Gender differences and how to make it work at work
Men and women view work, tasks, relationships, and each other very differently. But men and women can get along, and when they do combine their collective strengths there is no better team or coalition anywhere. That was the message Dr. Laura Woodhouse brought to the PMCQ breakfast meeting last April 19th. The question is how do we understand those differences and make the necessary adjustments?
Women are inclined to right brain (creative) thinking and men left brain or linear thinking. According to Dr. Woodhouse, to communicate more effectively, be innovative, increase overall creativity to improve the bottom line, it is important to manage a mix of both to become more lateral in our thinking.
It takes only small adjustments to limit discomfort and ensure that “conflict” is creative and constructive.
1. Women must not try to “lead like a man”. A woman aping the male style will lose all connection and influence with both men and women.
2. Men can learn “active listening skills” from watching women with other women and men, acknowledging all viewpoints as valid. This will increase the comfort level of women in an organization.
3. Women must ask for what works for them. Women need to be clear and direct (as much as possible) if they feel offended or discounted and indicate what can be done differently in the way of a response.
4. Women need to take direct credit for their work and men can benefit tremendously by giving credit where credit is due and by sharing credit.
5. Women need to ask fewer questions, “act confident” and ensure that they are being perceived as competent.
6. Both men and women can learn by observing themselves, and observing themselves being observed by each gender! Brilliant leaders manage to make both women and men feel both comfortable and important.
By Linda Miller
Small Dog Communications
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