We’re in the same room – but are we doing the same thing?

A copy of my article published in the Sunday Times of Malta today

Julila Mcdaid article in Sunday Times Networking, for many, is a fundamental part of their business life. Whether they like it or    not.    And some do really love it, others tolerate it and some are overwhelmed. So does it make a difference whether you are a man or a woman?

I can remember way back when in the days when I was a young accountant, I used to go to business networking events and they could be pretty stuffy. The attendees were mainly men in suits. I got quite used to being a woman in a man’s world.

But is that what it’s all about? Is networking a man’s game?

Traditionally business networking certainly was a man’s game, things like the Masons, Rotary, Lions Clubs and so on were men only. And it’s not so long ago that the same applied to golf clubs, yacht clubs and similar places.

That’s not to say that only men networked, you would see men networking at these business groups as well as in the coffee shops, at the golf club, the sports club and so on. And the women would be networking at the shops, in each other’s houses, at school and more recently in places like the gym or spa.

Over the years though business has changed, it’s much more open and mixed so you have to play things differently. As a result many organisations have opened up and are much more balanced between men and women. And of course there are also women only networking groups too.

So how does it all affect you as a business person when you want to network?

Well the thing is we are different. We’re all human beings and all business people but the masculine and feminine think and act differently.

Just as in sales it pays to understand the customer and speak their language, so it is in networking. At the end of the day it’s a all about communication, so the better you can understand how to communicate with different people the more effective you can be.

So don’t limit yourself to only half the marketplace, make sure you can connect with both and so maximise your target audience.

And the way to do this is to understand how we do it differently so that you can then adjust and communicate to the other half of the room. None of us can expect the others to communicate like we do, men are more direct with fewer words, whereas women like to chat. Women naturally read non verbal signs better, men are naturally more competitive and look for recognition.

 

We perceive it differently

We tend to have different priorities generally, men do what they need to do to succeed, including being where they need to be and putting in long hours, its built into who they are. Women typically have other priorities and want more a flexible business.

And we define it differently too. Men call anything networking where they could get business, whether it be golf, a formal networking event or whatever. Women on the other hand call all non official networking events, socialising. So to them voluntary groups, school meetings, sports etc is social and not networking (even if they are networking without realising it).

We also often have different business goals and reasons for being in business, which will affect our networking goals and so the way we network.

We are made differently

As you would expect women tend to display more feminine traits and men more masculine traits. So when they are networking women are often better listeners, more likely to actually hear what is said. They want to collaborate so are looking to work together. And they will place a premium on relational aspects of networking, feeling that it is important to get to know fellow attendees.

Men typically are problem solvers and tend to be task oriented and will likely also be interested in status.

We may be looking for different things, the women are often looking beyond just the networking, the men are on a mission, they have a plan and a strategy. They are there for a reason and want to achieve what they set out to do.

These differences are also noticeable in terms of preparing for networking when new to it. Whilst men have a tendency to want to learn to do things on their own, so will dive in to networking and learn on the fly. Whereas a woman is more likely to learn some skills before she goes.

Build on the differences

The bottom line is we are the same but different. We see things differently, are motivated by different things and have different targets. As a result the way we approach networking varies, not only between individuals but between men and women.

If we take the time to understand and learn from each other, we can utilise this information to improve our own networking and communication skills, and ultimately our business results.

 

First published in the Sunday Times of Malta on 22 February 2015. Copyright Julia Mcdaid – author

 

Are YOU A Fascinating Female Entrepreneur?

Talk about your business, calling all female entrepreneursOne of the things that became clear to me when I was reviewing last year and setting my intentions for 2014 was that I wanted to talk to more female entrepreneurs.

As well as regular coaching, I have done quite a few Business Strategy Sessions with women entrepreneurs and I always enjoy hearing about their business and their journey.

Sometimes it leads to us deciding to work together, sometimes its just a good conversation. It doesn’t really matter, either way I enjoy the chat and I can still support them and give some suggestions for next steps.

So I have decided to create a slot where I can chat to other female entrepreneurs and find out about their business. And hopefully I can also give a few pointers to take them forward as well.

I am also looking at doing some interviews with female entrepreneurs, particularly those who are following their heart in their business and using things like intuition as business tools.

So watch this space for more information as these ideas develop, and if you feel interested in either a chat to me and some guidance for your business, or taking part in an interview then please let me know directly.

I am looking forward to this, I think it will get quite exciting!

If you would like to schedule a Strategy Session just send an email to ss @ ae8.biz to arrange a complimentary chat.

The Benefits of Using Feminine Qualities and Values in Your Business

In 2013, it is estimated that that 12.4 million businesses are owned by women and that 45.7% of those are highly successful. This is far beyond the average, so how are they doing it? We had a look at some of our favourite female business owners and had a look at how they grew their businesses and some of the qualities and values they possessed.

Successful women stay feminineAll of these women were highly passionate about their businesses. A traditionally feminine trait, passion is a fantastic tool for business as it gives you the fire to succeed.

They were humble, yet willing to learn. Women running businesses is a relatively new phenomenon, a lot of them start with humble backgrounds and are eager to learn and improve themselves.

They get to know their fellow workers. They network and gain acceptance from their peers when moving up the career ladder compared to a lot of their masculine counterparts. This allows them to get on and get on better with their employees when they are running their business.

They ask and collaborate. Their feminine qualities mean that they are quicker to ask for help and collaborate more easily, whether they are the leader or otherwise. This means that they can often learn quicker and complete complicated tasks easier.

They let others lead occasionally. Those with more feminine qualities delegate easier and allow the power to be passed down through the organisation to allow others to be in charge when required. The key to this is being able to listen to their leadership team and react to the situation accordingly.

They are more self aware. A more feminine business leader is more attuned as to how their colleagues view them. They tend to be less aggressive, more approachable and more likely to help.

They are more open to improving a workplace social culture. This allows their employees and their talents to be supported and grow more efficiently. This has a knock on effect on the positivity of the company in general.

They focus on others as well as themselves. Feminine business owners don’t just focus on themselves and their business. They focus on team building and developing a positive, faithful workforce.

Together, the qualities and values demonstrated above show how most women, and some enterprising men, use the power of femininity to improve their business and help it grow. What values will this article inspire you to tap into? Can you harness your inner feminine and improve your business too?

The World is Shifting to Feminine

There is a lot of talk around these days about the world changing, and a part of that is the thought that there is a rise in feminine energy.

Feminine world

The thinking is that for a number of centuries this world we live in has been dominated by the masculine energy, which is the cause of the wars and conflict. Masculine energy having competitiveness and a need for power, being very driven, and an underlying aggression. Yet over recent years there has been a rise in feminine energy, a move towards wanting a peaceful world, towards collaboration and connection, a more compassionate and inclusive place to live.

We are probably all aware that we have both masculine and feminine energies within us, and I personally see an increase in women connecting with their inner feminine and who they really are. There is a quiet revolution going on and the world Is slowly changing. We see more women appointed as leaders around the world, there are more women in sports, politics, business. And men too are connecting to their feminine side, we see more creativity, more openness, it is acceptable to express emotion, cry even, they happily look after children.

Obviously we all need a balance of both energies to thrive, both as individuals and in our businesses. There is though a growth in the feminine side even in business, more connecting, cooperation, unity, imagination and intuition, right brain if you like. We are coming back to balance.

I’d love to hear your views

(just for the avoidance of doubt we’re not talking feminism, nor am I saying either energy is better or worse than the other)