The business and corporate world is full of its own particular customs and behaviours, some of which you know even before you start and others that you learn over time — and sometimes the hard way. Every aspiring business woman needs to learn these, and among them: how to work with business men. Here is a simple guide:
1. Don’t try and be a man
The worst thing you can do is lose yourself in an attempt to ‘fit in’. You will start to lose your place in this world, in the workplace and end up being isolated by both men and women. Don’t try to be a man… be a woman. A strong, confident, savvy woman.
2. Men get the job done
This is their number one priority. They have a single minded focus on the task that needs to be completed and will see any unnecessary distractions as barriers to reaching that goal (under time and under budget). Don’t be that distraction. Be the woman who also gets the job done.
3. Men respect confidence
A man in business doesn’t like a pushover and they sure as hell won’t respect someone who is easily walked over. Men respect those who respect themselves. Be confident in your ideas, decisions and don’t back down in something you believe in purely because a man said no.
4. Say little but observe everything
Men are often known to be of few words. An “ok” to your idea in a meeting could actually be their way of saying “yes I love that idea lets implement it”. So don’t be offended by their lack of words to express how they feel. But don’t ever forget that just because they communicate with few words, they observe more than you might realise.
Yes they can see you wasting time gossiping, yes they can see you working back late, they also can see how conveyed you are too and these observations will strongly influence how they perceive you and treat you in business.
5. Don’t be emotional or personal
Business men aren’t your therapist or your best friend. Don’t spend 30 minutes complaining about a colleague, business associate or your hangover. They don’t want to deal with a crying woman on a regular basis, they just want to work. If you feel the need to talk, write it down, blog it. If you feel the need to cry, go to the bathroom, cry and come back ready to roll. These men are not your boyfriends or husbands… they are business men ready to do business with you.
6. Know what impresses them
Men are impressed with saving money and time or making money (all three is the trifecta!). So never come to them with a proposal that is just an idea. Make sure you’re clear about what’s in it for them. And don’t bring them a problem without also bringing them the suggestions for solutions.
Yep… egos. A male’s ego is one of the most delicate things in this world and also one of the hungriest. Men will surround themselves with whomever or whatever makes them look and feel better. (That’s why red sports cars exist.) So consider this when doing business with a man. If he knows that being associated with you makes him look good — or powerful — in his network then you’re off to a good start.