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

 

Quotes For Women by Women

Successful women's quotesI’m sure like me you see all sorts of quotes posted these days, on social media or just as part of an article or something.

What I have realised though is that there are a lot of inspirational quotes from women who have been successful in their field. And many of these are also targeted at other women.

And as what I do is help women be successful I thought I might collate a few to share with you.

So here you are a selection of well known, and not so well known, quotes by women, and often for women as well.

I hope you enjoy them, and do let me know of any more!

Don’t just stand for the success of other women, insist on it.
Gail Blanke, President and CEO, Lifedesigns

Perseverance is failing nineteen times and succeeding the twentieth.
Julie Andrews

Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.
Mary Kay Ash

The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.
Ayn Rand

A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult
Melinda Gates

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough
Mae West

In all realms of life it takes courage to stretch your limits, express your power, and fulfill your potential.
Suze Orman

Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live
Anne Sweeney (President,Walt Disney)

A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.
Madonna

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.
Harriet Braiker

Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.
Barbara De Angelis

I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.
Virginia Rometty (CEO of IBM)

We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change. Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook)

Big doesn’t necessarily mean better. Sunflowers aren’t better than violets.
Edna Ferber

Remember, all the answers you need are inside of you; you only have to become quiet enough to hear them.
Debbie Ford

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
Harriet Beecher Stowe

Do you really want to look back on your life and see how wonderful it could have been, had you not been afraid to live it?
Carolyn Myss

These are just a selection of the many out there. Worth reading and contemplating though. There is plenty to think on .

How could you take some of these words and change the way you think or look at something? What difference could that make to you?

Why As Women Do We Have Trouble Receiving?

Women often struggle to receive in modern timesWhat is it about society today that has meant so many women have so much trouble just receiving?

Being able to receive is something we all have to accept as a part of life, yet it is so often very hard to do. In these days of independence and fending for yourself what stops us being open to offers of help, being able to accept and receive what is being offered/given to us?

All too often women are caught between being the giver, the one who does the looking after, and being independent, whether through need or cultural pressure. To the extent that they actually put up a good fight if help or gifts are offered, even driving away the person making the offer.

It sounds crazy yet many are only happy when they are doing the giving, whether it be time, expertise, favours, good deeds… even money for some

And all the time they take it for granted that what they have to offer will be received and accepted willingly. Why be happy to give and not receive?

I think there is a fear of vulnerability, or being seen as not good enough, not capable of doing everything for yourself, and a kind of need to prove that you are a survivor.

Yet naturally it is a part of our feminine role to be receptive, as well as nurturing and caring. wholeness and balance are in there too…. I think it is often something women have to relearn in this modern age, where culture has taken them off track.

Barbara Marx Hubbard has talked about building the feminine aspect of receptivity within us in order to join with the masculine aspect of genius that is also within each of us. As like everything it is all ultimately about balance.

And sadly I think too many of us are not living in balance

What are your experiences or thoughts?

Creating BIG Change Requires Taking BIG Action

by Ali Brown
Guest blogIt makes complete sense that entrepreneurship is so attractive to women right now. The traditional work model has never been a good fit for women, especially for those raising families (or waiting for our family to arrive ;)), so for us, being able to custom-design a business that fits the lifestyle we want is the ultimate dream.

But, being an entrepreneur requires one KEY quality: the willingness to take risks. And this is where I see many promising entrepreneurs and new business owners struggle. Especially women.

You see, when I mentor a client, she always starts out saying she is finally ready to step up and build a wildly profitable business.

Then, we get to the place where she is required to “take a risk”. Opportunity x lands right in her lap. And what often happens is—while she finds x exciting—she gets uncomfortable and starts to shrink back. ”I can’t spend that kind of money on x,” she says. Or, “I’m not ready for x yet.” Or “x is too big for little old me! Why don’t we start with y or z first?” Or, “x sound great, but let’s save it for next year.

This is not unusual, because honestly we are not programmed to “go for it”.

When we are born, we first crawl, then walk. In school, we go to grade one, grade two, grade three, and so forth. In college, we become freshmen, sophomores, juniors then seniors. In the working world, we start out as assistants and then we move up to managerial roles.

The problem is, this “grade school” way of thinking stays with us for life. And when you also add in the fact that essentially at a DNA level women are wired for safety, you can see why this becomes a big hurdle.

If you are ready to step up into a bigger purpose and make a big change in your life, this type of ladder-type thinking will defeat you. It feels safer, but in the end, it will get you nowhere. At the most, you may make a step in the right direction, but most often you’ll end up back where you started.

Big gains come from leaping—not ladder climbing. This will take some adjustment to your thinking.

To help my clients start thinking in “leaps”, I recommend they read autobiographies and biographies of big-thinking entrepreneurs like my friend Sir Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, and Bill Gates. One of my favorite stories is in Richard’s humorous autobiography, Losing My Virginity, in which he shares how he started Virgin Airlines. He sold seats on their first flight while still figuring out how they were going to get the plane. (Make your problems seem a bit more manageable?)

You’ll find that when these people came across big opportunities that were in line with their mission, they didn’t shy away. They jumped in all the way—even when the resources they needed to do so weren’t apparent yet.

Did you get that last part? They said YES even when they weren’t sure how they’d do it, where they’d get the money, or who could help them. And they found—sure enough as you will too—that when a big opportunity presents itself and you step up and say “yes”, and if you truly believe in your heart that this goal is yours, suddenly the universe seems to rearrange itself to help you.

And here’s the good news… You typically don’t have to go looking for these opportunities. They are usually right in front of you, or one will soon drop in your lap. Once you declare you are ready, your awareness is heightened, a shift occurs, something presents itself, and you will suddenly see the path to all that you and your business can be.

For example, I hear countless times from members who join my Elevate program that once they registered, suddenly the resources they needed to pay for their membership surfaced.

So, are you ready to be an entrepreneur? If your heart right now is shouting, “Yes!” make note now of the opportunities that are right in front of you.

For example:
– Do you know of a big new client you could land if you really pursued them?
– Are you aware of an accomplished mentor whom you could hire, or whose training or coaching program you could join?
– Do you need to dramatically raise your rates?
– Do you want to create a new income stream to increase your cash flow?
– Are you aware of a powerful event you could attend that could help fast-forward your success?
– Is there an influential person whom you know if you connected with could change your trajectory of success?

Listen up… make the call, register for the spot, place the ad, invest in training, book the trip, list out potential income streams—whatever that step is—and make that big move. All your rewards are waiting… if you’re ready to make the leap!

QUESTION: What makes you get uncomfortable and start to shrink back? How do you overcome those fears? Please share your comments below!

© 2013 Ali International, LLC
“Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com“

3 Inspirational Quotes About Authenticity – How to Be Yourself?

Today we welcome guest author Steve M Nash

What does authenticity even mean?

On the surface, it’s a simple question to answer. It means ‘being yourself’. Marvellous, guess we can all stop reading now…
Hang on. What does ‘being yourself’ actually mean? Aren’t we, by definition, always being ourselves?? (Quick answer: no!)

Well, that’s what I’d like to try and answer in this post. Obviously, I am a man so it would be inauthentic of me to write about your experiences as a woman. Which is okay, because I can’t really write about my experiences as a man, either – I can only really, with authenticity, write about my experiences as me (myself and I…)

Anyway, I’m going to enlist the services of 3 women, and their inspirational words – all of which relate to authenticity. And I’ll add my own reflections, often personal, to illuminate what I consider to be the elements of authentic living, elements of being yourself.

So here’s the first of those quotes right now:

 “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission!”
Eleanor Roosevelt

How can anyone – woman, man, girl or boy – live an authentic life if they are constantly being buffeted by the opinions of others? If someone utters those ‘magic’ hurtful words, such as (in my case) “you’re a pathetic, weak little man!” and these words ‘shake’ your world to ‘pieces’ then what sort of authentic world are you living in?

Other insults you might like to try out for size include… “You look fat in that dress!”, and “You’re just like your mother!” (And if you find my thoughts at what might insult you insulting you, please feel free… to be insulted by them!)

The fact is, other people’s thoughts about you are simply that: other people’s thoughts. Now if they resonate with you, if you actually believe these ‘hurtful’ words, then that’s something you can address. For yourself. (That’s the permission you’re giving to be offended, by the way – your tacit agreement with what’s being said.)

Yes, these words can help you grow as a woman, as a human being. I hope you can see that. Remember…

• Authentic living isn’t about everyone liking what we do.
• Authentic living isn’t about nothing going wrong.
• Authentic living isn’t about being perfect, either.

An authentic life comes to us simply by BEING who we are, in the moment, without comparing ourselves to anyone but ourselves, without trying to be someone else in case we offend.

And even those times when we think we’re being ‘less’ than we used to be then authenticity comes to the rescue by simply accepting such thoughts, in not trying to change ourselves, in being okay with what’s showing up for us.
So, what does this mean when it comes to being yourself? It means knowing yourself, and being okay with what you find.

Now it’s time for author Anais Nin to have her say:

 “How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself”

When I, a man, read these words from a woman whose wisdom I admire greatly (e.g. she’s the author of words like, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”) it challenges me as a human being to realise that my life is my responsibility.

I can seek out sexiness, for example, in my partner and I can seek out strength and support from her, too. But my quest for an authentic life has led me to the understanding that I must seek out these qualities in myself, first, for them to be triggered in my partner.

Quite literally, I’ll find what I’m looking for outside of me when I decide to look inside of me first.
Now maybe you’re not a woman who’s looking to a man (partner) to “build her world”. Maybe, instead, you’re looking for recognition from them, or encouragement, or even inspiration. I politely suggest that authentic living means either looking to yourself for these qualities or, better still, offering these qualities ‘out there’ to whomever you’re seeking them from.

This kind of thinking transforms lives; most importantly this kind of ‘being’ transforms your life!
As to being yourself? Well, it’s about recognising your own powers, your own strengths, rather than trying to recognise them in someone else.

Finally, we have Maya Angelou’s wonderful words on authentic living (a journey that clearly is challenging for women and men, both):

 “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”

What is your song, then, and do you sing it with as much originality of voice as you can muster? (Are you fully being the woman that YOU are? for example) Your song could be sung in the home, in the office, or within your relationships. It represents how YOU do life, whose rules you follow.

An imitation of a song is fine for many, it seems, but is it fine for you?
How much do you enjoy what you do in your life? How do you enjoy the roles that you play? And how much do you listen to your inner voice rather than that all-pervasive voice of ‘they’?

Can there be a better definition of being yourself than singing your song, whatever notes you end up making!
So, how often do you sing your own song?

Being yourself, then, seems to include the following: being okay to be you (and being okay with others not being you); understanding the responsibilities that come with being you; and, lastly, singing your own song…

Of course, this may not be what authenticity means to you. An authentic life may look very different through your eyes. Naturally, your definition is the one you should go with. Always…

Steve M Nash is editor of guru-free self-help site, SelfHelpCollective.com. And one of his favourite pages on the site is Patricia Lynne Reilly’s inspirational poem (about ‘female authenticity’) called Imagine a Woman (reprinted with permission). You can read it here

Why do I work with women and how is that different?

I was prompted to write this blog by a conversation I had at a networking event the other night. because I focus on working with women people often ask me why, and the truth of the matter is it’s not something I’ve ever done before in my life and I followed my heart.

What do I want to do?

So in many ways there isn’t any logical reason why I do what I do and the work I do with my clients is something I can obviously do with men and with women, but what I have done is spend a lot of time checking in with what my intuition says and what my heart would love to do.

I can support people growing a business (male or female) but when I check in and when I looked at what I would really truly love, what makes my eyes fill with tears is having an impact on women.

I remember a talk I went to a couple of months ago by Paul Dunn, and he was suggesting the audience do an exercise where you ask somebody why they do what they do, and then you keep on asking why. As you do this you go deeper and deeper and eventually you get to a point where you more or less can’t speak, you cannot say what’s in your mind because it’s so true for you that you’re filling up with tears.

And for me what gets me in that space of deep love, is when I say I want to see the impact I can have on women, and how many women I can have an impact on, and that’s where I hit that point. So it really is just following my heart and staying true to what my heart and soul would love to do, there is no logic, it’s not a logical decision, it’s not planned, its just the way things have turned out.

The beautiful thing is being around authenticity I am helping these women be true to themselves and bring their own true values and their heart to their business, and I am doing that myself. Clearly if I’m talking about and teaching others authenticity to be practising it myself is always a good thing, it makes me feel very genuine and very true. And it doesn’t mean I’ll never work with men, or never do work with men.

There is such a growth of the feminine in the world at the moment, there is a growth and a movement towards being feminine and using feminine energy and there’s a big movement towards being real in my view, and I just really truly believe that if I can help in that in any way it’s just where I want to be.

Often when I’m in my head thinking about it, it makes no sense to me at all and I do sometimes have a conflict with that, but the bottom line is when I connect to my heart and what my heart would love, my heart would love to have an impact on a lot of women, and the way I’m being led to do that at the moment is supporting them in the business.

So that is why and where I am at, that is why I created Authentic Edge and that is why I’m doing what I’m doing at the moment.
That’s why I’m here and I’d love to help you get to the place of really knowing where you are as well.