Last year I was pleasantly surprised when my teenager was taught as part of her school curriculum: “Women’s empowerment and increased participation in the workforce is making a great difference in the atmosphere at workplaces, women bring empathy, tact and a different point of view to traditionally male-dominated spaces and make them better places”.
It could hardly have been said better. Women’s role in creating a positive ambience is widely acknowledged. Earlier it used to be expressed as “It takes a woman to turn a house into a home” in traditional contexts. Nowadays, with women claiming their rightful place as equal citizens of the world, it is high time their contribution in the lives of all those they touch was acknowledged.
Here is a compendium of life skills women bring to their homes, their workplaces, their families and their friends:
The theme of commitment-centric women and commitment phobic men may have been the topic of comedies and farces, but in real life, it cannot be denied that this tenacity of women is what holds the world together. The capacity of women to commit—to a relationship, to a task, to a responsibility—is phenomenal, and is the reason that it is usually women who put in the maximum effort to turn around bad situations and relationships.
Home—kids—family—workplace—colleagues—social commitments—and holding it all together in the midst of the madness: can you see anyone but a woman managing to do it? How many fathers can cook dinner, do the ironing, attend to a work call and supervise the kids’ homework, all at the same time? Even at work, most women simultaneously manage to supervise their kids long distance and manage the house, while doing their work impeccably! The smooth running of homes and workplaces owes a lot to women’s flair for multitasking.
The ability to see the other person’s point of view is something that is innate to most women. What if they don’t like something or someone, they can usually understand where they are coming from and make allowances for interpersonal differences. This is a skill that stands them in good stead while managing people and situations, both at home and in the workplace.
While nine men out of ten are focused solely on outcomes in any situation, be it personal or professional, it is women who bring the healing touch to a problem by their understanding and compassion, and consideration for the other person. The age old expression ‘The situation calls for a woman’s touch’ is a testimony to the miracles wrought by women because of their consideration.
Women are blessed with caring and compassion in abundance and can empathize with anyone in trouble, whether or not they are emotionally connected to them. In most homes, for instance, if someone is in trouble or has a problem, they are more likely to seek out mom, sister or grandmother, rather than dad or grandpa, even though they could have solved the problem just as well. In offices too, people with problems gravitate towards female colleagues and seniors. In customer relations-intensive industries such as banking, hospitality, tourism, event management etc., in HR departments of corporates, women are generally much more successful than men. This is because women’s caring comes from their heart.
Who forgives kids for every bit of trouble, worry, insolence, and misbehavior? Mom! Who lets bygones be bygones in a husband-wife quarrel and gives the relationship a fresh start? The wife! Who smoothes over misunderstandings and hurts in the extended family and in the workplace, and makes reconciliations possible? The mother/ wife/ daughter/ daughter-in-law/ female boss/ female colleague. In other words, women! With their immense capacity to forgive, women inspire others to follow their example and bring about peace.
For sheer courage and determination, it is tough to find women’s equal. “The female of the species is deadlier than the male” is a tribute to this quality in women. Be the circumstances or situations ever so grim—whether at home or in the workplace—women can be confidently expected to come out on top through sheer grit and their ‘never say die’ spirit. Tales of women who have overcome enormous obstacles and brought impossible situations to successful conclusions are the stuff of legend and song!
Respect is the foundation of all good relationships. It creates goodwill and brings positivity to any situation. It makes good situations better and eases resolution of conflicts. And women almost have the copyright on respect. Maybe it is the racial memories of being downtrodden over the centuries that make women strong on respect—both in terms of respecting others and getting respect themselves. And the world becomes a better place as more and more people imbibe this life skill from women.
9. Stress Management
When there is a crisis to be managed—at home or in office—who are the people thinking things over with a common sense perspective and finding practical workable solutions? Who defuses the stress with a kind word, an empathetic nod, a word of encouragement and a dose of positivity? The women, of course! Along with their multitasking abilities, the knack of defusing stress makes women truly formidable problem solvers.
10. Unconditional Love
What is the one attribute—the master quality, so to say—that makes women what they are? What drives their other life skills of empathy, sensitivity, consideration, unmatched courage, and determination? What is the motivation behind their relentless capacity to multitask, defuse stress and bring joy and ease to everyone and everything around them? It is their endless capacity for unconditional love. When a woman takes ownership of any situation, person, family or task, she gives it her all. She doesn’t stop to ask questions about what the other person is bringing to the table. She goes all out and is capable of spanning seemingly impossible odds to accomplish what she set out to do. If more people in the world could take a leaf from their book, the world would be a much more positive place.
So here’s to honouring women the world over—Happy Womens’ Day!
Give this article a read, if you still can't figure out how to treat yourself this women's day.