In most organizations, leaders are females and males. In observing each groups leadership style, the female leaders work to build a relationship with the members of their department.
They take time to listen, support, and nurture their team members. Their ability to influence others to follow their leadership is based on the strength of the relationship.
As group, the male leaders tend to separate themselves from the members of their department. While they support the members of their team, their approach is to coach or mentor. Oftentimes the tone of their conversation is direct and to the point. The male department chair’s ability to influence members of the team is based on their position.
In both examples, the goal is to exchange information.
The ability to communicate is critical to success in any organization. In fact, “communication is the number one skill recruiters seek in candidates for business jobs” (Osland, Kolb, Rubin, & Turner, 2007, pp. 278). The ability to communicate effectively is an art and a skill to be mastered by effective leaders.
In simple terms, communication is the exchange of information. As the complexity of the exchange increases, so does the opportunity for distortion to occur. Leaders must present information in a clear and concise manner to minimize misunderstandings, which can occur as result of barriers.
Cornish (2006) states “women will comprise a high percentage of the new workers and leaders, forever changing the politics of boardrooms and markets (p. 90). As the number of women in the workplace and in leadership roles increases, the ability to negate the impact of the gender barrier on communication will be crucial.
A study by Osland et al. (2007) identified gender influences on encoded communication. The study examined the communication styles of men and woman to determine if gender influenced the encoding and decoding. Women in the study aimed for consensus through a relationship driven communication model.
Men on the other hand, used communication to gain status and dominance. As a result of the different objectives of communication, each gender chose words or behaviors to achieve their goal.
Communication is the real work of leadership”
– Nitina Nohri
Effective leaders must communicate effectively or they will perish. Are you an effective communicator?
Dr. Kim Moore
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