Did you know that there was a time when women ruled world? When most revered figures were females: goddesses, empresses, and mothers. but Three thousand years ago, vast majority of humanity abandoned goddesses for gods as our ancestors settled and developed agriculture. This was end of direct female domination. Or was it? Thanks to their formidable inner-strength and to their unflinching determination, women soon started to develop their very own talent to get what they desired, be it a husband, a child, wealth, a house, and more. Women understood early on that reaching their goals was far more important than path they took to get to them. Women understood before time that they should never let men feel they lost face or have been manipulated. Women fundamentally knew that men needed to believe they were responsible for their success to fully enjoy it. Women have always been aware that confrontation was not way to victory (ultimately).
How do these secularly developed techniques translate into today’s world? How can we thrive in today’s macho business environment?
There are several ways to succeed. They might all be combined, or they can exist individually...,which makes it fairly easy in end to succeed in a macho world!
MyPrivateCoach conducted a survey where we asked 256 people if they agreed or not on 8 statements and results are exciting! (With a 50/50 men to women ratio.) The vast majority of women think they need to behave like men to be successful whereas men believe that what makes a woman successful is actually her femininity!
Just before sharing results, Let one of our surveyed people, Rebecca, sum up fine line women are walking on when doing business in a macho world: “If women are strong, they are ball busters, and if they show any weakness or softness, they are little girls trying to play in a man’s world.”
-1- Use feminine attributes (Men: 90% - Women: 25%)
Interestingly enough (and should I say, as expected), men and women are absolutely not in agreement on this statement. Little girls’ education gives us some undeniable advantages to compete in a dominantly male group or company: better communication skills, better empathy with colleagues and clients and most importantly, better cooperation and better understanding of modus operandi of our work mates. We also have a body, a way of expressing our femininity, which men believe we try to hide more often than we should. This is even truer since lawsuits against sexual harassment started to take off. However, businessmen are begging us: be yourself! You can dress professionally and in all your femininity without being provocative. Be a woman and be proud of it (keep in mind though that a little pinch of perceived vulnerability won’t hurt a bit). Yet, I do notice that many female executives and CEO (still too rare) in software, legal, banking and high-tech industry wear rather conservative suits (usually pants) and short hair cut... maybe something to think about…is this reason for their success? Or are they trying to avoid despising comments like: “I know how she climbed ladder, short skirt and sexy attitudes”.
-2- Talk about facts, not feelings (Men: 95% - Women: 30%)
Again, it all goes back to our childhood games and women tend to give more weight to non-tangible elements than facts in a business relationship. While this attitude can be a great sales closing tool, more often than not, it will hamper our efforts in day-to-day corporate world. Strive at not letting your emotions take over facts. Do not take things personally. When you foresee your feelings may prevent you from considering facts straight or negotiating successfully, sit back, relax and reformulate your thoughts and ideas in a logical and rational way. Rather than saying: "I like this idea", try to (think) and say: "This idea will work because X YZ logical reason or marketing reason that we know about this audience". This will make wonders in a male/female business relationship. If we look at what men and women think about this statement, we get an enormous gap! Almost all men agree on fact that facts matter! Women don’t seem to realize how much of a showstopper “facts vs. emotions paradigm” is.