With so much talk about equality and parity in business, women have tried to engage in negotiations and business development like men. But more and more, it’s becoming clear that women don’t have to act like men in order to succeed in business. What’s more, women are finally being recognized for their unique perspectives, thoughtfulness, and attention to detail in business. So rather than try to sit at the table with men and act like men, women tend to have their own effective approach to business. Here’s how.
Women Consider All Sides
Women are incredibly adept at seeing both sides of an argument. Whether women have developed this skill through wrangling arguing siblings on the home front or through corporate experience, women have a very empathetic way of approaching issues that men simply don’t. And hey, if it’s okay to stereotype women and say that they don’t have the ambition or outgoing nature of men, then it’s okay to say that women are empathetic in a way that men are not.
Women Ask the Right Questions
Because women have a unique ability to pay attention to the details related to a business deal, they are more likely to see the issues ahead of time. Men may be more eager to get started and may miss information that could make all the difference – and make everyone’s lives easier – whereas women are more likely to comb through the details and ask questions that lead to further understanding and collaboration between groups.
Women Take Responsibility
Women are more likely to admit when they are wrong and take responsibility for the issues that may have risen as a result of the work they have been doing. This is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it is a sign that women are more responsible and dependable because despite having made a mistake, are usually quite capable of making the situation right again very quickly.
Women Are Really Doing it All
While society likes to place a lot of pressure on women to be all things to all people, has anyone noticed that many women are “all things to all people” in their lives? Women are not only the homemakers and child rearers anymore, but they are also business owners, corporate ladder climbers, politicians, change agents and forces to be reckoned with.
Organization Skills Abound
Women have always been known for their ability to get and stay organized. Whether its running calendars for 4 children at home or working with 40 executives in a major corporation, women can get things done and move the pieces effectively. From working in a small co-working space or heading up a Fortune 500 company, women just know how long things take and have the confidence to move forward without knowing all of the information. While you might think that men are more adept at jumping in with only 60% of the information, women are doing it just as much.
Don’t Talk Down to Her
One of the fastest ways to lose ground in your business is to talk down to a woman because she is a woman. Unconscious biases are strong these days, especially with diversity and inclusion being a hot topic, but that doesn’t mean that the hot topic helps to eliminate the bias. It just shines a light on how much men are still working around women instead of working with them. So if you want to get ahead, include more women at the table and give them the freedom to make your company great. If you assume anything about a woman’s ability to negotiate or run a company based on the fact that she’s a woman, you’ll be found sorely mistaken.
Women are Stronger Together
Men prefer to have the old boys’ club to get things done and to keep women on the outskirts of whatever business deal is going down. Women, on the other hand, are more like an open book. They share more on social media, invite more collaborators to the table, are more likely to ask for help when they need it, and are more likely to lift other women businesses owners or corporate colleagues up instead of cutting them down – a practice that has hung on for far too long. Savvy women understand that more can be accomplished when we work together than when we stand apart.
Women Prefer to Take their Time
While it is true that women can hold their own with the best of the men in business, there is less and less focus on needing to do that. With the recognition and celebration of how women engage in business, fewer women are feeling the need to play with the big boys and are striving to do things their own way, however long it takes. Women receive on average less funding, venture capital investments, and government supports than men do, and it’s because they are happy to take their time working to build businesses from the ground up.
So the next time you see a woman who is doing her thing in business, give her the space she needs to get things done. Support her and admit that there are probably some things you can learn from her to improve your own practices in business, whether you are a woman or a man. Gone are the days when women have to pretend to be tough and businessman-like. Business woman are very real and very accomplished and luckily, they are starting to stand proud as the people they have become.