One oft-cited reason why more female executives don’t advance to top management jobs is their lack of access to informal organizational and industry networks. Women are more into personal obligations such as housekeeping to child-rearing, leaving them less time to develop professional relationships
4 key behaviors to follow
Let’s say it in a positive way. Some female leaders do establish strong networks and they win greater influence and more senior positions.
what are they doing differently? a new study sheds light on their strategies.
In 2019 Harvard Business School analyzed 16.500 men and women behaviors’ from more than 30 organizations across a range of industries over the past 15 years. The research identified four characteristics that distinguished the networking behaviors of more successful women.
In some cases, those matched the behaviors of high performing men in others they were subtle but important differences of these four characteristics identified.
1) They are efficient
In general, women absorb more collaborative demands in the workplace than their male peers do.
But the female managers with the strongest networks recognize that every yes means a no to something else. In general, they have an identity driven desire to help colleagues out. They make the most of their collaborative strengths and inclinations by working with others in a way that establishes or enhances key relationships and visibility at every level in organizations
- they say no to low priority decision appointments from their calendar
- they insist on efficient e-mail norms and
- they set aside time for reflection and high-level thinking.
2) They are agile
Women are strong at maintaining old and long-lasting relationships, but sometimes, those can jeopardize time for more productive ones.
Successful networkers are more fluid. High-ranking women know when to deemphasize old connections in favor of new ones, whether by proactively cutting ties or by simply failing to maintain contact. It could be perceived as inauthentic, even Machiavellian, but it could also be interpreted as a way to prioritize effectively. Building a Bell curve in professional relationships helps to maintain some long-known advisors and save time for initiating new connections.
3) Creating networking review processes
When a new professional chapter is starting, remember to build your new network. Staying away from this tactic, because you feel uncomfortable or overly promotional, is underestimating the importance of getting to know the stakeholders you will work with. It will also help you to access to new critical information you’ll need to deliver. Have a look every now and then, who is new in the crowd and ask yourself when to meet him/her.
4) A genuinely interest to help people, exploring new ways of working together
companies including Ford and Booz Allen Hamilton have tried to institutionalized the practice by setting up cross functional groups of female hypertension regularly with C-Suite executives
5) Finding energy balance
The highest performers are seen as the most energizing people. These profiles are considered the type of colleague who makes the work more engaging. They also drive better performance and willingness to innovate. Effective female networkers demonstrate both competence and warmth, both technical intelligence and emotional intelligence. They are strong at setting time to stop and reflect, either for themselves and for others.
Female networkers a must build trust. The most successful women don’t downplay their knowledge skills and accomplishments. They show evidence that they can do things but they also use humor, presence and small gestures to signal caring and positivity and they employ listening skills to spur creative thinking among their colleagues.
From the Magazine (November–December 2019)
Orated by Noah listen to more of the world’s best journalism on the Noah app or at news over audio.com you were listening to Harvard Business Review where in the November December 2019 issue HBR staff write the secrets of successful female networkers
I was talking with many women about how to improve their networks. The challenges they face and what they and their organizations could do better, and I realized that all the studies on the issue were pretty old and narrow (explains inga carboni a professor at William and Mary’s Mason School of Business) and the studies lead author I couldn’t answer their questions.