In a previous post, I looked at gender differences you should know about. This time, it’s tips about how to deal with those differences in the workplace:
- Take notice of those non-verbal signals by tapping into women’s intuition, i.e., the ability to notice small details and changes in the appearance or behaviour of others. By using this ability you can detect subtle mood and attitude changes in your team, colleagues and peers. At a meeting ask some of the females to summarise the feelings and emotions that are occurring, a very emotionally intelligent thing to do.
- Female and attending an interview for a management position? Wear a more masculine style of outfit. You have a better chance of being selected than if you dress in a more feminine outfit. Even if the interviewer is female!
- Male characteristics and values are largely responsible for driving people to the top of the organisation but feminine values are becoming the way to stay there, encouraging team work, interdependence and collaboration.
- Men have logical, problem-solving minds and often feel that there is no need to share their own problems with others. So with small problems males are best left alone to work them through. With big problems this inability to effectively problem solve and talk at the same time can lead to stress. Encourage male colleagues to talk about what is going on and see that it is a real strength to ask for help and not battle on their own. Interestingly women are happy to share their problems but don’t necessarily want advice but just to be listened to. So give female colleagues a listening ear.
- Closing business deals with direct, short, solution-focused sentences is where males thrive. Such direct speech can seem rude and abrupt in social settings. Using indirect speech or concentrating on building rapport is generally a natural female style. The ideal in business is maybe a duo of male and female, each complementing the other.
- To encourage male listening, give him an agenda and advance notice. This appeals to his logical side and makes him feel appreciated in terms of why you are meeting and his contribution to the agenda and solving the issue.
- If you are in the position of selecting a team or project group, a mix of males and females is best. This manages the competition amongst the men in terms of status and hierarchy, and maximises the harmony with the females. The blend of problem solvers and relationship builders can support and help each other to create a better end result.
Our genetics may determine our physiology but do remember that our up-bringing and any training and development will enable us to change, adapt and improve! Bear in mind too that our personality differences such as introversion and extraversion, can also emphasise and/or compensate gender differences. By acknowledging our differences we can embrace them!