Somehow the #metoo discussion didn’t take off on LinkedIn, which is weird, because more than 40% of the working population worldwide is female. I’m pretty confident a lot of ‘stuff’ happens at work. A recent discussion with female peers confirmed that I am not alone when it comes to these experiences with men. What baffles me over and over again is how some men try to do business with women. We all know that in any kind of relationship people need to have a ‘click’ and a sense of trust. Without it there is no need to get involved in anything. This is not news. We all know that. Reaching a certain age has also taught us you win some and you lose some in life, as such in business. That’s just how this game called life works. We fail. We get rejected. We learn. We move on. I call it failing forward.
Our society has evolved; the role of marriage and women has changed. However, some men still have a hard time treating their female peers as equals and respect their choices when they turn down certain 'business' offers. Some men get upset; even lower themselves to name-calling, accusations, blaming, and actual emotional drama. Yes, I went there. I really want to debunk the myth that women alone act like the victimized drama queens.
But for now, dear men, here are a few examples I would advise against when dealing with women in business:
· Don’t tell us about your open marriage in the second conversation and how you want be our muse;
· Don’t excuse your bad behavior towards us by blaming the women involved in your failed past relationships;
· Don’t tell us about your happy marriage and next ask us to join you on a fun trip alone to, lets say: Mallorca;
· Don’t promise us trips to Nepal and South Africa and magnificent assignments without putting things on paper;
· Don’t get all offended when you ask us to join you on a business trip and we want separate rooms;
· Don’t send us passive aggressive mails or texts weeks after we turned your offers down.
Some of you block our phone numbers, and throw us out of your LinkedIn contacts after we fill you in. We don’t mind. It just shows us we made the right decision. It also shows how poorly you handle rejection. Being the CEO of a well-established company, the managing director of a non-profit organization or a life long entrepreneur with a 6-figure income doesn’t really matter. This behavior makes you look unprofessional, needy, clingy, emotionally unstable, insecure in your manhood, and foremost extremely unreliable. I can assure you it is not a solid base for building or maintaining any kind of business relationship. Sustain that kind of attitude and it might lead to losing all you’ve worked for. Just look at recent events in Hollywood. Being dramatic over loss or treating female peers like objects, or as beneath you, is not a leadership trait. Being a leader isn't about believing you are entitled to respect just because you hold a certain position or because you are male. Also loss and rejection are part of life. People come and people go. And as your female peer I’m advising you to at least try abstaining from pointless drama and act a man about this. Thanks in advance.
End of 2017 the author of this blog is publishing a book about how leaders set the professional standard for their organization when dealing with loss and how it distinguishes leaders from wannabes.