In a recent conversation with a friend who is CEO of a construction company, I explained how doing business with the government could potentially take her business to the next level. She shared her frustration at responding to RFP (request for proposal). She had bid on many over the years and each time, they were awarded to the same male owned businesses! She then blurted, “If only I could think like a man… I could have won some of those contracts!”
Hmmm, is she right? Do women need to imitate men to be more competitive in business? Should a woman ‘think like a man’ to be more successful in business? Maybe OR maybe not!
Can an Assertive Woman Get What She Wants?
While it is acceptable for men to be assertive; on the other hand, women who go after what they want without apologizing along the way are viewed as aggressive or worse, a witch (drop the ‘w’ and add ‘b’). So, how can women use this to their advantage?
Afraid to Take a ‘Chance?’ Odds of Winning… 50/50!
Men are encouraged to take chances. The unknowndoesn’t scare them as it’s a part of doing business. Most women shy away from situations that are uncomfortable or daring.
To take advantage of this strength, it is crucial for women to evaluate, manage and take risk in business. Say you are faced with a challenge and pondering if it is worth taking a chance. Ask yourself:
Life is full of chances! By embracing challenges and obstacles head on, lessons learned from them is well worth it!
Men vs Women in Networking… Which Gender is More Effective?
Men are very skilled at networking. They take full advantage on the golf course, during happy hours and at other informal settings. They cut to the chase and go from introduction to deal.
Women believe in the importance of ‘know, like and trust’which eventually cultivate into business. They develop great relationships but don’t take advantage of their interpersonal or social strengths.
Statistics show that 70% of new business is generated from referrals from networking events. In a recent article, Nicole Williams, author of "Girl on Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success,” says, “Women tend to equate networking with "schmoozing" or handing out business cards. In reality, networking is about building relationships before you actually need them."
While women have different strengths and communication styles than men, there are a few simple tips to help in getting the most BANGout of a networking event.
In conclusion, it’s apparent that women and men speak different languages. Neither gender is all right or all wrong. So, it is not necessary for them to ‘Think like a man,’ rather; learn from what they are doing right!
About Author: Sylvia Browder is a small business consultant, trainer and author. She is founder of National Association Women on the Rise, a virtual community for aspiring and established women entrepreneurs. She has served as an online volunteer SCORE counselor since 2004. For FREE weekly articles go to Sylvia Browder’s Blog for Women Entrepreneurs, www.sylviabrowder.com. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.