The Value of a Feminine Approach in Business
In 1983 I decided to found a company to run my own business. When I talked to my Dad to get his feedback as a family business owner he told me that I was nuts to leave my highly paid job. I was pretty confused because, as a business owner himself, I thought that he would support my decision wholeheartedly. Later, once I had a few years experience as a business owner myself, I understood that he just wanted me to be safe and not go through the struggle it takes to build a successful company.
Being a woman at that time, parents – especially fathers – believed that a woman should get married and raise the kids. They also believed that it was not necessary for their daughters to study. The son was the king and the daughter the helper in the household. Even in these enlightened times there are still a few men who agree with this viewpoint!
Women played, and still, play key roles in the family business though they are not, and were not, always visible. They are more likely to try to deal with situations in private rather than in public.
Being a woman, and having made a significant impact within our own family business, I want to encourage women to get more involved in the family business, even if there is resistance from others. Women are more people driven and usually much more emotional than men. This adds an important and valuable dynamic to the business. But they do what they love and follow their dreams no matter what. It is time that they step out of the shadow into leadership and prove their value.
The value they bring to the table is particularly obvious when it comes to employees. A more feminine approach ensures that people stay with the company for longer periods of time by successfully communicating a vision that gets employees motivated and instils loyalty. This ignites community and changes the business’s culture for the better. All this has a radical impact on the bottom line even if its not tangible.
My vision is that women learn to speak up for their rights and their place in the family business world. Men and women have equally valuable roles to play. The mixture of both genders makes a very good cocktail from which everybody benefits.
Women are used to organizing their lives to handle all their duties as a wife, mother and family business woman. They are multitasking all the time to make sure both family and business life are in harmony and everybody is happy.
They know how and what to delegate. Assigning tasks such as housekeeping, laundry, some child care and shopping ensures they have enough time for the family and the family business. And they still have time to attend private, school and business events.
Some women decide to raise their kids first and join the family enterprise later. Others want to handle both – family and family business. A few want to get experience in other companies before they start in the family firm. No matter what the decision is, you should follow your intuition and not listen to the so-called good advice that often is offered!
Women are respected for their clear communication, their fairness and their loyalty to the family and the company. Rather than holding emotions back, they want to talk to get the results they want. Using their intuition they immediately feel when there are issues, lack of clarity or disharmony that needs addressing.
They love to encourage and motivate their employees to help them discover their strengths, to create solutions instead of only seeing the problem. They know the importance of appreciation and use it wisely to let the people know that they are a valuable part of the family business.
Leading a family, women know what a good leader needs to take good care of his/her team to make them strong team players. The team leader or manager has to play fair instead of using the team to improve his/her self postion in the company. There has to be friendly competition to help the teams or departments to move forward and step out of mediocrity and into their greatness. The result has to be that everyone supports each other, working to their strengths for the good of the business.
Women want harmony, justice and great results without using their elbows. Women should allow themselves to stand firmly in their female role instead of trying to copy the men. Both genders have great qualities, which should be used to help the company grow and reap the rewards.
Where are you, as a woman right now in your family business? Are you happy and satisfied or struggling to be respected? There might be situations where you need to get a consultant, coach or mentor to solve the conflicts in your family business. Feel free to connect with me for a free session to see how you can move forward.