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Stories & Thoughts 

Oxytocin boosts leadership - a female advantage?

Written for my work with t-three, this article takes a look at the recent rise and publicity of some of the best of our national leaders from around the world....who happen to be female.

Leadership is changing. In a world where we need to think obsessively about the biggest of pictures, work together to achieve sustainable success, and define our own lives in relation to getting the job done, people skills are at a premium.

If we need our governments and our leadership to continue to represent us, the people, we could take a few pointers from Finland, New Zealand, Germany, Taiwan, Norway, Denmark, or Iceland. The question now is

do women have a leadership advantage over their male counterparts due to a greater understanding and emotional and social competence?

The answer might lie with oxytocin, a hormone that’s particularly important for women. Women under stress exhibit a release of oxytocin, which is a key hormone involved in female reproduction, and also supports what social psychologist Shelly Taylor calls ‘tend and befriend’ behaviours. Greater levels of oxytocin lead to collaboration, which leads to being able to build strong powerful networks.

Research has shown that a culture lacking in empathy and compassion results in 30% less creativity, reduces work quality by 38%, and also leads to lower team morale. Another study found empathy to be

one of the most important drivers of overall performance.

Kim Campbell, Canada’s only ever female prime minister, said: “What we have to understand is that men are not the default category. Women are not a departure from what is normal. What we’re seeing in Finland is normal - having young women who see clearly what this change is going to mean for them.”

If you'd like to read the full article, please follow this link.

Samantha x


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