“60% of male managers are uncomfortable interacting with female co-workers.” (Sheryl Sandberg, Interview on CBS This Morning, 5/17/2019)
Today, many male bosses are fearful of accusations of sexism or harassment due to #MeToo. It is why male bosses refuse or avoid 1:1 meetings, travel, and work dinners/lunches with women.
This trend is hurting women and others in the workplace. “Business is a team sport and we must engage all genders in our quest to create a better future.” (Rachel Mushahwar, VP & GM at Intel)
In addition, many women are not mentored and overlooked for promotions. They are rated on “how people feel about working with them,” while their male colleagues are evaluated on “the quality and results of their work.”
Reality: a true high-performing team is representative of everyone.
The truth is, all bosses need to remember ignoring fears won’t make them go away. It requires courage and a new level of awareness for bosses to learn from and move past #MeToo fears. This is how you prevent accusations of sexism, harassment, and other discrimination.
7 Tips for Building Awareness
Job Fit Assessments. These tools help bosses (men and women) manage by reducing subjectivity. They improve the boss’s ability to hire, coach, manage and train with more objectivity. When you use factual data, everyone wins.
Persuasive Listening. When bosses and employees disagree, most do not know how to talk it out before it becomes a conflict. Do not allow conflicts or rifts in relationships to continue. As a boss, it’s your responsibility to learn how to elicit the best in others when talking and working with anyone.
Keep It Business Focused. When meeting with employees, bosses or co-workers, keep it focused on business. Stay away from sharing gossip, jokes, or personal issues. These can come back to bite you. When hosting events follow these three fundamental rules: 1) hold them in public venues, 2) limit your intake of alcohol, and 3) never gossip about work or people.
Share Selectively. Women are more likely to share personal and family challenges with others than men. Be responsible for what you share and who you share it with. Sadly, studies have shown women can be less supportive of other women’s challenges, particularly when there is a promotion at stake.
Hire an Executive Coach. Take workshops that help you understand human nature and hire an executive coach. This combination will improve your confidence, competence, and courage. Remember, good management and supervisory skills are developed over time.
Mistakes Happen. You will make mistakes along the way. Apologize and don’t do it or say it again!
Commitment to Success. Successful bosses know the commitment to each and every person’s success creates high performing results-producing teams.
My interactions with men and women bosses have shown that both are fearful of #MeToo. Courageous bosses have the courage to overcome these fears. When bosses overcome these #MeToo fears they creates a workplace free from sexism, harassment and other types of discrimination.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2019
Are you a boss that needs the courage to handle confusing situations with your employees? Jeannette Seibly has been an award-winning champion for bosses for the past 26 years. Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.
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