I write often about what men can learn from women. But today I want to focus on what women can learn from men.
I was recently at my sister's apartment and picked up a book she was using to "research an article." (Wink – Sure thing sis)
The book was called The Manual: A True Bad Boy Explains How Men Think, Date, and Mate–and What Women Can Do to Come Out on Top. Now, I picked it up thinking I'd have a few laughs, then toss it aside. Well, four hours later, I was finishing the last chapter.
Now, I research the differences in men and women for a living, so this book was probably far more interesting to me than to most of my readers, so I'll share what I found to be one of the best tips.
People can hear your inner duologue. The author was talking about the thoughts that run through his mind when he walks into a bar. He thinks along the lines of "I am a catch. I've got it going on. Every woman in here wants me." (not his exact words, but you get the gist). His body language sends out a message of confidence.
What women can learn from men tip #1
Think confident thoughts. Women – we need to remember that people can hear our inner duologue. If we are uncertain, nervous, – it shows. When you walk into a meeting or situation, focus on confident thoughts. Whether you're playing your inner theme song (my favorite is Aha's Take On Me) or focusing on the fact that you know your stuff, you're a good communicator and you know you're good at closing sales.
What women can learn from men tip #2
Guy Kawasaki told the women at the Mom 2.0 Summit to never apologize. Too often women feel the need to apologize, or explain themselves, or justify their requests or services.
Case in point. I was doing a series of trainings for financial companies on how to attract and retain their female clients. I had a "cheat sheet" printout because there were a lot of stats that I simply couldn't memorize. I asked my colleague if I should just do a "transparency" mea culpa at the beginning and confess that I would be using this cheat sheet to have stats at my fingertips. She said "Absolutely not. Never apologize at the beginning of a speech." Fabulous advice.
What women can learn from men tip #3
Be more direct in your communication style. Women are often concerned with building consensus and cushioning what we say to make sure we don't hurt anyone's feelings. Men are more direct in their communication style. There are times when women could benefit from this more direct style.
There's a great article 10 Ways to Say No, Guilt-Free that gives some great advice for women on how to be more direct and get better results because of it.
What women can learn from men tip #4
Don't give away too much for free. While some men can come across as arrogant, (not good) the confident ones know what they have to offer is of value. I think guys could actually benefit from a lesson in being confident without being arrogant, but women can benefit from placing a higher value on what they have to offer.
I've noticed that in consulting, many women are unsure of where to draw the line between giving free advice, and charging. Starr Hall has a great post on this subject. I love her rule of 3:
1) Give away free advice and or tips when directly approached no more than 3 times before you ask for the business.
2) Don't spend more than 3 minutes responding or chatting per person per group.
So, I hope that women can learn something from men. It's time we stopped overcompensating.