There are clear male and female personality traits found in the workplace. According to a 2012 article in Fiscaltimes.com, these traditional traits provide many strengths for both genders but give males a heads up in career development and overall success. Male traits typically include aggressiveness, assertiveness, and confidence. These qualities are observed in career progression, colleague and management interactions, as well client relationships. Aggressiveness and assertiveness allow males to negotiate for the best salary, apply for high profile and ambitious roles, and establish a greater professional network. Confidence also encourages male employees to express their ideas more openly and to lead team sessions.
Female traits, however, focus on the softer skills, including compassion, persuasiveness, and collaboration. These qualities help women work well with team members, become great managers and leaders who rule with empathy and understanding, and remain dedicated employees to their departments and organizations. These traits, however, may interfere with a woman’s overall assertiveness and confidence if she becomes overly concerned with team dynamics instead of her own career development.
Three Male Traits to Adopt
Researchers show the best way women can increase their career success is to adopt traditionally male personality traits in addition to their female traits. According to studies conducted by Standford GSB, women who take on three specific traditionally male traits have a greater chance of success, and many times even out perform their male counterparts. These traits include:
- Aggression – Women typically rely on their sense of hard work and compromise in the majority of their roles and team associations. Research shows that when women adopt increased aggression in their workplace interactions, they take on greater leaderships roles, negotiate higher salaries, initiate an increased number of networking contacts, and experience faster career development.
- Assertiveness – This trait allows women to take on greater challenges, including applying to challenging positions, challenge outdated and inefficient procedures, and take on greater leadership roles at both the team level, as well as the organizational level. Women will also voice their ideas more often in team settings and with leaders in higher organizational levels.
- Confidence – While many women have great confidence in their personal lives, their work life might present some challenges. This is especially true among working mothers. They will often encounter doubt from colleagues and managers about their work commitment when they return from maternity leave. The key in confronting these obstacles and keeping themselves open to future career challenges and successes is remaining confident and maintaining open communication about their commitments.
Positive Benefits bring some Negative Views
The benefits of using traditional male traits often come with some negative attitudes from the general population. The American Psychology Association published an article addressing the all too common problem of women being viewed as unsociable or difficult to work with when they use predominately male traits, especially in the male-dominated science industry.
Experts at Stanford GSB recommend tackling this problem with self-monitoring. In their studies, they showed that women who could juggle between both male and female personality traits depending on the office scenario were most successful, compared to both women and male counterparts. The key is to know when and how to switch between these male and female traits.
Like anything, moderation provides the best balance. The most successful women always know to read social cues before reacting to any workplace situation.