I think it’s an understatement to say that Men and Women think differently than one another. Early in my career I observed a few things about men and when working with them. I knew that if I understood how they interacted and then acted in a way that was familiar to them, my odds were better that I’d have the same opportunities in the workplace as them. Men don’t read too much into words. They are not afraid to tell people what they think and they do so without linking the conversation to an emotion. Where many women I knew where afraid to ask for promotions or raises, men had absolutely no issue with it but at the same time, if it weren’t possible, they didn’t seem to be as emotionally impacted by the decision. Men simply tend to be good at representing themselves in what they say, do, and need without bringing emotion into the equation.
On more than a few occasions, I’ve heard men discussing a business project where there was a significant difference of opinion with each of them yelling to get their point across to each other. I saw these same men shake hands at the end of the discussion and then proceed to go out to lunch together. They could easily agree to disagree. I have never seen a woman yell at or be yelled at by anyone else in a similar situation do the same. There is a lesson in this to be learned from the male playbook. Anything in conversations having to do with work is not PERSONAL so don’t let it be.
While building my career, I noticed that men were a great deal more facts and figures focused in their decision-making processes. Simply verbalizing my ideas wouldn’t be enough to get them approved. If I wanted approval, I knew I needed to present my idea along with strong data points supporting it and show a roadmap for success. At the end of my presentation, I would include a “what’s in it for them” statement whether that was making their department more efficient, saving them time, and/or increasing the company’s bottom line profitability. By allowing me to shine, they would shine. If asking for an increase in pay, I wouldn’t provide details concerning my personal reasons why I needed a raise but rather tied it back to market data on pay for people in my role at companies similar to the one where I worked. Facts always speak louder than words and particularly so when working with men.