She’s In Charge: Tips For Managing Male Employees

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November 6, 2012 ‐ By Ann Brown

Image: iStockphoto

In a perfect world, men and women are on equal footing in the workplace. But like it or not, this just ain’t so. Even when the woman is the boss she faces different obstacles than her male counterparts.

And along the way, women in charge sometimes overcompensate. “One mistake is they act like a man,” notes Maryann Reid, executive editor at Alphanista.com, a lifestyle website dedicated to the alpha female perspective with a twist. “Don’t try to be friends with male employees to even the playing field nor should you use aggressive male tactics like severe discipline or verbal intimidation to be taken seriously.”  Instead, says Reid, use your women’s intuition. “Act like a woman.  Use your femininity in positive and constructive ways around the office.  There is lots of power in that,” she tells us.

But balance this. Don’t become motherly. “[Women] can invite too much [emotion] into their relationships with employees, blurring the line between boss and friend. Such blurring can go along for a time, and it can feel cozy and wonderful, but it inevitably backfires when circumstances require the ‘friend’ at the top to institute a strict workplace rule, for instance, or deliver a tough message about performance,” according to O magazine.

Another mistake women sometimes make is dating their subordinates. “Sad but true that many hardworking female bosses spend lots of hours at work and may feel like they hold the cards at having their pick of handsome, available male employees. This breeds disorder and jealousy.  Don’t do it,” notes Reid. “Kindly turn down proposals for dates.  A woman in power is hot. Don’t abuse it, but be kind when you turn down offers.”

Men and women communicate differently on the job. It not exactly two separate languages, but you may need to use alternative ways when give men direction.

“Don’t communicate the same way with male employees like you would with female employees.  It is a scientific fact that men process info and details differently than women,” advises Reid. “Learn how men communicate. Understand that their short, curt answers or lack of providing every detail is not laziness or a personal vendetta against you, but just that men and women respond differently to the same information.”

At the end of the day, you not only want to be a good boss but an effective one who can rally her troops to success.

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