by Tamela Duncan | Featured Contributor
In general, women tend to come under much more scrutiny than men for facial and verbal expression in the workplace. When a woman displays the more feminine expression of feelings, she is considered weak or “too emotional.” However, when women present with harsh or aggressive “masculine” tendencies, she is judged for that expression. And if she displays no emotion, she is considered cold and detached. It is a traditional and perhaps even accurate stereotype that women are more emotional than men, and that emotional stereotype is believed to be harmful to women in leadership. We as a society have become comfortable and complacent about gender roles and the expression of emotion – especially in the workplace.
We now know that men and women lead differently because their brains are literally wired differently. Not better, not smarter, but different in how they make decisions and problem solve. If we simply look at the left side versus the right side of the brain, we can understand how these differences come to light. The left side of the brain is the analytical and logical, while the right brain is more creative and intuitive. And you may have guessed by now; more men tend to address and solve problems primarily using the left-brain while women tend to fluctuate moving back and forth between the left and right hemisphere of the brain. What this means is, males tend to become linear and singularly focused pushing through problems, while women will think linear – pause – grapple with, and incorporate emotion and intuition.
The upside of women as leaders is they can and will read a room. It’s important to most women to know their audience. They pay attention to the emotions of others and will incorporate input. When emotions arise, it is a women’s natural instinct to respond.
To quote the words of spiritual leader Deepak Chopra, “Women possess some of the most important traits needed to succeed in business: empathy, tenderness, and affection. Without these characteristics, wisdom cannot exist. We could dream a new world into actuality, a more sustainable, kind, nurturing world.”
Utilizing that right hemisphere of the brain could be the best thing to happen in government, corporations, communities, and homes. So, don’t let anyone convince you that leading with heart is not displaying good leadership qualities; good leadership has compassion, tenderness, and sensitivity as that creates a spirit of togetherness and makes others want to follow.
“My greatest passion is attempting to live life to the fullest, not taking it for granted and doing my best to support the beauty and growth of another. I’m a terrible sleeper because my mind is moved by things I have to write about or spiritually figure out. (Thank goodness for coffee.) My motto is to laugh, play and love as deeply as possible. When something in life is hard, I think of myself as a Jedi attempting to transcend the fear before me – because fear is the thief of opportunity. Life is a gift; we get to choose how we live it”.
Tamela Duncan, LSCW has been in practice for over 28 years as a licensed, clinical therapist; she’s certified in Regression therapy, teaches meditation and mindfulness. She has extensive training in spirituality, life coaching, relationship counseling, and mood disorders. Tamela has a thriving private practice working with individuals, couples, and families.
For over a decade, Tamela taught at UNCG’s Call Program. She provides lectures and talks to the community and continues to conduct workshops and classes open to the public. She has recently completed a book titled, “Genuinely Happy: A Conscious Choice.” She is also a talented musician, writer, and blogger.