Advice for Men Managers: How to Manage Women Employees

You must exercise due diligence to motivate talented employees and retain them for an efficient and productive workplace. But many male managers unwittingly mismanage their female employees.

Having been raised by a single mom and having managed women in my career, I’ve learned a lot of lessons to share.

Even if you’re conscientious and want to be an effective manager of women, it’s not rocket science but you can inadvertently make mistakes.

Women often feel misunderstood. They regularly feel belittled.

True, some women are defensive and over-react. But that’s true for men, too.

Sometimes men think they’re being considerate of their women employees.

In reality, they go overboard.

Enlightened women know when they’re being patronized, and they don’t appreciate it.

So here are five tips:

1. Don’t make comments that come across as debasing.

Keep the focus on her work not her gender. Don’t tell a woman she’s attractive or has a great figure. Imagine how you’d react if a woman boss were to comment you have a great physique.

Your comment will often be perceived as demeaning. Or worse, you’ll be accused of being creepy.

Don’t congratulate her for being a great woman employee. Nor should you mention she has a successful career despite having a family.

Simply comment on her work achievements (or shortcomings as an employee).

2. Be honest and assertive when reviewing their performances.

Many male managers are dishonest – they hold back criticism for several reasons. They fear potential accusations about diversity, complaints from defensive employees, the stereotypical women crying, or an endless round of questions.

Be empathetic but not disingenuous. Don’t ignore poor performances or come across as patronizing. Avoid the common 12 errors in evaluations.

3. Encourage full participation in employee meetings.

Ask shy employees to participate. Encourage them to share their opinions. They may very well have valuable insights – profitable ideas – for the welfare of your organization.

It’s true many women – even if they’re ambitious – don’t know how to participate in meetings. They don’t know how they can enhance their careers in Group decision-making.

It’s up to you to do your best to encourage them to participate.

4. Promote talented women even they don’t ask for better position.

Some women ask for promotions early in their careers but are ignored. The shy ones won’t try it again.

Others are honest and reject promotions if they don’t feel they’re qualified.

Either way, advise your female workers to apply in cases you feel they’re qualified.

It’s also your job to help employees to grow professionally.

5. Having a family doesn’t indicate a woman isn’t interested in a successful career.

True, young mothers need flexibility. Emergencies happen. But don’t let it color your thinking.

Once as a youngster with my low-income mother at work as a secretary, the daycare was closed. My mother didn’t have a choice. My younger brother and I were forced to take a cross-town bus to stay with an aunt. I gave the bus driver instructions where to drop us off. But he forgot. For several hours, we rode the bus back and forth across town.

When we didn’t arrive, my aunt notified my mother who was predictably horrified. She left the office to search for us. Thankfully, she had an understanding boss who drove her around until we were found.

Obviously, the children do grow up and moms don’t have to worry like mine did in that bus episode. So be mindful when they need flexibility and don’t ignore talented women forever.

From the Coach’s Corner, more related management tips:

HR Tips — So Your Recruiting Enhances Diversity, Not Sexism — Can we agree that a diverse workplace leads to innovation, problem-solving and enhanced enterprise communication? And, as you know, inequality is unlawful. Why then are there so many companies that unknowingly, perhaps, promote sexism? That’s right.

Tips for Marketing Your HR-Policy Changes to Employees — So you’ve identified workplace policies that need to be updated. But you want your policies to be accepted and followed by your employees. Employees are often uncomfortable with change even if it’s necessary for a business turnaround. Remember high morale among employees propels profits.

HR Management – 8 Best Practices in Employee Delegation — Avoid frustration in delegation. Save yourself time and develop your staff for the welfare of your organization. Delegation is a fundamental driver of organizational growth. Managers who are effective in delegation show leadership. They know they’ll be more effective in management and that they’ll develop their employees.

10 Steps to Manage Conflict for High Performance — For progress, a business needs human interaction for ideas and innovation. Sometimes, argument, debate and conflict prove to be productive catalysts for high performance. But such catalysts can be obstacles to success, too. Here are the simplest ways to manage conflict.

6 Quick Tips So Employees Respect Your Authority — It’s an awful feeling when your authority is non-existent. You’re not taken seriously. Employees are in charge. It’s also an indicator of related issues: Most often, profits are minimal. Customers become disenchanted and leave.

“Women always worry about the things that men forget; men always worry about the things women remember.” 

-Marjorie Kinman Rawlings 


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Are You Taking Hits in Business? Tips for a Morale Boost

If sales are discouraging and you feel like you’re on a treadmill going nowhere, it’s probably because you’re worried about the future. Trust me, you’re not alone.

The trick is taking baby steps and not worrying about the future results. Instead, focus on the positive. Business success and strong sales stem are made possible by enthusiasm, and an attitude of service and gratitude.

This means not focusing on the proverbial “results department.” That department door might not open. So only focus on footwork and simply knocking on the “results department door.” Imagine yourself knocking on one door and then moving quickly to knock on another.

ID-10063171 David Castillo DominiciDon’t wait for the doors to open because that’s what leads to despair. It’s true that a watched pot never boils.

Moreover, this is a good time to measure your progress – not your obstacles.

Consider the acronym, GO, an acronym for “gratitude” and “options”

By way of explanation, sometimes discouragement is so bad a businessperson obsesses about what’s not working instead of relishing what is working.

By focusing solely on the problems they become bigger. When that happens, it’s an endless cycle of despair. The person feels trapped.

Conversely, if a businessperson focuses on the positive, such an attitude of gratitude opens the person up to a childlike wonder and creates hope. Hope leads to options.

So, with hope, anything is possible. Know that for each problem – I prefer the word challenge – there are 10 possible solutions for options.

But how can you get gratitude and options?

First create hope for growth. Examine the progress you have made and start a gratitude list. Pat yourself on the back for any footwork. Start by asking yourself, “Where, how, when, why and with whom have I made progress?” Write or type your answers. No progress is too small to list.

Ask yourself these 10 sample questions:

  1. What networking events, lunches or meetings have I attended?
  2. What new acquaintances have I made?
  3. What recognition or positive comments have been made by others about me?
  4. What free publicity have I received either from my efforts or those of others?
  5. Have I created a new Web site or marketing collateral?
  6. Any new skills or knowledge?
  7. Have I attracted any new clients or retained old clients?
  8. Are there any companies or businesspersons indicating interest in my capabilities?
  9. Have I done any pro bono or volunteer work?
  10. Do I have a support system or mentor?

If you can’t give a positive answer to the 10 questions, then do what you have to do for the right answers. That’s just to get you started. Perhaps there are other pertinent questions you can ask.

Consider the acronym, GO, an acronym for “gratitude” and “options”

Now, it’s time for a new vision for growth, here’s how:

  1. Write out your vision plan. One page will do.
  2. Set goals for footwork – not results.
  3. Periodically, each day ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing right now, productive?” (Chances are it isn’t productive, so focus on what is.)
  4. Keep records of your baby steps.
  5. Honor your progress with gratitude and keep it going with affirmations.
  6. Stay in close contact with your support system.
  7. Get exercise, sleep and medical care when needed.
  8. Practice stewardship of your assets. Focus on cleanliness and organization.
  9. Focus on your favorite hobby and recreation.
  10. Ask clients for feedback. If a client complains, don’t get defensive just take notes. When you’re complimented, ask for referrals to two people who might also appreciate what you have to offer.
  11. Keep on practicing gratitude. Always hand write thank you notes — whenever someone considers buying from you or hiring you. In fact, in every e-mail, note, meeting or telephone conversation, remember 98 percent of the time a thank you and/or “please” is warranted.
  12. Keep in mind the adage, “What goes around comes around.” Try to listen more and avoid treating others as though they’re invisible, and you will be accorded greater respect.
  13. Keep smiling. A jovial Joe or Jane is an attraction to others.
  14. Look around for someone else to help. This will help you smile.
  15. As you succeed, carry this message to others.

As you go along and think of other pointers, add them to these suggestions.

Now, GO! Good luck!

From the Coach’s Corner, here are 30 Time Management, Stress Reducing Skills

“The best morale exist when you never hear the word mentioned. When you hear a lot of talk about it, it’s usually lousy.” 

-Dwight D. Eisenhower 


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at 

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.