It’s an all-too-familiar scenario: a couple of disgruntled employees with a glass-half-empty outlook are constantly poisoning the well and spreading their unhappiness to the other workers. Team members find it difficult to trust one another, projects stagnate (or worse, implode), and productivity plummets.
Radical Transparency has been the subject of a TED Talk, and even received a shoutout on an episode of the HBO show “Silicon Valley,” but can your company truly benefit from this controversial concept? It’s certainly not new, but the buzzy business term has gained widespread exposure from the book Principles by Ray Dalio. In Principles, Dalio shares how he transitioned his company, Bridgewater Associates, from boss-to-employee critiques to a more thoughtful exchange of differing ideas, even when it means disagreeing with a superior. Dalio was encouraged to make this transformation after a colleague told him that his feedback style was too blunt. [Photo: Nadine Shaabana}
“I want every little girl who’s told she’s bossy to be told instead that she has leadership skills.” — Sheryl Sandberg
Unfortunately, women still encounter unconscious gender bias in the workplace. This is especially true when they are evaluated for leadership opportunities, as a new research study conducted by New York University Professors Andrea Vial and Jaime Napier uncovered. Vial and Napier discovered that feminine traits such as intuition and empathy were valued less in leaders and more masculine traits such as competence and assertiveness were valued more.
Leaders are made, not born.
A study released by the University of Illinois states that leadership is 30% genetic and 70% a result of the lessons you have learned from life experience. That’s great news for all of us. Because although just some are born with natural leadership skills, becoming an effective leader is something we all can learn through an ongoing process of introspection, self-awareness, and being open and receptive to all feedback.
The challenges of managing a multigenerational workplace have come more sharply into focus as Generation Z enters the workforce, Millennials emerge as team leaders, and more Baby Boomers delay retirement. Generational stereotypes and workplace ageism are real issues, but a deft manager can head off discord by emphasizing common values and goals and cultivating a culture of appreciation and support, rather than internal competition.