With the recent events in the media, I can imagine you’re a little confused. I feel for you. How can you authentically and naturally interact with women without concern you’ll offend? What words can you use? What actions can you take?
What does it mean when a woman asks you for “support”?
There is professional protocol in business, and most of us do our best to follow that. However, men and women interact very differently—and most of the time we’re totally unaware of that. What happens when we unintentionally slight someone, offend or hurt them? Especially in the workplace.
Here is a list of things I’d like you to consider. How often do you:
- Thank women regularly for their contribution.
- Praise women for their competence and a job well-done.
- Ask open questions to understand a problem, before offering a solution.
- Say you’ll jump in and help on something.
- Ask if anyone needs coffee or water before a meeting starts.
- Refer to a female colleague in a meeting as a “go-to expert.”
- Give credit in a public forum, “Susan had a great idea when we talked last.”
- Use names when you’re speaking about or to women.
- Ask questions, like, “I’d like to offer specific support, what can I do?”
- Follow through with what you say you’re going to do.
If you’re doing all of these things, women in your organization most likely respect you and enjoy working with you. If you’re doing some of these things, you will be seen as harmless. If you’re doing none of them, I can guarantee women have a problem with you.
Luckily, I’m offering you a complimentary webinar full of “how-to’s” to keep you from making these mistakes, and better yet, to help you turn into a superstar team player that all women will want to work with and for.
The session will explain the differences in men and women’s communications styles. The meaning behind words like “support.” You’ll learn the secrets to advocating for your female colleagues, how to work in mixed teams most effectively, how to read non-verbal signs, and what to do when women are upset.
I guarantee you’ll improve your relationships with women in all aspects of your life and work.
A version of this post was first published on LinkedIn.