Organizations and teams are stronger when there is a healthy mix of gifts, abilities, experience and disciplines. In today’s market with the rapid pace of change, it requires a more collaborative and innovative approach to sustainable growth. An organization that promotes a culture of collaborative engagement externally with customers and also internally with a diversity of disciplines and perspectives (men and women, generational mix, etc.) will be the organization that is better equipped for a strong and viable future.
It has never been more important that men and women, across generations, have a healthy and engaging work culture. But often, women will struggle with feelings of intimidation in the work environment.It's important to have a healthy work culture, but often women feel intimidated at work. Here are 3 reasons why: Click To Tweet
Based on my own experience and also from coaching other women, here are 3 top reasons that women can feel intimated at work:
- Opinions not asked.
Women will often hold back their views until asked taking a more passive approach to engagement. This creates unintended challenges leaving women feeling left out and men thinking they don’t have a view. This was a personal growth area for me. When I first joined the all male C-Suite, I held back my views “waiting my turn” but quickly learned we didn’t take turns at the executive level. The President/CEO was kind enough to challenge me to speak up more and to share my views. I quickly learned to be ready to share my insights and perspectives without waiting to be asked.
- Feeling there is a “boys club.”
It is the nature of how men work together informally, that can cause women to feel left out. Learning that this is not intended to be exclusive for women but is a normal and natural way men relate is helpful. Again, taking a more direct approach to engage both formally and informally is helpful but also respecting that men need the community of other men both in the workplace and outside the workplace really helps.
- Not aggressive or competitive enough.
Not all women are alike and not all men are alike but generally speaking, men are usually more wired for an aggressive win. While women want to win, they often take a team or relational approach to winning. Two different approaches and both are needed. This is one of many reasons teams need both men and women for success. Women can feel intimidated by the strong emotions of men wanting to win or solve a problem, or beat a competitor or many other work related issues. To feel less intimidated, it doesn’t mean that women need to take their male colleagues approach but rather to learn to be strong with their own gifts and abilities and lead from that strength.
A healthy work environment allows room for a diversity of gifts and approaches to success. It also allows individuals to express their feelings of intimidation and challenge each other to grow and develop. I am thankful for the men that have encouraged and challenged me to step up to leadership using my own gifts and abilities. Mutual respect goes a long way in overcoming and eliminating any feelings of being intimidated.A healthy work environment allows room for a diversity of gifts and approaches to success. Click To Tweet
“Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10
What do you do to promote healthy working relationships between men and women?