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Women better at using soft skills crucial for effective leadership: Hay Group Survey

Women score higher than men on nearly all emotional intelligence competencies that are important for leadership and superior business performance.

(Photo: Reuters)

Women score higher than men on nearly all emotional intelligence competencies that are important for effective leadership and superior business performance, according to a survey by  Hay Group, a division of organisational and people advisory firm Korn Ferry.

The research by Hay Group also shows a correlation between levels of emotional intelligence displayed by a leader and employment period of the team members.

Leaders with strong emotional intelligence create conditions that inspire team members to stay and contribute to the organisation long-term, the survey says.

"The data suggests a strong need for more women in the workforce to take on leadership roles," says Goleman, Co-Director of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations at Rutgers University.

"When you factor in the correlation between high emotional intelligence and those leaders who deliver better business results, there is a strong case for gender equity. Organisations must find ways to identify women who score highly on these competencies and empower them," he adds.

The survey, which collected data from  55,000 professionals in 90 countries, also says that the greatest difference between men and women can be seen in emotional self-awareness and women are 86 per cent more likely to use this competency than men.

Similarly, women are 45 per cent more likely than men to be seen as demonstrating empathy consistently, the survey says, but when it comes to positive outlook, only 9 per cent more women are likely to exhibit the skill consistently than men.

Women are also better than men in other competencies like coaching and mentoring, influence, inspirational leadership, conflict management, organisational awareness, adaptability, teamwork and achievement orientation, the survey says.

However, according to the survey, emotional self-control is one skill where both genders rate equally.


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