In Praise of Men AND Women

IMG_8105I have had a new office manager for a couple of months now.

A man.

In truth, it has helped to stabilize the office, something much needed after the hellacious turmoil of the past 12 months.

Let’s face it. Being a woman in power is a tenuous thing. No one likes to take orders from a woman. Not really. If I am honest with myself, I don’t like it. You probably don’t like it, either.

And yet, as a woman I resent that I have to hide behind a man.

Some may say that the problem is with me. Is it? Maybe. I cannot figure out what to do differently, though. I work hard to be respectful yet firm and at the same time encouraging and helpful. No cussing people out or throwing things, as I have said before in other posts. Smile. Ask about family, kids. Bring baked goods.

Bottom line? It always came down to being told that I (and the other female physicians) should not directly interact with the staff, that I should let my office manager do that but honestly my female office managers (ten years worth) never fared any better than I did when it came to employee relations. The staff hated them, too, which helped me feel better about me but did not help solve the problems of the clinic or improve patient care.

So now we have a man and the griping and complaining… and dare I say bitching… has calmed down. I saw this happen once before when we had a male office manager for a year.

This has helped my own frame of mind tremendously. I cannot tell you how disruptive all of the disharmony can be, spilling into all other aspects of my life.

Still, I am jealous, and frankly more than a little embarrassed, that he can do it when I and other women cannot. There IS something different, something subtle, in how we deal with issues or perhaps more likely in how people respond to us. This is why the rates of depression are so much higher in female supervisors

Perhaps I am a sell out for not fighting harder, for not insisting that a woman hold this position? But then maybe it is OK to work as a team, drawing on each other’s strengths and minimizing our weaknesses. Maybe it doesn’t have to be a male or a female superiority thing? We are different and that is OK.

For now the patients need this calm. So do I. I am glad he is here, helping us out. 

I am interested to hear your thoughts. I realize this is a controversial subject so please be respectful!

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134 thoughts on “In Praise of Men AND Women

  1. I’ve worked for very professional women and very unprofessional men. And the reverse. I think that occasionally men might have it built-in that work matters before socializing whereas women might have to learn it based on the way they were raised, but I find that changing. I think both are capable as long as they can separate business from their feelings.

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    • There are good and bad on both sides of the fence. I have found that the same management style has dramatically different results, if all other things are equal. This phenomenon is intriguing but can be infuriating when you are the woman involved…

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      • I don’t know. I think back to my favorite job. My direct supervisor was originally the Controller and she was very business-like, no gossip, but very empathetic. As a result, when things got rough in the department, we’d work our butts off for her. When I started to answer more to the CFO & CEO, I still ran things by her because I knew I could trust her judgment and wanted her to know it. If I had a make supervisor with that style, I can’t imagine it would have been different.

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  2. I think that you’ve touched on an important point – that it should be the best person for the job, gender association aside. In this time and place you have chosen a male who has done what needed to be done. Prior circumstances and personalities of employees, rather all female or not, may have played a large part in response and respect, who’s to say really. If you can function well, your office runs well, and you can actually enjoy going to work (Insurance and bureaucracy aside) then why question.

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      • There’s another issue also, the fact that as a female and a professional who must hire and manage others you are being sucked into the ‘I have somehow let down my gender by dissing on or excluding women’…do not do that to yourself. Society does it very well for all of us as it is. Be proud that you have the right person for the job πŸ™‚

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  3. In the bank, our Managers and Directors were nearly all male. Supervisors and Section Leaders such as myself, were usually female. In my last job, it was more or less the same. In an office full of women, bitchiness and gossip were rife, and my working environment uncomfortable because of it.
    Personally, I seem to work better under, and have more confidence in, a male boss. I have had female bosses and found they were biased, clicky with their friends (some of whom worked in the same department and they did NOT have a boss/clerk relationship) and practiced favouritism. My male bosses were always more fair and approachable, in one instance overriding my annual salary review from a female manager who didn’t like me because she saw me as a threat to her position.
    I took early retirement in 2007 and apart from a couple of quirky jobs, haven’t worked since. In both instances, my immediate boss was female. I ended up disliking both, for totally different reasons, and quit.

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  4. I’ve worked for women as well as men. How things work depends on the people involved. It’s not automatically a gender thing. Maybe you’re too worried about that.

    It sounds like you have had more than a few office managers. Why do they leave?

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    • I have had a lot of managers. One didn’t like that she had a new female boss over her (not me, someone from corporate). At least that was what she said at the time. Later, I heard she was telling people I was too demanding and hard to work with. One was doing a terrible job. Then her husband died. She left. One (the man) got a job paying more than I could pay. The last one was a “realignment” that was very needed. Interestingly, the male manager wanted to come back and work here again after he left. So do all of the staff that has left. They hate being here but after they are working elsewhere for a few months they come back pleading to be rehired. It is an interesting thing…

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  5. I’ve worked largely in male dominated arenas for some reason or other through most of my working life. I have to say I have preferred it. On the few occasions where the women outnumbered the men, the office politics had claws.

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  6. I’ve been a nurse for the majority of my career, for the most part my supervisors were female. I didn’t think gender played much in to what I thought of them. But I think how one reacts to the gender of someone in a supervisory position is about them, and not you. Your situation with the office managers sounds very frustrating.
    I have a few people I supervise at work. For the most part I don’t think gender plays a part except when the people are older than I am or sometimes from a different culture. I’ve had the most difficulty with people who come from different cultures who perhaps wouldn’t have been exposed to a female supervisor. It isn’t something that happens often.
    I think gender can also play a part for those who would try to manipulate their supervisors with a sort of low level flirtation. I think I’ve seen every variation of this. One female might get along better with a male supervisor because she feels she can use her charms to get her way..or vice versa. I’ve even seen straight people do this with gay supervisors. I myself have never been capable of manipulating people in this way.
    I hate the expectation of having to bring treats or baked goods to get along with people.

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    • The use of sexual wiles to get things… Yes, I have seen that and you are right, it is infuriating! Baked goods. Having to have chit-chat about families and engage in silly pleasantry talk… the male physicians I have worked with never get told they have to do this in order to get along with staff and by golly, they don’t do it and get along fine. I resent the expectation that I should/have to. But I cannot get around it.

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  7. This is a tough one. I’ve worked for both men and women, and I don’t think gender played much role in the relationship. Some men are bastards, some women are bitches. Some men are princes, some women are angels.

    If there’s any difference at all, I would say it’s because men in business tend to do whatever is necessary at the time regardless of how it might affect others, whereas women, no matter how tough they are, still have a basic need to be liked and therefore try just a little harder to smooth things over.

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    • Case in point, I was told that I should not just send a message to the front desk to ask them to change something. I need to say good morning and thank you and blah, blah, blah. That is hard to always do in a fast paced environment when I have a patient sitting there with me. But it hurts feelings when I don’t. The men I have worked with don’t have to do that. No one expects it from them.

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      • No one likes a bitch. But if a businessman acts like a bastard, people view him as high-powered and give him a lot of leeway.

        I’ve been short with staff on occasion. Most take it in stride if I’m have a particularly stressful day, but one young lady started crying and called me a mean old lady. My male boss, on the other hand, screams at everyone all the time, and we all just laugh about it.

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  8. I guess I’ve never noticed this. All the clinics I’ve worked in had female office managers, and everything ran wonderfully. Same with the female supervisors I’ve had. In fact, I’ve never noticed this with any of my jobs. I think there are great managers on both sides of the aisles and poor ones on each side as well. So I guess I’m not much help!

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  9. I think your experience is anecdotal, Victo. It’s like saying because we had a cooler than average summer in our area, global warming is not real. I was a Union steward who filed grievances against both male and female managers in the postal service, who were abusive to employees. Both genders were equal offenders. Some of those women were real, true blue queen bitches. But some of those men were physically violent, dangerous assholes. Abusive behavior crosses gender lines equally and frequently. I’ve concluded that managers who knows how to deal humanely with others are a rarities, regardless of their gender. Hang on to this manager. Don’t let him go anywhere.

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  10. I worked in a female-dominated profession (librarianship) that — for me anyway — always had more male managers in change than women. As someone responded earlier, I reported to bastards, bitches, saints, and angels of both genders. Did the staff respond better to one than another? Perhaps, but it might have also broken down by employee type. As I think about it, I think support staff might have respected male managers more than female ones. There is always a wedge between professional and non-professional staff in so many offices, and it often surfaces in how management policies are structured.

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  11. I’ve been sitting here thinking for a while now.
    Women can just be so catty.
    After thinking about my supervisors, I can’t say I’ve preferred more men to women or vice versa. I had one female manager who was aces. I mean, she was fantastic. Great communicator. When she left, I left shortly after, because new management sucked in comparison. On the other hand, I’ve had more catty, power-trippin female supervisors, overall. When I think about the male supervisors, there were two kinds: gentlemen and leches.
    I’d say most women are catty and most men are leches, regardless of position or field.
    And witches honor, on several occasions, I’ve asked my husband to call certain places in my stead, because the women do not huff and sigh and put him on hold for 20 minutes. Initially I did think it might be coincidental, but it’s not. It’s been too consistent. It’s not even person, it’s just because I’m a woman.
    But, I also think a lot of times I’m more successful in certain tasks for being a woman, for being a bitch. Can’t be all people, may as well use who or what works for you.

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      • I have no idea, don’t know you well enough. But I’ll tell ya, that please and thank you crap is overrated. Getting stuff done is what we’re all paid to do. Like, as a teacher, we never ask, “Will you please empty the trash?” We say, “Empty the trash please.”

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  12. What a controversial topic and I have so many thoughts but let me start with saying it sounds like you might have yourself a good office manager so pay him well and hopefully he will stick around and keep the peace. I have worked for both male and female and have managed to get along with both. I have been a female supervisor myself and have had employees who wrote manifestos about me to the powers that be and others who nominated me for awards. I would like to believe it is more about the personalities and less about the gender? But I really don’t know. I enjoy your posts as always and for some reason feel compelled to reply to many of them. You reeled me in again! Love your blog!

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      • It is a tough group and that is the group I struggled with. Everyone wants to feel important and I always tried to remember that they probably didn’t say when they grow up they want to work the front desk or answer phones. I always tried to keep that in perspective and build them up and make sure they felt important. I am sure you do that too. It’s just some people are impossible to make happy.

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  13. My mom always said women were terrible friends and managers. My first woman manager sure worked hard to prove my mom right on the latter point!

    I believed my mom. But now, now I am saddened by her crappy experiences with a few women blinded her to how amazing women can be as friends and managers.

    The woman who hired me to negotiate software contracts was exceptional. She is now, appropriately, Chief of Staff at an enormous global organization. The woman who filled her shoes after her departure was also amazing. Though the third woman in the role was terrible, the latter two women had positioned me to see that was a function of her, and her total dysfunction, not the fact she was a her.

    Then today, I interviewed with a lady SO amazing I felt like I could build a rocket and fly to the moon under her tutelage. It was hard to sit back doen at my desk and focus on contracts, which leads me to feel all the more profoundly that any disturbances are not a function of gender alone, but of complicated, interwoven factors and histories.

    Either way, I am glad you have found someone who works and hope he sticks around for a long time!

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  14. When I was studying my masters degree, oh my goodness it was one of the worst moments of my life and a lot of it had to with the fact that 80% of the students were women and they wouldn’t stop bitching and fighting! Yes I am a woman, but also in my experience in the workplace is that when there are too much women, if at least one of them is bitchy, life becomes a nightmare. I think some men are needed to balance things out.

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  15. My last job a female officemager created chaos to feed her vanity. Once she was left to do clerical not managing (man) all went to normal, but she took it on us by trips to manicurist, shopping, ect. She told the office she was going to the bank and bying milk for the office. Lol. Do not feek guilty, there is no room for feelings at work, too personal interfers with your performance.

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  16. What an interesting post! Of course, my female hackles go up, but I don’t think you are wrong. 😦 What is it that makes us defer to the authority of a man over a woman? Probably goes back to our ancient history like everything else, when women depended on “pleasing” a man for survival. Hopefully, this will become a thing of the past in another century of two. Personally, I enjoy working for someone who’s competent, man or woman.

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  17. Great post. It is politically correct to walk around with blinders, and if we notice differences we are branded as haters. There are differences, but each gender also has strong and weak points. The best managers admit who they are first, and work from there. I’ve had employees of both genders, and supervisors of both genders. The good and bad spreads across the spectrum pretty evenly.

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  18. Thoughtful post, V. I have had horrible bosses – both men and women – and great ones, both sexes. But we were equals, not staff and boss. I think it’s the whole male superiority thing that has been a part of our culture for so long. Not sure when we will ever grow out of that!

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  19. As you’ve been following my trials and tribulations, you know that the worst problems I’ve had lately have been with female bosses. They were rotten in different ways, but I can’t see a man being rotten in either of the same ways. I had a lousy male boss, too, a podiatrist. He was lousy because he was cheaper than cheap, obsessed with money (he spent his lunch hours viewing his SEVERAL investment accounts), would throw me under the bus with obnoxious patients (tell me to be firm about requesting late payments and then when the pt. complained he’d forgive the debt and basically blame me for being “mean.”) The worst was that he was 180 degrees opposite me politically and he’d rant, daily, repeatedly, FAUX News stories, put propaganda on my desk for me to read. He’d do this to the patients, too, who were trapped in the treatment chairs, and in a relatively open office and his loud voice I got to hear the same BS ***ALL*** day long. It was very stressful. But compared to the back-stabbing, lying, deceitful, bitchy, petty, just totally off-the-wall awful of the female bosses? I’d take the cheap-ass conservative any day. Never thought I’d say that. I currently have a male boss. I work with one male (LPN who is now a paper pusher). I’ve never had any issue with either. The women in the office? OMG, crabby bitches or syrupy-sweet fakers, the lot of them. Ugh.

    :::grabs an adult beverage and gazes at the Misanthropes new web page:::

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  20. When I started at the agency where I am currently employed, we had a CEO (female) who was very concerned with being liked and her 2nd in charge was obsessed with being everyone’s friend. She used to host events at her house and also attend bar parties for the nurses. Both of them were very NICE and almost ran the agency into the ground. Everything took three times longer because everyone had to chime in and you had to worry who would be upset about things. Currently we have a brand new female CEO who is all business. I love working for her. I know exactly where I stand and not worried about offending someone for rolling my eyes. ( yup, I got written up for supposedly rolling my eyes) This past month, she hired a new #2, VP of Clinical Ops. A man. He is fabulous. Says what needs to be said and does what needs to be done and the two of them are turning the place around completely. I have always thought that work was work, and I actually prefer to keep friends; friends. I have a lot of people who I like and they like me at work, but I do not see them after work. I do not try to get into the emotional turmoil that many seem to thrive in and I avoid cliques. I am not rude but I am also not gushing. The last month has been physically horrible for me and I have been sick at work. One person took my wanting to be left alone and the grimaces that flashed across my face personally. Its work folks, and I am not getting paid to be your friend. It’s hard when you’re a female. The sweetness is expected; demanded. I say tough it up sister. You will always know where I am coming from, what my expectations are and that I will always reward verbally for doing a good job especially beyond what is expected. Show up, be on time, and do your assignments….that is your job. You already get a reward…its call pay.

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    • Pay. Yes! A thousand times yes!!!! I don’t want to socialize with my staff outside of work, either…aside from the obligatory after hours Christmas party… It makes doing the tough things like firing very difficult.

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  21. When I was very young my father told me of a problem he had where he worked. He was a school teacher and the Principal was a very nice gentle man who had difficulty exerting authority. But the Vice-Principal was a stern and forceful man. The two worked well together – the one never diminishing the other. There was an old Italian teacher there who recited an old Italian proverb. “A gentle man oft needs a dog to bark for him.”
    (And I remember the Italian’s name. Dr Di Batista.) Maybe all this time you have needed a dog that barks.

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  22. Maybe I’m wired differently, but it was never an issue with me, to have a woman boss or take orders from a woman. My current boss is a woman, even my colleague who has been doing for three years what I’ve been doing for just two months and it therefore my trainer, so to speak, is a woman, and a good 7 years younger than I am in the bargain. For me what always matters is ability, not where the bulges on one’s body are.

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  23. I had to go away from this post and have a think then come back again. This could be a controversial discussion. As a teacher in a very tough school I worked with both men and women bosses, soon becoming one of the bosses myself and I was incredibly lucky to have a wonderful woman mentor. Her example both trained us and enabled us to be strong, and gentle in equal measures. And look at the WHY of the words spoken as opposed to THE WORDS. Of course we have all worked for good men and bulldozers. And the body snatching women. But I also had two incredible men who taught me the measure of quiet efficient determination. I am wondering whether it is not gender but egos that get in the way. Though I also believe that we should not hide behind our genders, nor should we hide them. An educated, calm (in a crisis) , efficient man is a gem. I read once (it was a woman author) that many women feel like frauds, they (we, I) rush from family to work and back again, trying to be the best at all of it and living in terror that someone will discover that we are winging it. Men on the other hand are not the multi taskers that women are – many men can turn to a job and be exactly present tuning everything else out. This is a wonderful talent. An office manager has to be a multi tasker so you really do have a gem on your hands! Have a wonderful evening.. c

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    • Oh, I love your comments! Particularly, “should not hide behind our genders” and pointing out about women feeling like frauds. I think I need a wife so that I can be constantly present at work without worrying about the kids. Not to say that I don’t get help. I DO, but not like the support I would get from a stay at home wife… But in the end we all have strengths and weaknesses. We should capitalize on each other’s strengths and help each other with our weaknesses as human beings. Love and support and respect each other for what we are.

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  24. Big topic Victo. I could write a thesis on this but your readers have nailed all the salient points. First and foremost is self-awareness – without that no one is a good boss. Second, your management structure that has your employee reporting to someone other than you is a recipe for a dysfunctional relationship (people work for people, not organizations). Third – all female or all male workplaces are always more difficult – the ideal structure is to have a mix of genders. Fourth – I’ve worked for both men and women and find that they manage differently but one is not better than the other per se. Now remember three – an office full of women will come together better with a male and vice versa. Fifth – there is a vast difference between a manager and a leader Victo. A manager enforces policies and a leader motivates (different timelines as well). People want a leader who will support and guide them – and that will not and cannot be you. The reason is simple – your first responsibility is to your patients, even at the expense of your employees. Or as the good book says – no person has more than one master. Yours is your patients – your office crew’s is their office manager.

    So, yes, you could be their leader and a very effective one, but you would have to stop being the doctor to do it.

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  25. Personally, I really enjoy having a woman supervisor. Even the law partner I support is a woman and she’s my favorite person there. Some of the attorneys supported by our “team” aren’t too wonderful but they aren’t the boss of me and I’ve been there longer than ALL of them. Junior attorneys come and go. A good secretary has nothing to worry about. πŸ˜‰

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  26. I have trouble with women in authority. It’s personal. It stems back to a bad relationship with my mother. I just can’t take orders from a woman for very long without conflict. It’s been proven over a lifetime. I wonder if I’m alone in that ??

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  27. I think it all depends on the person. I have had some really great bosses over the years and they were women. For my male bosses….I have had the one who looks straight at my boobs when he is talking to me, I have had the loud boss that spews lie after lie, and then the worst kind, the one who tells you what you want to hear and then does nothing. I almost forgot about the little pervert from the winery, I wasn’t there that long so I guess it’s easy to forget. I tend to stay at a job for a long time so I don’t have a ton of experience here.

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  28. Who knows why it is working out? Women are more sensitive for certain signals than men are. At the same time men can compensate the lack of sensitivity with thoughtfulness and decisiveness. Do know these are only general observations from my experience.

    I have worked for all kinds of managers, men and women and the best managers do three things very well: they are present (no hide-and-seek), communicate effectively (they listen, you get the message) and they try to be fair (balance the relevant interests). When a good manager is pleasant to be around and to talk to you (tend to) have a keeper.

    Wait and see. When the new manager is able to handle the crises you know enough…

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  29. As a retired medical office manager (male) whose best friend for half a century is a hospital nurse who once was a medical office manager (female), I can say first-hand it seems to be a matter of gender-style. I’ve heard endless stories about how male doctors treat female nurses. [Male nurses typically go into management ASAP, not bedside nursing, and avoid the worst of it.] And it’s not pretty. In hospitals at least, doctors rant and rave and belittle nurses at every turn — esp. when the doctor’s done something wrong. And nurses, esp. the young ones, just take it. My best friend, a gentle, giving, loving soul who grew up wanting to be nurse, in her youth used to go home in tears from being falsely accused and berated the entire shift by the various bullies in charge.

    Having to put up with all this gunk causes nurses to periodically burn out. So when my best friend (now my wife) decided to go into another line of work, I spent a year training her to do my job. I was tough on her, but no tougher than my bosses were on me. I was not intentionally cruel, but, being a “guy”, I was very brusk. If she made a mistake, I told her. If she did everything right, I said nothing — after all, doing things right was her job. (Hint: this is the way a guy thinks.)

    However, it turns out, this is not the way to talk to someone who is secretly in love with you. Unbeknownst to me, by the end she was once again going home in tears every night. Finally one day, after I’d complained about a mistake she’d made, she told me, “I’m not putting up with this anymore. You can go f*ck yourself.” Being naturally timid, facing up to me was the toughest thing she’d ever done. Instead of being offended I simply said, “Good — that’s what you need inside yourself to face up to others. You’re ready now to do any job in the world.” And she was. She moved to Alaska and ran a clinic under a particularly difficult doctor who berated her staff endlessly. My friend set her straight the first week, and everything was fine for two years, at which point my BFF decided she really missed nursing (and me).

    But she never forgot the lessons she learned. Now when a doctor gets out of line, guess what she says? That’s right. She doesn’t do it often, but when she does the doctor invariably has later apologized and then never repeated the offense…to her, anyway. And to know that she’s broken a lifetime habit of cringing from authority makes me prouder of her than anything else you can imagine.

    Oh, BTW, when I get out of line she still says the same thing to me — and, as her husband of a dozen years, I’m still just a proud.

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  30. For me it doesn’t matter. I’ve worked for men and women and their were times I wished it was the other. It really does depend on the person and their management style. If course some people will always look to take advantage of a woman and have preconceived notions but that’s their problem. The right person, man or woman will it have a problem with people. If they , the right person will replace them. She’ll only have to do that once or twice before the message is delivered.

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  31. I totally agree. Apart from gender, age also matters. I’m 28 and in charge of around 10 people at my hospital. All of them have been working before I was even born. They find it too difficult to take orders from someone younger to them and that too a female. I have tried everything from being all sugar and sweet to getting things done the harder way but have not been successful. They are hostile with me but are very friendly with the male members of the staff. Its really tough to work in an atmosphere where a cold war is going on all the time. I wonder what am I doing wrong.

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    • In my experience women tend to be less direct and more passive-aggressive than most male managers. They also tend to have difficulty giving direction and establishing clear priorities for a group. They also tend to negotiate endlessly and worry about being “liked”. They tend to take things personally (“Why doesn’t X listen to me?” vs. “OK, X, you need to figure this out. Here are the instructions.”) They don’t conduct meetings well, wanting to “give everyone a chance.” Women strive for consensus even when consensus is nonsense and they want everyone to “work together” which is even more challenging when, as women, they’ve not given clear direction as to what the group is working toward. Men tend to me more goal directed and women tend to be more process directed. The irony is that women who have some of the male traits that make it easier for men to manage others tend to put people off, particularly other women. Women who read what I’ve written here may take issue and say I’m stereotyping; men are less likely to do that. Have you read Sexual Personae by Camille Paglia? Disturbing yet wise words in that book…

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    • Get the focus off of yourself (even in your own mind) and refocus on the group objective. That could help. And it’s true; us oldsters don’t have much respect for you younguns. I think it’s always been like that; probably a human trait.

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  32. I’ve had two female bosses, and I didn’t like either of them. Then again, I can only think of one male boss that I thought was really cool. Women don’t always get on. I suppose that men working for male bosses have different testosterone induced gripes. Either way it’s probably best to just be the boss of everyone – male or female. πŸ™‚

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  33. It’s been really interesting reading all the comments. When I read this post, I realized I had never had a female boss, so it was impossible for me to draw comparisons.

    On the other hand, I was a boss for most of my career. I hope that most of my former employees think kindly about me.

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  34. “There IS something different, something subtle, in how we deal with issues or perhaps more likely in how people respond to us.” I think the first is *caused* by the latter. A lifetime of accumulating all the small and subtle (and sometimes not) ways that people take us less seriously. Over and over and over again. Or react as if normal emotions are overly big and dramatic, certainly out of proportion to the situation.

    Over time it takes an immense toll. We alter our behavior. Which then becomes evidence held against us that “see! I knew you couldn’t hack it like a man!” And so the cycle repeats, down through generations.,,

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  35. I have had both male and female bosses. On the whole I find female managers more considerate of people’s feelings. By considerate I don’t mean soft. My female bosses have all been competent and capable of holding their own among male colleagues. However they have been better bosses on the whole but, having said that I have had good male bosses to. Perhaps part of it stems from women being more able to show kindness while for some men at least the softer virtues are considered to be unmannly. Kevin

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  36. Personally, though I’ve BEEN a woman in charge many times over, I do NOT like having a woman in charge of me. I don’t know why, but they always seem to need be a bitch to assert their authority and attempt to gain respect. Go figure. :/

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  37. Comment, comment… two points:
    1) I had 5 bosses in my professional life (Until I decided. Only one was a woman. She was the best Boss I ever had. Which did not mean that we did not have disagreements or fights on one or the other issue. But she was the best. I had no prob taking orders from her. because she was competent and a decent human being. (Which did not exclude some manipulation but, Hell, who doesn’t?) πŸ™‚ The other 4 (men) were jerks at best. Male-Female? I think it is irrelevant. There are good males bosses and pitiful female bosses. And vice-vers of course. I think it is just a matter of how the job is done.
    2) I had my own company, market research, for 20 years. All my best executives were female. More dedicated, more responsible, more analytic (Useful in market research) more dependable. A long list. i0ve had reasonably good male execs, some “dawgs”. And a few “insufferable” female excecs. (You know, starts with B.I. and ends with H?) πŸ™‚
    My conclusion: the best staff is a mixed one. A combination. Too many women can get you in trouble. (And that is not a clichΓ©) Only men, well, turf wars, “piss.ng” contests. Design a mixed staff, men, women, and at the end, the only criterion for me? Can he/she do a super job. The rest is not important.
    πŸ˜‰

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  38. Interestingly, I work in a very male dominated industry (IT) and my direct manager is a woman – she’s wonderful and the best manager I have had in the last nearly 20 years. My previous manager in my last job was also a woman – again, she was fantastic too. Typically I much prefer working with men but in my experience, the women I have seen in these positions have at least got stuff done instead of just talking…

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    • I am glad to hear that! I think what may be the biggest issue is the fact that my entire office has been female. When we throw in even one male body, things calm down, considerably. Maybe it is management style. Maybe it is pure coincidence. Dunno. I have found that interviews are minimally useful, even using behavioral interviewing questions, to weed out the good and bad. It takes a few weeks on the job to get a feel for how someone will work out but by then they are hired and it is too late.

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  39. A great topic and wonderful discussion — I’m very impressed with your readers along with your writing!

    I think it’s a mistake to ignore our strengths and weaknesses. I spent a lot of years in my “youth” (ha!) railing against the system — Women can do anything a man can do! Of course there isn’t a difference between us, only a difference in how society treats us! — and it’s not that I think I was all wrong. Instead of looking at it as X- and Y-chromosomes, I started trying to look at it as my personal abilities. I’m very detail oriented so I handle the calendar at home, but I’m not great at looking at the bigger picture. My husband’s strong on planning long term so he’s more likely to develop 5 year goals and such.

    The business world is similar — if we acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses and find someone who balances those out then you’re much more likely to be successful. If a female (or male) boss is weak when it comes to handling conflict or delegating, then the employees will respond less effectively to him/her. Yes, I do think there are people who have a deeply ingrained bias against women in charge, but I’d like to think they’re in the minority…

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    • I railed in my youth, too! πŸ˜‰ I can promise you the bias is not the minority. I fight it daily. Still, there are more opportunities for women now than there ever has been. I think it will continue to improve. πŸ™‚

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  40. I’m fairly sure it’s not the gender of the office manager that’s the issue. It will be more about the attitude.
    I have worked for both sexes and got on with most of them but certainly not all. I’m also lucky enough to have held positions where I was the manager and never had a complaint. If you take an interest in the people around you, in their families and their problems then there’s generally a much better atmosphere.Stay aloof and people think you don’t care and can’t be approached.
    It sounds like you’ve been lucky in the experience you’ve had with the two men and just unlucky with the women.
    To be fair, as a physician and employer, I’d still say you need to have a relationship with staff to get the best out of them. Everyone wants to be noticed.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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    • It has been a ride, for sure. I think the mix of sexes does balance things out as I have watched staff respond to the men differently than the women and not necessarily because of a difference in skill. Hell, they even respond differently to me with him here which is so interesting to watch… πŸ™‚ Who knows? In the end I am just glad things have calmed down!

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