From a male perspective, what are some ways women can more effectively work together with men on a team?
And let's not forget about one of the most successful books ever printed about communication between men and women and how to improve it: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by John Gray. The information and advice contained in this book can be applied to all male/female relationships -- including in the workplace!
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I'm new to the forum. This is an interesting topic - one I wished I was more aware of when I was first starting out. Work would have been easier!
I've found that there are indeed male and female differences at work. The women I've worked with want to like the people they work with. Men couldn't care less as long as the job gets done. Women tend to think that doing the job well will get them the promotion. Women, more than men, don't understand there isn't an "I" in team when it comes to corporate behaviour. Men are more likely to believe they need to play the game - wear clothes, pretend they're successful and confident when they aren't.
Then there's the whole issue of communication - head nodding while listening being a frequent source of communication error.
While understanding male/female differences is important, they weren't my biggest obstacle to high performance. Most of the frustrations I had weren't male/female differences, they were actually personality differences. Since I've discovered the Enneagram of Personality, I've had a much easier time understanding other people and working with them.
While there are a few things I don't agree with, I've found the descriptions are accurate as to how they apply to business associates, family and friends and how they react to stress, their fears, motivations and values.
More importantly, I've been much better able to persuade and work with people as a result of this learning.
Hopefully the Enneagram will help you as well.
I think certain workplaces are set up to allow men an automatic confidence as they step into a position, whereas women sometimes have to come in feeling extra confident in order to earn the same respect. I can't really speak from experience here though. I'd say in general, I don't believe that 'confidence' is a gender-specific attribute.
I'm curious as to what others think of this question: In general, in the workplace, do you think:
1) Men are more confident than women
2) Women are more confident than men
3) Men and women are about equal in the confidence department
If you answer with either 1 or 2, what have you observed that leads you to your conclusion?
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I would tend to agree with you Alan. I try to assess people individually, rather than on the basis of gender. Though as a woman, confidence is something we have to make sure we have in check when we're dealing with men, because I agree that men see a lack of confidence as a weakness. And no matter who you're dealing with, it helps to point out what's in it for them.
I would love to hear others share their take on this topic.
Especially if you have a different perspective from what I shared.
Earlier I said that there are some general differences between how women and men communicate at work. Here are two:
1) Women are more apt to collaborate, pull others in the conversation, share credit. Some male colleagues will interpret this as lack of confidence and leadership. I would say, that's their problem; they are missing the point.
2) Women tend to apologize more often. When interacting with men at work, it often helps to simply acknowledge a point being made, without overtly apologizing in any way.
Such as: "Bob, you make an interesting point." Then move the conversation on.
What a great question!
I have a different take on this subject from what I generally hear from other coaches and speakers.
While I believe that there are some general differences in how men and women communicate and behave in the workplace (and elsewhere), men and women are more alike than different, in terms of your question.
The broad answer to your question, is to learn about "personality styles." For instance, when communicating with a "Driver" style, (whether they are a woman or man) you want to be direct, highly confident/assertive, and as succinct as possible.
An excellent resource to learn more is People Styles At Work by husband and wife team Robert Bolton and Dorothy Grover Bolton. Also see The Platinum Rule by Tony Alessandra.
I think this approach is more effective than the shotgun approach of communicating differently based upon gender.
And here's the ultimate thing to keep in mind regarding relationships and communication at work and beyond:
The "WIFFM Factor:" What's In It For Me?
In my seminars and keynotes, I almost always refer to or emphasize this principle: If you appeal to the other persons self-interest, you will connect with them and be able to lead them in the direction you want to take them...because they want to go in that direction!
When we help someone else get more of what they want, they feel connected to us. We also will engage the principle of reciprocation. The person we are helping will be more receptive to going the extra mile for us when we ask something of them.
Forum members, what are your thoughts on this? We would love to hear from you.
I'd love to hear that too. I am having some frustrations right now at work, and it's interesting that they are with all the "males" who are top VP's of the company.
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