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Understanding Our Strengths

By Barbara Annis via Gender Intelligence Series®
Volume 1, Issue 9

Men and women are different. We don’t see the same world when we look around us. We don’t hear the same thing when we are listening to the same words. And we don’t speak the same language.

What you might not know is how advantageous men’s and women’s differences really are – for all businesses, everywhere. The big challenge in today’s working world is to create an environment where both men and women flourish – understanding our strengths. The way to do that is simple. Learn what men’s and women’s special strengths are, and work out how to put them to use. Men and women have different approaches to almost all day-today activities at work. Both can be valuable. Sometimes the women’s approaches will get better results. Sometimes the men’s approaches will. The key is flexibility. You have to understand what the differences are, and how each approach can work to advantage in a given situation.

Here are ten areas where men and women’s approaches and working styles differ. Learn to spot these differences and use them to your advantage. You’ll be amazed at the results.

Management Styles
Women typically have a consensus-driven style that focuses on creating relationships as much as achieving specific objectives. Women tend to be inclusive in their approach to managing. They stay the course until they achieve consensus, making sure they get everyone’s opinion before they make a decision. Women also tend to direct others by making suggestions.

Men managers usually see their job as getting everyone else onboard. They often make a decision before consulting others. Then they try to convince others to subscribe to their vision. Men’s style is typically oriented towards meeting an objective. “Let’s just get it done,” men say. Men tend to direct by telling others what to do, as opposed to suggesting a course of action. Each gender should look to the other for input when faced with different business challenges.

The Benefits of Both Approaches
Women’s collaborative approach to managing is extremely effective for brainstorming and coming up with creative new ideas. Yet men’s style is probably more effective in emergency situations, when a decision absolutely must be made and carried out quickly. The point is not that only women should brainstorm and only men should get things done. Each gender should learn to look to the other for input when faced with different business challenges. Read full article>>