Friday, 23 September 2011

Newsletter Issue 207, September 2011

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 207, September 2011
Hi guys,
Do you think men and women lead differently? Check out what Carol Kinsey Goman thinks in Men Can Learn from Women about Leadership below.
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Men Can Learn from Women about Leadership

Understanding what men and women do differently, and how we can learn from each other has not been explored enough. Carol Kinsey Goman published the following article in the Washington Post about leadership gender differences, which she has kindly allowed me to share with you all.
A new Northwestern University meta-analysis (an integration of a large number of studies addressing the same question) shows that leadership continues to be viewed as culturally masculine. The studies found that females suffer from two primary forms of prejudice: Women are viewed as less qualified or natural in most leadership roles, and secondly, when women adopt culturally masculine behaviours often required by these roles, they may be viewed as inappropriate or presumptuous.
When generalizing about any population segment – especially such large and diverse segments as “male” and “female” leaders – there is bound to be a degree of inaccuracy and stereotyping. (I have coached many executives to whom the generalizations don’t apply.) But research finds that predominantly “communal” qualities, such as being nice or compassionate, are associated with women, and predominantly “agentic” qualities, such as being assertive or competitive, are associated with men.
It is these agentic qualities that are believed to be essential to successful leadership. Because men fit the cultural stereotype of leadership better than women, they have better access to leadership roles and face fewer challenges in becoming successful in them.
But that’s about to change.
The 21st Century is seeing the combination of new employees, new technologies and new global business realities that add up to one word: Collaboration. New workers are demanding it, advances in technology are enabling it, and in addition, the “borderless organization” of the future is dictating that future productivity gains can only be achieved by creating collaborative teams that are networked to span corporate and national boundaries.
With these new business realities comes a new leadership model – one that replaces command and control with transparency and inclusion. The leader’s new role is to encourage employees to see themselves as empowered and valued contributors – and to help them build their knowledge base, expand their personal networks, and contribute to a common goal. To fulfil this role, leaders can no longer permit themselves the luxury of issuing orders from ivory towers. They must descent to the front line, become coaches and team players willing to get in the trenches and work side by side with other team members. They must demonstrate a greater degree of emotional intelligence – and be able to show they understand, support, and care about the people in their charge. It is this collaborative approach to leadership that will increasingly highlight the value of a more “feminine” approach.
In the past, these very behaviours may have been obstacles to leadership success, but here's what women leaders do that gives them the edge in a collaborative future:
1) Women focus on accommodating interpersonal needs. Women employ a more participative leadership style, they are more likely to share information and power and to foster collaborative environments, and they have strong relational skills that make them seem empathic to their staffs. Many men don’t admire “people skills” as much as they do authority and control. Male leaders tend to be more transactional in their approach to business dealings, and once the transaction has been completed, they tend to move away from the interaction and back to solitary tasks. Men tend to favour a more hierarchical leadership style and to take a directive approach. Males are viewed as formal authorities and stronger leaders in roles that require more "command and control." This difference has appeared in both laboratory studies and observations of real leaders.
2) Women are better at reading body language. Robert Rosenthal at Harvard University developed a test called the Profile of Nonverbal Sensitivity (PONS) to analyse gender differences in decoding body language signals. The results showed that the ability to pick up and read body language is greater in females. With the exception of men who held jobs involving “nurturing, artistic, or expressive” work, females (from fifth grade to adulthood) had superior scores in accurately judging messages communicated by facial expressions, body movement, and voice quality. This gives women a “nonverbal advantage” in analyzing interpersonal issues.
3) Women express more emotion. Not only are women more adept at identifying nonverbal cues, they are better at expressing them – employing more animation, gesture, vocal variety, and emotion in their communication behaviour.
A man’s ability to hold his emotions in check is viewed as an advantage in business negotiations. But that doesn’t mean that men shouldn’t allow their feelings to show in other professional situations. Whether promoting collaboration, building employee enthusiasm for a new corporate direction, or addressing the negative consequences of a major change, showing emotion is not only a good thing – it is a powerful leadership strategy.
4) Women show greater empathy. Generally speaking, women leaders tend to be more interactive, wanting to keep an encounter going until the emotional content has been played out. Conversely, men’s discomfort dealing with emotion (and their brain’s innate response to it) leads them to immediately search for solutions, rather than understanding that sometimes people just need to be heard.
Researchers at the University of Southern California found a striking gender difference in brain function and how people evaluate emotions when under stress. The gender difference appeared in the brain regions that enable people to simulate and understand the emotions of others. According to the research, stress seemed to increase the capacity for empathy in women, while in males stress reduced it.
5) Women send nonverbal signals of warmth and inclusion. Women leaders use more “warm” body language signals that in turn build trust and encourage collaboration: They are more likely to focus on those who are speaking by orienting head and torso to face participants. They lean forward, smile, synchronize their movements with others, nod and tilt their heads (the universal signal of listening, literally “giving someone your ear). To a woman, good listening skills include making eye contact and reacting visually to the speaker. To a man, listening can take place with a minimum of eye contact and almost no nonverbal feedback. (Women often cite a lack of eye contact as evidence that their male boss “doesn’t value my input.”)
Male leaders send more nonverbal “status” signals: Men expand into available space. They stand tall or they sprawl, sitting with their legs spread or widely crossed, their materials spread out on a conference table, and their arms stretched out on the back of a chair. In a business meeting, they smile less than women, but employ more facial expressions that come across as intimidating, overpowering, or disinterested. They speak more and gesture less when they do.
Status and power cues make male executives look like leaders. Or at least they did in a hierarchical, command and control setting. But when it comes to leading collaborative teams or organizations, status cues can undermine your efforts. If you behave like “the boss who has all the answers,” why would anyone else need – or dare – to contribute?
The organisation of the future will be more collaborative, and that will change the definition and look of leadership.
Collaborative leaders take the time and effort necessary to make people feel safe and valued. They emphasise team cohesiveness while encouraging candid and constructive conflict. They set clear expectations for outcomes and clarify individual roles. They help all members recognize what each of them brings to the team. They tell stories of group successes — and the lessons learned in failures. They share the credit and the reward or recognition. And, most of all, they encourage everyone’s input, using warm and empathetic body language that projects openness, inclusiveness and respect.
Any leader, male or female, can do that. Women leaders just do it naturally!
Author bio: Carol Kinsey Goman (PhD) is an executive coach, leadership consultant, and international keynote speaker at corporate, government, and association events. She’s an expert contributor for The Washington Post’s “On Leadership” column, a leadership blogger on, a business body language columnist for “the Market” magazine, and the author of “THE SILENT LANGUAGE OF LEADERS: How Body Language Can help – or Hurt – How You Lead.” To contact Carol about speaking or coaching, email or visit Carol’s website 

Changing Excel Worksheet Tab Colours

In Excel, the tab at the bottom of each worksheet by default shows up the same colour as your sheet. But you can change the tab colour, which is a great additional visual aide for identifying different sheets for different purposes.
It is SO easy to change the tab colour, too:
  • Right-click the sheet tab
  • Choose 'Tab Color' from the pop-up menu
  • Select a colour.
You can also apply the same colour to multiple tabs at the same time by Ctrl & clicking to select.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:
  • PDF, Portable Document Format.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
In this newsletter, we look at all you can do in Excel with Page Up:
  • Excel "Display previous screen to the left while working in a worksheet or workbook" Alt & Page Up
  • Excel "Extend the selection up one screen" Shift & Page Up
  • Excel "Move by one page when zoomed out (in Print Preview)" Page Up Or Page Down
  • Excel "Move to the first record or move to the previous sheet in the workbook or select the previous sheet in the workbook, until the chart sheet you want is selected or switch to the previous tab in a dialog box" Ctrl & Page Up
  • Excel "Move up one screen or move to the same field 10 records back" Page Up
  • Excel "Preserve your selection while you scroll through the worksheet" Scroll Lock & Page Up Or Page Down
  • Excel "Select the current and previous sheet in the workbook " Ctrl & Shift & Page Up

Hot Linx
NZ's Institute of Economic Research has just released a white paper on the pay disparity between New Zealand and Australia, downloadable at
Scientific research shows women in skirts are perceived as being more confident, successful and powerful than those who were in pants. Read about it at 
In just three weeks, gamers deciphered the structure of a key protein in the development of AIDS that has stumped scientists for years. Read on at,2817,2393200,00.asp and the report at
In Manilla, The Philippines, people are finding a fantastic use for spent coke bottles that become a low cost skylight for those who live in low light conditions at

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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