Women have the opportunity to bring a unique and different viewpoint into the mostly men’s world of business. Not only are we bred tougher, while still maintaining an unrefined elegance, but we also inherently possess different qualities. These qualities can be a tremendous asset to today’s market. From the time we’re old enough to walk, our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and friends are teaching us a multitude of different skills. These skills range from accounting and baking, to leading a family or business. Depending on where you come from, your skills could be anywhere across the board.
When it comes to the business world, women are some of the most underemployed and/or underutilized professionals out there. We come with a range of skills that are diverse and useful in almost any situation. Yet most of the time, they’re completely ignored. For years I was the General Manager of a bar and restaurant. On numerous occasions I was greeted with shock by clients when they first met me. They’d been given all of my numbers and accomplishments ahead of time, but just assumed they would be meeting a man.
Unfortunately, a lot of impressive skills women have often get overlooked. It’s because these skills aren’t necessarily quantifiable. These attributes are rendered as personality traits, not skills. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at five of the top skills women have, but are rarely utilized, much less recognized.
When I say passion, I’m not referring to the kind found in the dark recesses of your boudoir. Instead, I’m talking about the feeling that courses through our bones when we fully stand behind an idea or project. We tend to put our passion into everything we do. This passion often lends itself to extraordinary motivation, creation of ideas, and an attitude that reflects a dedication to the projects at hand. Passion is not a quantifiable skill, so it is not typically recognized on our yearly reviews.
Some people say patience is a learned trait. However, even for the women, such as myself, that live in the right here and now, I think we inherently possess a sense of patience. This patience, in business, can lead to a positive work relationship with clients on multiple levels. There’s no doubt that customers and clients can be difficult to deal with from time to time. This inherent patience a woman possesses can lend to more positive customer service, client relationships, and less rash decisions made on a moment’s notice.
Whether this trait is pushed by societal views of woman as the caregiver, or just out of natural radiation, a woman usually puts out a stronger ideal of caring in her work. I’ve been in business meetings where a male leader has asked me about my family or my health, and though kind, it seemed relatively forced. I’ve also been in a room with a female leader who didn’t skip a beat in taking the time to effortlessly display care for her employees and clients. Not all men are robotic in their caring, but women naturally increase productivity by caring for the people they work with and work they produce.
Organization isn’t just a trait women possess, but if you look at how we’re raised, and how we raise our own families, everything is organized. It has to be, in order for us to get through our work and family day in one piece. From the time we’re small children, we watch our mothers go through hectic days juggling work, school, and extracurricular activities. Through that experience, it’s ingrained in us – we have to have some sort of organization to keep our lives together. Ultimately, this organization lends itself to our work lives too, and keeps our projects on task and our deadlines firm.
Every woman, even those who are introverted, have the uncanny ability to transform their character at a moment’s notice. Have you ever been alone in an elevator, unhappy with something, feeling tired, or just quiet, and a work colleague or boss enters? It’s like a switch. Without thought, your personality moves from quiet and tired to happy, smiling, professional, and classy in two seconds. This ability to push past our inner feelings and project confidence, kindness, alertness, and class, helps make clients and customers more comfortable and trusting towards women they work with on a project or purchase. I have never been a people person, but everyone thinks I am because of how I instinctively behave with the people around me.
In the workplace, the five skills I’ve listed are underrecognized factors in most women’s success. Try to imagine a world where women didn’t emanate these personality traits, but instead wore their day on their faces, and went about their work with little thought to those around them. Well, actually, then we might find ourselves ahead in the game, which is a sad but true thought. In any case, women, don’t hold back, let these traits shine!
While Stephanie spends endless hours writing journalistic pieces for
several publications outlining the fight for a more fair and peaceful
planet, she is simultaneously ghostwriting novels, convincing a
nine-year-old that his Halloween costume isn’t appropriate to wear to
school in December, and corralling three crazy dogs. Underemployed is
her favorite place to talk about the crazy world of work while letting
her sass run a little wild.
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