- The sad fact is, there are still a lot of misogynistic jerks out there who think women aren’t cut out to be really successful in business.
Sadder still, is that a lot of women agree with that sentiment, and they run and hide from opportunities to shine as an entrepreneur. And then you have other women who try their damndest to act like a man so they can be successful, which they interpret as being domineering, nasty and cutthroat.
The truth is that you can be a woman and fully embrace your feminine qualities, as you lead your business to greatness. And there are a lot of fantastic men in the business world who will appreciate this, and ask you how they can incorporate some of your natural-born tendencies into the way they do business. I am surrounded by wonderful men like this, and some of them are currently paying me for my business insights.
Here is the very un-politically-correct way I see it: men and women are different, and they have different strengths. To pretend otherwise is silly, and it prevents us from learning great things from each other.
What can men gain from female entrepreneurs?
- More finely tuned emotional intelligence. Women tend to be better at reading facial cues and body language, and understanding the motivations of others.
- Prioritizing life balance and community contribution, rather than thinking solely about profit. I’m all for making money (and lots of it!) but as I’ve said before, true success is measured on multiple bottom lines.
- Vulnerability and empathy. Women are more easily able to tap into their emotions and be authentically warm and empathetic. This draws people to them, and naturally builds trust.
- Collaborative approaches. Whereas men might tend to lead by controlling with a strong, single vision, women are more likely to appreciate the different strengths brought together by a team, and encourage new ideas.
And women can learn a lot from successful men in business:
- Focus. True multi-tasking is a myth, and while women can be great at juggling a lot, your business will benefit from developing a keen sense of focus on the task at hand.
- Thinking big. While women are starting more businesses than men these days, they tend to keep them small, either being solopreneurs or only having a few staff. Men are more likely to have visions of changing the world.
- Efficiency. Women love giving context, sharing long-winded stories, and enjoying lengthy conversations about new ideas. Men like to get to the point. Both approaches have their place, but in a business meeting, efficiency is the way to go.
- Confidence. At a training event a year ago, I got feedback from people that I didn’t come across as being particularly confident, which surprised them because of the success I’ve had. To be honest, it surprised me too. But I’ve been working on that, and have come a long way. Men tend to exude more confidence, even when they don’t have as much to back it up.
Of course, these are massive generalizations. And there are a lot more than what I’ve listed here, but these are just a few of the important ones I’ve noticed. How about you–what do you think the big difference is between men and women when it comes to business?