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Listen up, guys!

Here’s a great success tip for all the guys out there in management:

Start hearing the women on your team.

Whoa! Calm down! You didn’t think I meant YOU, did you? Certainly not! I’m sure you don’t have a problem with this. It’s all those OTHER guys out there.

Or is it?

Let me tell you a story I heard recently. A client of mine was frustrated because she, and all the women on her team, didn’t feel they were being heard by the rest of the team. (Read: By the men on the team.) So she decided to run an experiment. She had an idea she wanted to present at the next meeting. She enlisted a male colleague in the experiment, and told him the idea too. The plan was, she would offer up her idea first. Then, 15 minutes later, he would offer up virtually the same idea, phrased slightly differently. Guess what happened?

    Response to her idea: “Okay, that’s interesting. Thanks.”
    Response to “his” idea: “Hey, what a great idea!”

In case you think this is an isolated incident, every woman I’ve told the story to says the same thing: “I’m not the least bit surprised.”

Are you surprised? Is this happening on your team? Are you sure? If I were you, I’d make sure, because if it is, it’s costing you, big time. Share this article with the women on your team, or, for that matter, with anyone you think of as being “different” from you. Ask them, “Am I doing this? Are you not feeling heard? What could I do to be better about this?”

The bad news? You might not like what you hear. The good news, though, is that it’s an incredible opportunity for you. There’s a tremendous source of great ideas and passion just waiting to be put to use in helping you and your team stand out and succeed. And the best part is, it’s completely free! All you have to do is start hearing everyone on your team, no matter who they are, no matter how different from you they may seem to be.



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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 at 2:41 pm and is filed under Communication. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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One Response to “Listen up, guys!”

  • Tim Cimbura says:

    Great post. I totally agree.

    Remember the restaurant scene in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” where the women feed an idea to the father so that he thinks it’s his own? Another great technique for getting heard.

    While your at it, I’d suggest that adults listen to kids carefully, too…lots of great creative ideas for free.