanted them to take on, etc.
Most leaders often think that being “kind” to their colleagues is a sign of weakness. But as we are all human beings, a kind tone and a caring attitude, often work better than a harsh tone and an unkind attitude. This approach is even more needed in these days of COVID19, to reduce stress.
2. Supporting Your Staff.
One way of supporting your staff is by offering them opportunities to upgrade their skills. This is vital for their further progress.
One thing my staff remember me very fondly for, is the fact that I helped them look within themselves, to see what exactly they wanted to focus on in their teaching careers. I pointed them to relevant courses that, when completed, helped them become eligible to be promoted to higher positions within the school.This worked perfectly well, both for the staff members and the school in general. This boosted my school’s status in a very short period of time, and our Students’ academic performance sky-rocketed.
Comparing that to my experience here in the UK, I found that the onus was often upon the individual staff member to look for what new courses to attend and then requesting for sponsorship. It would help staff more if they were guided to the courses by their Heads of Departments etc, as early as possible, in order to help that member of staff make relevant progress quite quickly. This would boost staff morale and enable them to have job satisfaction.
3. Discipling Your Staff.
So, what if your staff is not doing what they are employed to do, the way you want them to do it? What should you do?
In most organisations, there are set rules or disciplinary processes that you can apply. However, before you apply the rules, it is always worth remembering that the staff member may have personal issues that they are dealing with which may be impacting on their performance at work.
My suggestion would be to give that staff member an opportunity to offer an explanation for their failing and it would be your duty as the Leader to see whether that member needs further support like coaching or counselling before escalating the issue to a disciplinary meeting.
4. Show Kindness in all Your Leadership Dealings With Staff Members.
Put simply: treat your colleagues as you would like them to treat you, if you were in their position.
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Wishing you much happiness and success!