The workplace should be a place of equality. Decisions should not be made that factor in race, gender or creed. Yet the workplace is not yet a perfect world. While we should do everything we can to combat the inequalities that still take place in the workplace we also have to learn how to deal with the current situation. Here are some tips from a high ranking corporate woman on how to deal with men in the workplace.
The fact is that men and women are different. We grew up differently. Generally speaking (of course not everyone fits this description) men were out fighting their friends and we were being nice to ours. These differences in behavior have led men to be used to always trying to establish dominance in conversations and meetings. Each man more closely resembles a monkey desiring to be head of the tribe. While women tend to be kinder and more caring about the other person in a conversation. Usually, women enter a meeting looking for compromise and an outcome that suits everyone. When these two approaches meet, the woman often gives way to the man. Women need to enter the meeting vying for dominance as well. Bring plenty of facts to support any argument and beat men at their own game.
Be nice, but not too nice
As women, we sometimes tend to censor ourselves in the workplace. We avoid asking questions or disagreeing with someone as we don’t want to seem too verbose. However, over time, this can lead women to be seen as lacking an opinion or being weak. Picture your office. I am sure there is a guy there who always shares his opinion and it is useless. Everyone knows it is useless yet they do perceive him as being strong, having an opinion and having courage. If you keep quiet for too long they will think less of you.
Talk like a woman
Sometimes we women can be guilty of playing up to our feminine ways to get what we want. We have a cute voice that men just want to help with. This actually does work from time to time but it never gains respect. Instead, learn to talk like a woman, not a girl, and get what you want.
The battle for equality rages on. Every day we make strides to improve things but we are not finished yet. In the meantime, we need to play the men’s game and beat them at it. This will see us at least recognized at their table. Don’t worry, someday that table will be ours, or at least a little more shared.