|Current Adelaide time:||Contact me: +61 410 642 052|
Fresh News: Why Jane doesn't lead
Why Jane doesn't lead
At some date in the first months of 2010, women will cross the 50% threshold and become the majority of the American workforce.
Females already make up the majority of university graduates in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries as well as the majority of professional workers in several rich countries, including the United States. And women already run many of the world’s great companies, from PepsiCo in America to Areva in France.
As a speaker at business conferences, I’ve addressed organizations around the world, and I’ve seen the genuine commitment that many companies have made to develop the leadership abilities of female employees and to create workplace environments with family-friendly policies and flexible work arrangements -- all in hopes of attracting, retaining and grooming women for top management roles.
But despite this effort and this progress, far-too-many talented females, still bump their heads on a glass ceiling: Only 2% of the senior leaders of America’s largest companies and 5% of their peers in Britain are women.
In my book, “The Nonverbal Advantage: Secrets and Science of Body Language at Work,” I talk about the power of silent signals in the workplace. So I was fascinated to come across research that helps explain why even the best-intentioned efforts at developing women leaders are failing.
This is research that deals with emergent leadership in groups of equal status. And the findings have everything to do with body language.
Doré Butler and Florence Geis at the University of Delaware compared the nonverbal affect responses to male and female leaders and found that intellectual assertiveness by women in mixed-sex discussions elicits visible nonverbal cues of negative affect. Females taking a leadership role in the group received fewer pleased responses and more displeased responses from fellow group members than male leaders speaking up and offering the same input.
From earlier research, we know that displeased expressions by fellow group members
cause a leader’s contribution to be rated less valuable than the identical contribution when
embedded with cues of approval. So you can see how women’s ideas can be devalued
simply by receiving less positive and more negative responses than men’s contributions of
the same objective quality.
Here’s what can happen in a team meeting: A woman states her opinion. In response, negative nonverbal affect cues -- frowns, head shakes, eye contact avoidance, etc. -- are displayed, processed, and often mimicked by the entire group to produce a negative consensus about the value of her contribution. And all of this occurs without individuals on the team being aware of what’s happening.
At a time when conscious responses (direct answers on questionnaires, etc.) are becoming increasingly egalitarian, covert, unconscious responses still reflect discrimination against women taking a leadership role. Since hiring, salary, and promotion (especially to top leadership positions) often depend on being recognized as an emergent leader, this puts females at a distinct disadvantage.
Three key points:
1. This was a study of leadership behaviors in peer groups. There is no evidence to suggest that women in formal leadership roles generate any greater negative (or less positive) emotional cues than do their male counterparts.
2. This was not about men discounting the contribution of women. The groups in the study had an equal mix of male and female members.
3. The power of nonverbal communication lies its unconscious nature -- and bringing the covert into awareness can help nullify its effect. (So, circulate this article!)
So, if you want to groom women for top positions in your organization, keep doing those things that have proven to be helpful: Offer females the coaching, mentors, and career opportunities that develop leadership potential.
But, in addition, pay attention to your own body language. Employees look for and emulate the nonverbal signals they get from their bosses. Current leaders can help create a level playing field for emergent leaders by providing the same cues of positive affect (eye contact, smiling, nodding, leaning forward, etc.) when listening to women as they do when listening to men.
Carol Kinsey Goman Ph.D. is a leadership communications coach and international keynote speaker at corporate, government, and association events. She offers informative, interactive, entertaining and custom-tailored programs.
• Expert contributor for The Washington Post's "On Leadership" column.
• Leadership blogger on Forbes.com
• Author of "The Nonverbal Advantage: Secrets and Science of Body Language at Work (Bk Business)" and "The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help--or Hurt--How You Lead."
To contact Carol about speaking or coaching, call +1 510 526 1727 or email CGoman@CKG.com. For more information or to view videos, visit Carol’s websites: www.SilentLanguageOfLeaders.com and www.CKG.com.
You can also follow Carol on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CGoman, on FORBES http://blogs.forbes.com/people/carolgoman/, or “Like” her Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carol-Kinsey-Goman-PhD/105398069543578
Reports I have written:
Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D.
Kinsey Consulting Services
Carol coaches executives and delivers keynote speeches and seminars to association and business audiences around the world. She can be reached by phone: +1-510-526-1727, email: CGoman@CKG.com, or through her web sites: CKG.com and NonverbalAdvantage.com.
Measuring the impact and ROI of social media - for Ark Group
Making Social Media work for your business - for Ark Group
Social Media: The New Business Communication Landscape - for Ark Group
How to get started with podcasting in your organisation - for Melcrum Publishing
Contributing author to How to use social media to solve critical internal communication issues - for Melcrum Publishing
Contributing author to How to communicate with hard-to-reach employees - for Melcrum Publishing
As a subscriber you get kept up-to-date on when new articles are added.
Subscribe now! and receive a free version of my $79 report, Master the Art and Science of Twitter for Business.
It's the first in a series of reports I'm writing on how to master the various key elements of social media.
Each report is an-depth, step-by-step process that explains in clear, plain English how to master a particular social media tool and help your business communicate better for better business results.
Each report is easy to read, easy to implement and easy on the pocket -- just $79 per copy.
But as a new subscriber to my blog and newsletter, I'm giving you a copy of the free version of Master the Art and Science of Twitter for Business report as a way of saying "thank you" for joining my community.
Please subscribe, then check for the email you will receive from me shortly after, because in the email will be details of how to download the report [1.2mb pdf]
If you would like to use any of the articles on this site that I have personally written (they will either have 'By Lee Hopkins' on them, or nothing at all) please feel free to do so as long as you include the following 'resource box' text and a link back to www.LeeHopkins.com:
Finally, if this site or any of the articles have been of any help to you, perhaps you'd like to say 'thank you' by throwing a few pennies my way. If so, please click on the button below and donate whatever you feel is appropriate. The payment is handled by PayPal and is extremely secure. Thanks.
Subscribe to my weekly business communication newsletter and receive a FREE version of my highly-regarded report, 'Master the Art and Science of Twitter for Business' (that sells for $79)
Find out more...
Related material :
A 12-step plan to take you from Twitter newbie to Twitter supremo and grow your business in the process.
Better Business Writing
You’ve probably always wanted to improve your writing skills in your workplace, but perhaps there wasn't a training course around to help you.
Well, now there is.
Turn Guesstimates into Estimates & close more sales!
Award-winning ProposalKit gives your clients the detailed price quote and proposal they need so YOU close more sales (and boost your bottom line!) Finally you can quote with accuracy, increasing your profitability and professionalism. ProposalKit is easy, customizable, proven, and downloadable now! http://www.proposalkit.com
Social Media White Paper
Trevor Cook and I wrote a booklet to help our clients and friends come to grips with this new online phenomenon called 'Social Media' or 'Web2.0'. Now in its third edition, it is still being widely cited and is receiving lots of favourable comments.
Find out more about it (opens new window)
Vodburner is my tool of choice for recording skype video calls, either for later podcasting or simply for my own record. Now that video is becoming more and more important, I can't imagine online life without it.
More about Vodburner...
What you say about Lee Hopkins:
"One of the best days I've spent with a man! "
"As a speaker, Lee and his alter ego in the guise of avatar 'Lee Laperriere' played a key role in making our virtual event in Second Life a success. Lee was well-researched, engaging and enthusiastic about the possibilities that virtual collaboration brings and his presentation showed that he had really thought about the needs of our audience"
"Wow - what a presentation, it went so well, thank you very much! Fantastic job! "
"Lindy and Lee, you were both brilliant and I'm very thankful and pleased for your efforts, it was excellent. Thank you. "
"One of Australia's leading public relations practitioners in the so-called new media"
"While I only had the pleasure of actually meeting Lee face-to-face several months ago, I have been aware of him in conference programs and through feedback from one of my team members for a while. Lee has an amazing and unique skill for managing the new media to support business outcomes"
"Oz's best social network strategist"
"As for Local Royalty, you really are a Superstar among the bloggers and blogosphere!"
"Lee Hopkins, one of Australia's most respected social media experts"
"Lee was very entertaining and knowledgeable. He demystified social media for me and he made me feel it IS possible."
"His enthusiasm is infectious - exciting stuff!"
"Excellent. A really fascinating insight from an engaging speaker."
"A very difficult topic but it was explained in a fantastically simple way."
"The Walkleys relies on the good will of Australia’s talented communicators to make events like these happen and I can’t thank you enough for taking time out from your heavy schedule to make the convention such a memorable event."
"The workshop was very useful in that it enabled us to directly relate what we learnt in the seminar to our business. Lee was very easy to relate to and he presented all the information in a way that was simple to understand."
"Informative and engaging - gave good overview of new on-line technologies and how they can be applied to businesses. Particularly valued the opportunity to have a separate session to look at the specific needs and potential uses for my own business."
"Great to talk to someone who is expert in their field and passionate."
"The ability to interact one on one with Lee, as well as seeing new technologies and how they can be easily implemented into current business processes [was great]"
"Great. Lee was very engaging and presented info in easy to understand language and examples. Use of music, video, PowerPoint etc keep contents fun and educational. Great stuff!"
“Great! Even I could understand and appreciate the content. Excellent examples, wonderful presentation. I’m going back to share with my team. Thank you. "
“Lee was a great facilitator and his energy and passion for social media was evident."
“Excellent, enthusiastic presenter who is right into what he is talking about. Walking the talk. Just the right amount of info about the different topics. Not too geeky. Strong emphasis on how the tools can assist effective business communication. Relaxed friendly atmosphere. The workshop opened lots of doors, stimulating. I’m strongly encouraged to try things out. Many thanks.”
“Lee was great – knowledgeable, enthusiastic, generous in sharing his expertise. I liked the demonstrations."
"Great Workshop... helped me crystalise my thoughts on social media and now I feel ready to develop the strategy and make use of this great new medium"
Would you like me to run a workshop in-house for YOUR company?
Contact me to discuss how we can bring your company into this new and exciting communication universe.
View many of the presentations I have given over at Slideshare
Why does employee communication matter?
Download a presentation I gave to a group of PR students on slideshare
For your consideration:
Writing for a web audience