2. Do you think your response to question 1 is a typical one?
Women are more efficient and trustworthy, have a better understanding of their workforce and are more generous with their praise. In short they make the best managers, and if men are to keep up they will have to start learning from their female counterparts, a report claims today.
The survey of 1000 male and female middle senior managers from across the UK is an indictment of the ability of men to function as leaders in the modern workplace.
A majority of those questioned believed women had a more modern outlook in their professions and were more open-minded and considerate. By way of contrast, a similar number believe male managers are egocentric and more likely to steal credit for work done by others.
Management Today magazine, which conducted the research, said that after years of having to adopt a masculine identity and hide their emotions and natural behaviour in the workplace, women have become role models for managers.
The findings tally with a survey of female bosses carried out in the US. A five-year study of 2,500 managers from 450 firms found that many male bosses were rated by their staff of both sexes to be self-obsessed and autocratic. Women on the other hand leave men in the starting blocks when it comes to teamwork and communicating with staff.
In Britain more than 61% of those surveyed said men did not make better bosses than women. Female managers use time more effectively, with many of those surveyed commenting that juggling commitments is a familiar practice for women with a home and a family.
Business psychologist John Nicholson is surprised by the survey’s findings, asserting that ”the qualities valued today in a successful boss are feminine, not masculine”. He is emphatic that women make better bosses. “They listen more, are less status-conscious, conduct crisper meetings, are much more effective negotiators and display greater flexibility”.
According to the survey, women are no longer scarce in the boardroom – they occupy a third of the seats round the conference table. Women directors are still relatively uncommon in older age groups, but among young directors the proportion is growing.
“If men want to be successful at work they must behave more like women,” said the magazine’s editor, Rufus Olins. ”Businesses need to wake up to the fact that so-called feminine skills are vital for attracting and keeping the right people. In the past women who aspired to management were encouraged to be more manly. It looks as if the boot is on the other foot.”
Which ideas expressed in the article do you agree with? Do you find any of the ideas surprising?
Task I. Work in pairs. Which of these statements do you support? Explain your choice.
A manager should:
· know when your birthday is;
· know where you are and what you’re doing at all times during working hours;
· not criticize or praise;
· not interfere in disagreements between members of staff;
· not ask people to do things they’re not prepared to do themselves;
· be available at all times to give staff advice and support;
· keep their distance from staff and not get involved in socializing outside work;
· use polite language at all times;
· work longer hours that their staff;
· comment on the personal appearance of their staff.