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  • Does this sound like your organization?

  • Coworkers see each other not as colleagues

  • but as cutthroat competitors.

  • Bravado, extreme work hours, and unreasonable risks

  • are rewarded.

  • And expressing emotion, especially doubt,

  • is a sign of weakness.

  • If those sound familiar, your workplace

  • could have what researchers call a masculinity contest culture.

  • And these contests can be a sign of serious

  • organizational dysfunction.

  • Not only do they leave women out in force

  • them to play in a rigged system of ridiculous rules,

  • they also short circuit teamwork, decrease innovation,

  • and hurt the bottom line with employee turnover or harassment

  • lawsuits.

  • Researchers found four masculine norms

  • that correlate strongly with organizational dysfunction.

  • One-- show no weakness.

  • Swagger and overconfidence suppress vulnerability,

  • uncertainty, and tenderness.

  • Two-- strengthen stamina.

  • Even in white-collar jobs, physical strength

  • and athleticism are prized and endurance is proven

  • by working late into the night.

  • Three-- put work first.

  • Commitment to the organization comes before all else,

  • leaving no room for family, breaks, or balance.

  • And four-- dog-eat-dog, a culture

  • where more masculine winners defeat losers

  • in a zero-sum game and trust is scarce.

  • Masculinity in these workplaces is under constant threat.

  • It must be repeatedly defended, leading

  • to even more toxic behavior.

  • So how do you change these cultures?

  • By putting mission over masculinity.

  • The key here is leveraging the right goals and values.

  • A healthier culture will follow.

  • For example, focus on innovation.

  • A leader could point out that innovation only

  • thrives when people feel psychologically safe to take

  • risks and share new ideas.

  • And this is only possible in a culture

  • without counterproductive masculine norms.

  • Next, when people regularly work late

  • or laugh at offensive jokes, leaders

  • need to dispel the misconception that everyone

  • endorses such behaviors and publicly reject these norms.

  • And most importantly, leaders must walk the talk.

  • Reward people for supporting each other,

  • call out misconduct, allow others to voice dissent,

  • and model respectful behaviors.

  • Only when mission comes first can real

  • change take place, sending masculinity contests culture

  • into the past, where it belongs.

Does this sound like your organization?

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B2 US masculinity masculine culture innovation organizational dysfunction

The Explainer: 4 Signs That Masculinity Contests Are Holding Back Your Company

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    jbsatvtac1 posted on 2019/08/15
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