Social Business Is For Girls

How do you make decisions?  How do you interact with customers and colleagues? Businesses? Friends? Neighbors?

Remember the groundbreaking book by John Gray back in 1992, Men are from Mars.  Women are from Venus?

The Cave

In his book, Gray explored the core differences in the way men and women approach problem solving and interpersonal relationships.  Under stressful situations, men tend to withdraw until we find the solution to the problem.  Gray calls this “retreating into the cave”.  The function of the retreat is to take the time to determine a solution; to insulate ourselves in order to not be exposed, to not be put into a position where we don’t have all the answers and are vulnerable.  When faced with a issue, we tend to jump to “solve mode”.

Women, on the other hand, when faced with an issue, do the opposite.  They engage.  They seek out friends, colleagues, trusted companions.  And, they talk about the issue.  GASP!  Talk? When I don’t know the answer? What if someone sees through my facade? What if my lack of expertise is exposed?  What if I, dare I say, appear transparent?   

The Wave

Gray describes “the wave” as a woman’s natural ability to give to other people.  He claims that when a woman gives to others, her natural wave is in a stable state.  But, when she gives and gives, with little in return, her wave will crash on the shore.  In these times, women need someone to listen, understand and reassure them – to reciprocate those things that she has been putting out all along.

Sounds like social business to me.  Listen, understand, engage, talk, collaborate, give and receive acceptance and seek mutual value from strengthened relationships.  The kind of relationships that create a stable wave and allow us to get things done.

So, if you want to make sense of this whole social business thing, the next time testosterone man in the locker room calls you a “girlie man”, take it as a compliment and know that you’re on the right path.

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