The Role of Emotions in the Process of Making & Delivering Decisions in Women Leadership
Often, the labor market’s dynamic puts us in huge transition processes that can be caused by external, uncontrollable factors. The changes of social systems, war, conflicts of state, regional or world crisis, natural disasters and pandemic diseases are part of the challenges that we’ve seen influence the organizational work.
Moreover, this process of change from one way of functioning (before the factor) to a different one (during and after the new factor) leads us to define this process as transition.
Once a transition happens, the individual is placed in a condition of imbalance and preparation for restoring the balance once again. In the same way, these transitions we mentioned influence the organizational work, which as a separate entity needs to create a managing strategy. Organizations are created and led by people who can’t be completely separated from their experiences during the process. Thus, this brings us to one of the greatest challenges – controlling the human factor and being objective while making and delivering organizational decisions during the transition period.
The question arises – is the emotion-controlling attitude gender based? Do we have difference in leadership when it comes to man vs. woman leader?
While examining the emotions in leadership, researchers have found that Men in general are described as more similar to successful managers in emotion expression than are women in general. Only with the label manager or successful manager do women-successful manager similarities on emotion expression increase. These emotion stereotypes might hinder women’s leadership success.
On the other side, women in leadership are thought how to control the emotions-expressing, but, yet, they have to keep the balance, as being emotionally unexpressive may also result in penalties because unemotional women are seen as failing to fulfill their warm, communal role as women.
Organizations have also proven that, actually, the emotion expression of women in leadership positions, thus the higher EI, has resulted in a transformational leadership and better success of the organizations.
Do you think that female leadership is led by heart? Should the gender bias still be there, or the new generations are ambassadors of the change? And finally, are the emotions in leadership really a burden, or they can be used as advantage?
- Bass, B. M., & Avolio, B. J. (1994). Shatter the Glass Ceiling: Women May Make Better Managers. Human Resource Management, 549-560.
- Brescoll, V. L. (2016). Leading with their hearts? How gender stereotypes of emotion lead to biased evaluations of female leaders. The Leadership Quarterly, 415-428.
- Downey, L., & Papageorgiou, V. &. (2016). Examining the relationship between leadership, emotional intelligence and intuition in senior female managers. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 250-265.
- Fischbach, A., & Lichtenthaler, P. W. (2015). Leadership and Gender Stereotyping of Emotions. Journal of Personnel Psychology, 153-162.
In the last decades we speak about emotional intelligence rather than IQ, and also the women posses great intuition to “predict” what comes next. In my opinion this can be advantage rather than the cold logic of the mind.
It is vital to overcome biases such as emotions generally being viewed as a burden in leadership positions.
This approach is not only outdated but also doesn’t put peoples living realities into consideration. We are not machines, and should not act as those. Why would you shape and compromise decisions and interactions to a standard which cannot be fulfilled? Have you as a subject ever been able to make an objective decision? How can you fulfill a leadership role when you do not take care of the needs of your coworkers and subordinates?
Women due to social norms may have an advantage on that part. When you are raised to take your own emotions seriously and to strongly consider other people’s emotions you have had a lifetime of learning. Men on the other side are often taught from a young age to suppress emotions and not to express them. The only way to change that, in my opinion, is to, first of all, teach all young children how to express and how to cope with emotions, especially difficult ones, but also to support women in leadership roles as they are not only capable but also add different experiences and views to traditionally male-dominated roles.
Women are far more natively born as sensitive leaders rather than men. And that’s what the wolrd needs nowadays.
This is a fantastic article.
I want to believe that emotions can play an important role in leadership and influence various situations within the organization in a positive way. Even though women tend to be more emotional than men, according to reasearches they usually show fewer negative emotions than men.