Work with Me | Barbara Annis

Summary of: Work with Me: The 8 Blind Spots Between Men and Women in Business
By: Barbara Annis

Introduction

Work with Me: The 8 Blind Spots Between Men and Women in Business by Barbara Annis explores how men and women can harmoniously work together by understanding their gender differences. The book focuses on the importance of gender intelligence, the difference in communication and decision-making styles, and the challenges in the workplace faced by both genders. By diving into the eight common gender blind spots, this book will help readers understand how to reduce tension and improve communication in their professional life. Get ready to dive into the vital topics and themes that will help you better understand workplace dynamics between men and women and facilitate an inclusive environment for all.

The Strength in Gender Differences

The book explores the concept of gender intelligence and how understanding gender differences can benefit workplaces and improve communication. The traditional notion of gender equality, which encourages sameness, creates a barrier to the kind of expansive natural expression that improves workplaces. The book argues that gender differences, when viewed as strengths, can lead to a broader perspective and better overall performance. The book also highlights the challenges women face in male-dominated workplaces, including feeling undervalued and being excluded from events and opportunities. It further reveals the unwritten rules men follow at work that women can struggle with, causing miscommunication and misunderstanding. Recognizing that gender intelligence is an active consciousness that views gender differences as strengths, not weaknesses, is the key to reducing workplace tension between genders, creating mutual trust, and improving overall job performance.

Women’s Struggles in Male-Dominated Spaces

Women face exclusion from professional and social opportunities in male-dominated spaces. Men do not recognize women’s efforts and dismiss their ideas and concerns. Women undergo hardships in the workplace and must adapt to male behavior codes. Men feel comfortable in a command-and-control environment and do not realize that women are often minorities. The article advocates that men should change their behavior to create an inclusive environment. Mary Lynne, a senior CPA, reports that decisions are made during male bonding activities that women are excluded from. Women often feel excluded solely because of their gender.

Women’s Reasons for Leaving Senior Positions

A poll involving 2,400 women from the US, Europe, and Asia, who left senior-level positions at Fortune 500 companies, found that their main reason for quitting was feeling undervalued, excluded from teams or decisions, and working in a male-dominated environment. Women leave because they want to join firms where their talent is appreciated or start their own businesses. According to the book, men misread women’s intentions, misinterpret their actions, and fail to recognize their strengths, which is the leading cause of complaints from women in the workplace.

The Gender Divide in the Workplace

The book summary highlights the gender divide in the workplace, revealing that women often feel excluded from meetings, social events, conversations, and feedback. Despite this, men don’t believe they are excluding women intentionally. The male-dominated culture of advancement often leaves women out of their advancement opportunities. Furthermore, women and men handle stress differently, with women sharing views and men seeking solitude. Teamwork also means different things to the genders, with women viewing it as building relationships, while men see it as eliminating duplication of effort. Finally, the gender divide is a result of differences in the brain’s limbic system, which governs emotion, and the amygdala, which processes information about taking action.

Communication Between Men and Women

In the workplace, men are afraid to offend women during performance evaluations and projects. They suppress their feelings and refrain from giving direct feedback because they fear triggering unwanted emotions in women. On the other hand, women want constructive feedback from men and feel like men are afraid of their emotions. To build trust and effective communication, men should adjust their language and behavior, while women should learn to accept criticism from men and recognize their efforts in curbing their language and customs.

Women’s Questions in Meetings

Women’s questions in meetings are essential to arrive at the best possible outcome. Men tend to complain that women ask too many questions. However, women believe that their questions show concern and are meant to build consensus, stimulate an exchange of ideas, and offer feedback or support. Women’s questions are rarely criticisms. Research has shown that female financial analysts are more cautious, ask more questions, and gather more information than their male counterparts. The lack of female representation in higher-level positions in the financial industry might have been a contributing factor to the 2008 financial crisis. However, women still feel uncomfortable giving negative feedback.

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