Other leaders who manage teams and expect to hear from all players second her insights. "If you get people talking and challenging each other, you're going to have the ability to arrive at the right decision so much quicker and easier," Robin Domeniconi, chief marketing officer for Rue La La and former chief brand officer at the Elle Group, told Adam Bryant for his book, Quick and Nimble: Lessons from Leading CEOs on How to Create a Culture of Innovation. Domeniconi added that she manages teams by saying, "Let's win. Let's figure it out together."
So what can women teach the guys at work? In a word: collaboration.
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"Women are often more collaborative in the workplace. Companies that have women on their boards and women in leadership positions often do better," says Merlino, adding that for every study that says women bosses are harder to work with than male bosses there's a study saying how collaborative women achieve success.
Jennifer Berdahl, an organizational behavior expert at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, found, "Work teams made up mostly of women tend to share leadership roles more than teams dominated by men." In her study published in the March issue of Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice, she says, "Women tend to prefer egalitarian norms in work groups, whereas men favor hierarchical structures," adding that this impacts how the two genders work together.
Merlino says the benefits of collaborative work are critical and women get this intuitively. "Women tend to listen to a wide array of people to decide what's going to be right for customers, clients, constituents. They apply this skill every day to their families, businesses, and communities. Maximizing collaboration at work is essential to get things done – and if there were ever a need for collaboration at almost every level of business and society, it is now."
—By Maureen Mackey, The Fiscal Times