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Avoid Mismanagement 4: Meeting Behavior

June 15th, 2021|Comments Off on Avoid Mismanagement 4: Meeting Behavior

By: Pat Heim, PhD. | Tammy Hughes | Latitia S. Lattanzio, PhD, NCSP

Same Expectations or Different?

The finance team at a sporting goods company comprised of eight men and one woman are deciding on the direction for a new product line. A lot of divergent ideas are being tossed around and Susan is particularly passionate about her perspective. As the group began to discuss the best direction—several argued for their point of view. Susan was outspoken about her product ideas. She wanted to make sure she was really heard, she repeated herself and even raised her voice.

A few days later, Susan’s boss Jayden asks to see her. He begins to discuss Susan’s “problematic behavior” at the recent product launch meeting. He tells her that he got feedback that she interrupted others, raised her voice, shut everyone down, and even pounded on the table. Jayden informs Susan that this “curt” behavior is unacceptable on the team. Susan is surprised that she’s being described as “curt.” She explains “I felt very passionate about my ideas and wanted to make sure my outspoken team members heard the direction I was recommending.” She turns to Jayden and asks, “Would you have used the word “curt” to describe this behavior if it were coming from one of the men on the team?” Jayden was taken aback and realizes he would not describe any of the guys as curt. As a result, he let the matter drop but doesn’t know how to handle situations like this in the future. What just happened?

Because of invisible rules that drive gender cultures, we often unconsciously expect certain behaviors from women that we wouldn’t expect from men. Some of the female gender norms include nurturing, cooperating, taking turns when talking, collaborating, and being compliant. Some male gender norms include taking charge, dominating, interrupting, shutting others down, winning at all costs, and speaking loudly.

There are multiple perspectives at play here. The male employees approached Jayden because they perceived Susan’s behavior to be aggressive and problematic to the team dynamics. From Susan’s perspective, she was doing nothing different than what her male colleagues have done on a daily basis. For her, however, being called out on this meeting behavior turned out to be more costly than she anticipated.

When Jayden listened to the feedback from the men on Susan’s team, his unconscious expectations influenced his decision-making about approaching Susan. Without realizing it, this meeting behavior was seen as positive when coming from a man but negative when coming from a woman.

When Jayden listened to the feedback from the men on Susan’s team, his unconscious expectations influenced his decision-making about approaching Susan. Without realizing it, this meeting behavior was seen as positive when coming from a man but negative when coming from a woman.

 

The Tips for Susan: 
  • A big part of Jayden’s job is to manage the behavior of his direct reports. He has unknowingly had different expectations of his male and female employees. Now that Susan […]

Avoid Mismanagement 3: Catfights to Colleagues

May 26th, 2021|Comments Off on Avoid Mismanagement 3: Catfights to Colleagues

By: Pat Heim, PhD. | Tammy Hughes | Latitia S. Lattanzio, PhD, NCSP

Olivia Pommereau’s Dilemma:

I work for the Marketing team at a large tech company with five other women. I’ve loved working here because my colleagues are so supportive. We’ve gotten really close over the years, and the six of us even went on a weekend vacation to Las Vegas together. My boss, Neal Nixon, has consistently commended me for reaching my performance goals, so I think I’m doing really well here. Still, I was surprised by his recent offer for a leadership position.

Now that I’m leading the team of five, I’ve noticed my once-friendly female colleagues have cooled off towards me. The warmth is gone, and the atmosphere feels standoffish. The ladies aren’t inviting me to lunch, and not one of them has congratulated me. They no longer ask me to consult on projects or stop by my desk to chat. There’s nothing overt that I can put my finger on, but something feels different now.

I just can’t figure out what went wrong. Before I was promoted, I felt like we were all friends around here and things were running smoothly. I noticed that my colleagues are frequently going into Neal’s office, and I suspect they’re complaining about me—I wonder if I’m not doing a good job? I wish Neal had never picked me for this promotion.

The Problem: 

A major difference in the male and female cultures is how power is used and perceived. When a woman behaves as if she has more power than another woman (even if she does) this can create significant problems between them. We call this the Power Dead-Even Rule. Businesses, by their very nature, are hierarchies and this can be confusing for women who often unconsciously expect more equality with other women—including their bosses!

 

 

The Tips for Olivia: 
  • Recognize that the problem is not your behavior, specifically. Rather, your promotion has upset the power balance among the women.
  • Make sure you aren’t displaying significant hierarchical behaviors now—like asking someone else to get your coffee for the meeting (even if the previous male boss expected this).
  • Look for ways to compliment and support your new direct reports. Actively invite them to join you for lunch or coffee and continue to engage on a personal level (e.g., asking about their kids, the weekend, or their parents’ visit).
  • Talk to Neal about your observations and the concerns you have about your team.
  • Once you understand what’s driving the problem, look for ways to help Neal better understand the Power Dead-Even Rule and what’s behind this behavior with your new team.
  • Ask for advice from other women who have had similar experiences. It’s not uncommon for a woman-in-charge to feel lonely and isolated following a promotion to a leadership role.

Avoid Mismanagement #2: How Promotions Can Backfire

April 28th, 2021|Comments Off on Avoid Mismanagement #2: How Promotions Can Backfire

By: Pat Heim, PhD. | Tammy Hughes | Latitia S. Lattanzio, PhD, NCSP

Neal Nixon’s Dilemma:

I lead the marketing team at a large tech company. Bar none, Olivia is my best employee! She consistently produces high-quality work and has extremely good working relationships with her colleagues. So when it came time to decide who to promote, it was an easy decision for me.

Olivia’s female colleagues are now her direct reports, but they’ve started coming to me with complaints. In fact, their complaints are mostly about Olivia. One colleague claimed that Olivia was “bossing everybody around.” Another challenged that Olivia “didn’t have as much experience” as the others on the team. Several have asked why they didn’t have the opportunity to interview for the position.

I just can’t figure out what went wrong. Before I made this promotion decision, I felt like everything was running smoothly around here. What have I done?

The Problem: 

A major difference in the male and female cultures is how power is used and perceived. When a woman behaves as if she has more power than another woman (even if she does) this can create significant problems between them. We call this the Power Dead-Even Rule. Businesses, by their very nature, are hierarchies and this can be confusing for women who often unconsciously expect more equality with other women—including their bosses!

 

 

The Tips for Neal: 
  • Recognize that the problem is not in promoting Olivia, specifically. Rather, you have upset the power balance by promoting one female above other females.
  • Listen closely for the WHY. When employees are complaining to you about Olivia, consider whether these same complaints would be made about a man. Understanding the WHY can assist in diffusing the conflict.
  • Become behavior focused when Olivia’s colleagues are complaining. Asking the complainants  for specific behavior examples can assist in problem-solving. If necessary, point out that these behaviors were previously acceptable when coming from a male.
  • The team would benefit from understanding the Power Dead-Even Rule so they can recognize what’s driving this behavior. Schedule time to introduce this concept to the group, perhaps by a third party
  • Look for ways to signal to the group that you support Olivia’s leadership.
  • Don’t facilitate the complaining for long. You risk undermining her new authority if you become the complaint department. Instead, direct the complainants to their new leader, Olivia.

Avoid Mismanagement #1: Tense Emails

March 31st, 2021|Comments Off on Avoid Mismanagement #1: Tense Emails

By: Pat Heim, PhD. | Tammy Hughes | Latitia S. Lattanzio, PhD, NCSP

Yesterday, Anna prepared reports and sent them to her co-worker, Tomas, for review. The next morning, she received a reply email that said:


“The numbers you sent me were incorrect. I need you to review your work and send me information I can actually use.”

Anna is shocked and taken aback by Tomas’s curt response. She quickly reviews her work and has another coworker review it as well. They find no errors. She wants to blast Tomas for his discourteous and inaccurate message, but she’s not sure that’s the best way to solve this…

Here are four tips to consider if you find yourself in Anna’s situation:
  1. Take time.
    • Knee-jerk reactions are often emotional and illogical.
    • Don’t quickly assume you’re wrong and apologize
    • What’s the rush? Not every message requires an immediate response. Give yourself time to plan your response.
  2. Don’t personalize – this is about the numbers, not about you.
    • Find the errors, if any, and make corrections if needed.
    • When composing your reply, focus on the numbers and not on how you feel attacked.
    • Empathy – think about the predicament this has put him in because he believes the numbers are inaccurate.
  3. Take action.
    • Much miscommunication can easily be resolved through direct, live- time conversations
      (e.g., phone call, face-to-face, Skype, Zoom).
    • Take caution to not own a mistake before it’s been found.
  4. Respond in a live-time format (e.g., phone call, face-to-face, Skype, Zoom)
    • Written communication is easily misunderstood; live communication allows you to manage the non-verbal reactions of the other person.
    • Live-time format encourages more civil, reciprocal conversation

Why Women Have Such Intense Relationships

March 27th, 2018|Comments Off on Why Women Have Such Intense Relationships

by Pat Heim, Ph.D.

While co-writing my book In the Company of Women, Indirect Aggression Among Women: Why We Hurt Each Other and How to Stop (Tarcher, 2001) my co-authors and I received a soon to be published study about stress and women. Suddenly everything made sense.

Commotion about Promotions

March 27th, 2018|Comments Off on Commotion about Promotions

by Susan Murphy, Ph.D., M.B.A.

"I'm so disappointed I didn't get the promotion to Department Manager!" exclaims Kay, "He should have known I wanted it!" When Kay's manager was promoted to Vice President, his former position had been posted. Kay didn't apply; she assumed her manager knew she wanted it.

Effectively Managing Conflict?

March 27th, 2018|Comments Off on Effectively Managing Conflict?

by Serge Lashutka, M.A., M.B.A.

Recently I met with the top team of a family owned furniture manufacturing company to discuss teambuilding. The top team of 12 people is half male and half female. However, more than half the team members are related to the husband and wife who started the company.

The Golden Rule Has Lost Its Shimmer

March 27th, 2018|Comments Off on The Golden Rule Has Lost Its Shimmer

by Tammy Hughes

When I'm conducting workshops, participants will occasionally ask, "Wouldn't all of this diversity training be unnecessary if we all just started practicing the golden rule?" Great question… so let's explore!

Take A Stand

March 27th, 2018|Comments Off on Take A Stand

by Jeanie Litteken

I remember the first time I asked Rod if I could speak with him about a problem I was experiencing. He was willing to discuss the situation but I was perplexed as to why he stood beside me! I moved to stand face to face with him as I explained my problem, and he moved to stand shoulder to shoulder with me!

Best Leadership Advise in 2000 Years!

March 27th, 2018|Comments Off on Best Leadership Advise in 2000 Years!

by Connie Glaser, M.A.

My study regarding women and leadership, has led me back in time 2000 years to find a new paradigm for success. My book What Queen Esther Knew (Rodale, 2003) looks closely at smart, savvy, courageous Queen Esther who transformed herself from a humble, orphan girl to the most powerful woman in the Persian Empire. How did she do it?

“Now That Girls Play Sports, Does This Change Things?”

March 27th, 2018|Comments Off on “Now That Girls Play Sports, Does This Change Things?”

by Pat Heim, Ph.D.

When I talk about the different cultures of men and women, the most frequently asked question is, "Now that girls play sports, doesn't that change the dynamics?" I approached Anson Dorrance, the coach of the University of North Carolina women's soccer team since 1983, for the answer.

Taking Your Game to the Next Level

March 27th, 2018|Comments Off on Taking Your Game to the Next Level

by Susan Murphy, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Want to hone a skill and enhance your performance? Now may be the perfect time to recruit your next coach or mentor. Most successful men and women can quickly and gratefully recite names of those who have helped them along their career path.

Staying Gender Neutral – A Tip for Our Certified Trainers

March 27th, 2018|Comments Off on Staying Gender Neutral – A Tip for Our Certified Trainers

by Serge Lashutka, M.A., M.B.A.

One of the critical skills in effectively delivering GenderSpeak is to remain gender neutral as we facilitate. One rule is to always refer to "men" and "women," and not to say "we women (men) tend to..." or "you men (women) tend to ..."

Success: The Importance of Executive Presence

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on Success: The Importance of Executive Presence

by Connie Glaser

When industrial psychologists recently analyzed the performance evaluations of 61,000 executives, they were astonished by the results. They found that female managers ranked higher than their male counterparts in almost every measure except confidence—and confidence is key to that elusive quality of executive presence.

GenderSales

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on GenderSales

by Tammy Hughes

Whether it's a product, service, or idea…being savvy at reading your customer and determining where he or she fits on the gender bell curve can be the difference between painful rejection and sweet success.

Where Are You Going With This?

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on Where Are You Going With This?

by Pat Heim, Ph.D.

During a break in a GenderSpeak workshop a woman told me she suddenly understood a difficult conversation she and her husband had. They had recently finished a major remodel of their house. The first water bill came and she has shocked to see that they were using 500 gallons of water a day.

Workplace Spouses

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on Workplace Spouses

by Susan Murphy, Ph.D.

Have you ever "clicked" with a member of the opposite sex while working on a project? Maria and Brandon found that whenever they worked on the same project team, they felt renewed energy and creativity. Work was more fun and the days seemed to fly by.

The Sandbox of Life

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on The Sandbox of Life

by Serge Lashutka, M.A., M.B.A.

During a recent workshop a mother of a small girl told the story of watching her daughter playing alone in her sandbox while she was doing the dishes. The mother had bought several Tonka trucks for her daughter, trying to expose her to toys generally for boys.

Speed, Power and Noise… Oh My!

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on Speed, Power and Noise… Oh My!

by Tammy Hughes

According to research, boys tend to migrate to toys involving speed, power, and noise. This research result came to life for me recently. I was picking up my boys from school this past week when I noticed something familiar and fun!

Power After Hours: New Realities in Power Marriages

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on Power After Hours: New Realities in Power Marriages

by Pat Heim, Ph.D.

Today women earn 58% of college bachelor degrees and hold half of the professional and managerial positions. Many have been successful beyond their wildest dreams and find themselves holding more power than their husbands. This has had an unforeseen and unintended consequence of destabilizing and disrupting their marriages.

Does Parenting Build Leadership Skills?

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on Does Parenting Build Leadership Skills?

by Susan Murhpy, Ph.D.

While common sense might lead us to believe that singlefocused, workaholic employees who work long hours would be promoted most often, the opposite appears to be happening. Current research is finding that, in many cases, women who are mothers are climbing higher on the corporate ladder than non-mothers.

Lost in Translation: Bridging the Communications Gender Gap

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on Lost in Translation: Bridging the Communications Gender Gap

by Connie Glaser

You've read the generalizations and heard the clichés: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Men don't ask for directions, women can't read road maps. Are these clichés in fact true? Are they supported by scientific evidence, or are we just programmed to believe them?

Do Gender Differences Effect Video Game Play?

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on Do Gender Differences Effect Video Game Play?

by Jeanie Litteken

One of the most entertaining moments of a GenderSpeak workshop can occur when participants are asked to name their favorite toy or activity. Often participants from younger generations, both male and female, say playing video games was their favorite…

Gender Differences: A Growing Topic in Europe!

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on Gender Differences: A Growing Topic in Europe!

by Isabelle Pujol

I joined the Heim Group in October 1995 to introduce GenderSpeak in Europe, and since that time, I am amazed by the growing number of press and media coverage on the gender topic.

The Narrow Bands of Acceptable Behavior: The Double Standard

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on The Narrow Bands of Acceptable Behavior: The Double Standard

by Pat Heim, Ph.D.

Early on in my career I worked in a Fortune 500 company and ran an executive trainee program. Each year I received about 120 applicants for this Staff Associate program and each had 3 letters of recommendation attached.

Men Plus Women Create Powerful Teams

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on Men Plus Women Create Powerful Teams

by Susan Murphy, Ph.D.

It just happened again. Twice in 3 years studies have shown that when women are represented in significant numbers in key positions in Fortune 500 companies, financial performance is higher in some key areas.

The Gender of Sender: He-Mail and She-Mail

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on The Gender of Sender: He-Mail and She-Mail

by Connie Glaser

Since the publication of my book GenderTalk Works earlier this year, a wide range of companies have used it to help bridge the gender communications gap at work. The main point of the book is that neither men nor women have a better way of communicating, but simply different.

Easing Gender-Related Frustrations

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on Easing Gender-Related Frustrations

by Tammy Hughes

A question I'm often asked by people who have been through our GenderSpeak workshop or my keynote on gender differences is, "How can I help ease some of my co-workers’ gender-related frustrations when they haven't had the opportunity to learn this stuff?"

5 Steps to Mine Perspective Gold for a High Performing Team

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on 5 Steps to Mine Perspective Gold for a High Performing Team

by Robin Denise Johnson, Ph.D.

One of the most common mistakes leaders make with multicultural, mixed-gender teams is trying to "homogenize away" the differences. Well-meaning people often make this mistake.

His and Her Brains

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on His and Her Brains

By Serge Lashutka, M.A, M.B.A.

In the past decade researchers have been studying male and female brains at the microscopic anatomic level and discovering some intriguing gender differences. For years science has known that on average human male brains are larger than female brains. Therefore are males generally smarter? This appears to not be the case. The neurons in the cortex of female brains are actually packed closer together and female brains possess as much as 12% more neurons than males. This may explain how women are able to demonstrate the same level of intelligence with a smaller brain.

The Bully Girl

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on The Bully Girl

By Jeanie Litteken

Q: My child is experiencing difficulty with another young girl in her group. The girl enjoys telling the group what to do, how to dress, what to say and how to think.

My Husband and I Can Talk It Over!

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on My Husband and I Can Talk It Over!

By Tammy Hughes

How many times have I heard male GenderSpeak participants state that the program information helped them better understand their wives and female participants state they use the information to better understand their male bosses?

Who Do Women Prefer To Work For?

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on Who Do Women Prefer To Work For?

By Pat Heim, Ph.D.

Do you prefer to work for a man or a woman? Gallup has been posing this question since the 1950s. Most men today say they have no preference (57%) yet when women are asked the dominant answer (39%) is that they would prefer to work for a man. Why would this be?

Why Gender Diversity in the Workplace Matters

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on Why Gender Diversity in the Workplace Matters

by Pat Heim, Ph.D. and Tammy Hughes

Why has the topic of gender diversity become such a hot button in the corporate world? Research is clear that successful companies tend to “look” like their customers. Businesses, especially those that target female consumers, will be more successful when they have more women in leadership positions.

Women Need to Stop Singing “It’s My Party And I Will Cry If I Want To”

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on Women Need to Stop Singing “It’s My Party And I Will Cry If I Want To”

by Pat Heim, Ph.D. and Tammy Hughes

Seven Reasons Why Men Aren't Responsible for Failing Gender Initiatives

1. Men are not the problem. The business culture is male; men are just behaving in ways that are "normal" for them. For the most part they are clueless women have a different culture.

How You Can Give Your Career A Fresh Start

March 26th, 2018|Comments Off on How You Can Give Your Career A Fresh Start

by Susan Murphy

Are you just surviving at work—caught up in the day-to-day doldrums of your job? Life is too short to tolerate any sense of dread on Sunday evening as you think about going to work the next day.

Hardball for Women: 10 Tips

March 23rd, 2018|Comments Off on Hardball for Women: 10 Tips

by Tammy Hughes & Pat Heim, Ph.D.

1. Men prefer a leader who has power. Display yours.

2. The meeting doesn't happen in the meeting. Get your ducks in a row before the meeting.

If Women Ran the World, Would It Be Hard for Men to Get Ahead in Business?

March 23rd, 2018|Comments Off on If Women Ran the World, Would It Be Hard for Men to Get Ahead in Business?

by Tammy Hughes

I recently had a conversation with a man who worked with more than 350 women in an all-female division of an organization in the food and beverage industry. I had heard about his story and was eager to learn from his situation.

“It’s My Party And I Will Cry If I Want To”

March 23rd, 2018|Comments Off on “It’s My Party And I Will Cry If I Want To”

by Pat Heim, Ph.D. and Tammy Hughes

Published in Business Woman Ashley has been a manager for four years. She leads a highly motivated team that produces great results and has high morale to boot. But she has recently started thinking about leaving the organization.