Even in this age of enlightenment, the management tier of the Asian workplace is predominantly male, and with this comes a peculiar management style. The workplace has been conditioned to respect the male manager: he is firm, decisive, inspiring, and proactive.
These are all attributes that only a few people would reflexively use to describe women. Tender, emotional, naïve, and even, evil, are more commonly used descriptors for the female manager.
How then can a female manager impose her brand of management, one that fully aligns with her values, goals, personality, and long-term objectives? For the woman looking to effectively navigate the male-centric maze of people management, the following proactive measures are critical.
Three Management Strategies To Try
These management tactics are the proper blend—firm and equally flexible—to mould you into a dynamic manager of people. You gain a reputation for not only being decisive, but also position as a people’s person, open to new idea, and possibilities.
1. Communication is Key
The importance of establishing a two-way communication channel cannot be overemphasized. Do not constitute yourself as a TV in the office: only providing instructions and directives, regardless of how others feel.
Be approachable and open to constructive criticism, suggestions, and advise. All great leaders understand the value of having a finger on the pulse of their followers. Consider this an avenue to collate information that shapes your future decisions and policy.
Communicate in clear terms. Avoid being passive aggressive; expecting others to read the subtext of your words or actions. Say what you mean, explain, and outline exactly what you need done.
2. Set Crystal Clear Objectives
Let your tenure be defined by the absence of ambiguity. Always set out clear, measurable goals and objectives for employees—essentially giving them a self-evaluation reference to consult.
With clearly outlined employee targets, performance evaluations become an objective exercise, rather than being filled with difficult employees trying to transfer blame. Your job simply becomes to assess whether or not a particular employee has achieved their target goals for the period under review.
Be sure to create attainable, reasonable objectives, by comprehensively assessing the organization’s strengths and weaknesses. Do this, and you automatically have the higher ground with difficult employees—you can’t argue with data after all.
3. Be Decisive, Yet Flexible
Decisiveness and firmness have become synonymous with male leaders, which is a gross misrepresentation of facts. Great people managers, male or female, are firm yet open to corrections and adjustments.
Do not fall into the trap of trying to impose your will upon your subordinates, as a way to gain respect. This management style is guaranteed to alienate you and ultimately result in a drastic fall in employee satisfaction and productivity.
Set out the goals, objectives and values you are bringing to the table, and give employees time to acclimatize themselves to your expectations. Be patient, while she may adjust quickly, others may require further encouragement to fully adopt your vision.
Those who fail to, after a reasonable time, to align with your direction, and actively act as detractors, can then be let go. You have to have people willing to work on a team to achieve sustainable success in the long run.
Being in a management position can be a challenge, but hopefully, it is one that adds value to your personal and career growth. Professionally navigating through difficult circumstances involves adopting a firm, yet flexible hand when handling people. Being able to properly communicate your position and expectations will, in the long run, make your task easier.
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