Are traits Masculine or Feminine, or are they simply human traits?

April 20, 2016, by , Posted in Blog,Leadership,LEADERtips, 0 Comment

About a month ago, I came across a blog post which discussed the preferred masculine and feminine traits of leaders in the workplace; noting specific traits women need to learn to take on to be successful in business. I wish I could quote or even reference the darn post; I even wanted to comment back to it, but unfortunately I lost track of it. However, the notion of profiling traits as either masculine (as if this was better) or feminine continued to gnaw at me.

Over and beyond, my fifty-four years on this earth, thirty-plus years working predominately in male-heavy industries, and speaking and coaching men and women for close to a decade;  I also come from my very own focus group of six brothers and five sisters.  Bottom line – I have seen many, many, many different types of people; male and female who possess a unique combination of traits – not one or the other.

Meaning, I know a good number of men who possess what would be considered feminine traits (according to PlannedParenthood) – dependent, emotional, passive, sensitive, nurturing, self-critical, and my not so favorite – weak.  And no guys, those particular men are not gay; as was sadly commented back to me from a male when we discussed this very subject.

I also know many women, including myself, who possess stereotypical (being the key word) masculine traits – independent, non-emotional, aggressive, tough-skinned, competitive, experienced, strong, active, self-confident and my personal favorite, rebellious.

After all, they are traits of humans, not specifically of men OR women.

So, I ask; if women and men can possess a combination of traits, and one set of traits is not better or worse than the others, when will we stop categorizing, isolating, judging, and profiling women and men as if one type is better than the other? Or that women should or shouldn’t possess certain traits in order to be successful. Many would say men need to possess certain traits (that they supposedly don’t typically) to be successful.

I know it makes some people uneasy, insecure, intimidated and threatened to be inclusive, but isn’t that the individual’s problem…and not a gender’s problem? In today’s business environment, with the demands of the younger generations of workers, the need for more collaboration, engagement, inclusion, creativity, accountability and empathy is required. Unless, those with limited mindsets begin to look at the traits, qualities and characteristics of leaders as gender neutral, men will have no other choice but to blame their egos and limited ideologies for the rise of women (and their so-called ‘feminine’ traits) not only in the ranks of business but the leadership of those businesses. And as a woman, as much as I should love that idea, I fully believe that companies should be run by those – male or female, with the most effective leadership traits; not masculine or feminine traits.

What do you think?

Bernadette Boas is the ball of fire keynote speaker and trainer, leadership consultant, author, screenwriter, and radio host behind Ball of Fire Consulting, Ball of Fire Inc. (media/publishing), Shedding the Bitch Radio, and her book Shedding the Corporate Bitch, Shifting Bitches to Riches in Life and Business. Buy it now on Amazon.

She provides Ball of Fire VIP Accelerator Programs, Coaching Services, Speaking and Training Programs and more. Schedule your complimentary 30-minute to discuss your business goals and objectives.





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