The female of the species is more digital than the male
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:16
'The female of the species is more digital than the male' was a recent headline from a national broadsheet which set me thinking about how women in business relate to each other.
Women like to connect - whether through online social networking or face-to-face contact. We meet and share in a different way from our male counterparts. We look at networking as a way to build long-lasting relationships in order that the connection is not irrelevant even if there's no immediate 'deal' to be done.
Despite the fact that the goal of networking is to sell yourself and your product or service, sometimes you exchange business cards and merely come away with a new friend. But that new friend is likely to be a source of connections, ideas and best practice. Social networking has added another dimension to the already tried and tested methods.
Men tend to network differently. They generally want to get straight to the point, make very little small talk and make a quick decision as to whether you have any use to them or vice versa. 'Who do I know who has what I need right now?' Simple.
Women often take a much more convoluted approach. 'What can I do for this person in order that they will do something for me?' We tend to think that even if the person standing in front of us can't help, then perhaps they know somebody who can.
Because we are good listeners, women bond easier. We find it perfectly acceptable to share personal information, to a point, in order to find a common interest, which in turn leads to a sense of trust, which in turn can lead to endless business benefits.
Women tend to speak to relate, which means we may come across as not being serious about our business. This could not be further from the truth. We are prone to gently beat about the bush with hints, while men are more likely to get straight to the point, however we want exactly the same outcome - we just go about it in different ways.
Networking should be based on the question 'How can I help?' and not 'What can I get?'
Effective business networking is the bringing together of like-minded individuals who, through relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for one another. Goodness knows in the current climate, we could all do with a bit of free advertising!
By Kathy Murdoch