IT Employment optimize

His brain doesn't work like yours.


Last year, when I was working on my book, "21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot"; several female clients suggested that I address a few things they'd been unable to figure out on their own.  Given that the recommendations came from women using a male career coach, it wasn't surprising that the most frequent questions were about working with guys:

1. "What is it about the word 'no' that males don't understand?" 

2. "Is it true that guys spend half their day at work thinking about sex?"

3. "Why do men keep getting credit for my ideas?"

If you've ever wondered about these yourself; here are a few thoughts which may interest you.

First, most men and women in the workplace today were raised differently.  As a result, they respond differently to different feedback  This is the Nuture vs. Nature argument.  When they are little, many girls choose to play with other girls because they have similar values and approaches; for example most girls prefer to play games where everyone wins, leaving the game happy.  Little boys on the other hand, are more inclined to play games where there are clear winners and losers, for example competitive sports.  And if you were a boy playing sports like hockey or baseball; you learned pretty quickly what to do if you were pulled and replaced by someone else.  You learned how to convince the coach to put you back out there even if he said you were finished for the game.  You learned that his, "No," really meant, "Convince me - tell me why I should put you back in the game." So you learned how to get him to say, "Yes".

Second, new research clearly states that men don't spend 1/2 their day at work thinking about sex.  It's more for some of them. New research shows that guys in their 20s and 30s think about sex every 52 seconds they are awake. It's less for older males, but they are called  members of the "old boys networks" for a reason. (Compared to gals: They likely only have sexual fantasies a couple of times a day.)  From this we can take a few clues about how to behave at work - if you're a man, recognize that the lady across the table from you is probably more focused on what's being discussed then you are.  She may be recognized for that and become your boss as a result.  That's true even in male dominated businesses like IT or cable. If you're a woman, don't be fooled into thinking that your male boss is inviting you to meetings simply because of your brains. Or that he finds you to be uniquely attractive. He's probably having a lot of thoughts about the other women in the operation as well. 

So, nature has a big role in how we are at the cellular level.

Finally, I've found that many women are negatively impacted by their own voices and speaking approaches.  Because of a woman's particular pitch, tone and volume; she may simply not be heard by the boss in a meeting. Also, males don't have the same range of hearing spectrum as females who can hear higher highs and lower lows in most cases.  So, ladies if you don't want another person to get credit for your idea in a meeting because he simply repeated it; then learn to speak in a manner which you know will be heard in all environments.  

Until next week,

                                                                          - john

                                                                        Career Coach
 

 

About

John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion d...

50 comments
Inkling
Inkling

Just because some of you do not personally hold, or have experienced the prejudices that are mentioned in this post, does not mean they don't exist. Prejudice will [b]always[/b] exist. We are, after all, only human. We all have a tendancy to project our personal experiences on to others; some more so than others. Example: If I were to tell a young black woman that she shouldn't name her newborn daughter Lashowntre, because she will be more likely to experience racial prejudice in her life, does that make me a bigot? Nope. It's just a simple fact that [b]some[/b] people will judge a black woman named Lashowntre by her name. I don't have to like it. You don't have to like it. Black women don't have to like it. But it's a fact and pretending it's not true, just to make yourself sleep better at night isn't going to make one lick of difference if Lashwontre happens to interview for a job with someone that judges her by her name. Does that mean that we should cater to this prejudice by avoiding such cultural names? That's up to each person to decide for themselves. The women I have encountered in my life have not been any less competetive than the men I have known (my wife is the single most competetive person I have ever met). Then again, I am very picky about the kind of people that I associate with. I tend to hang out with and socialize with strong personalities. Chauvanists and bigots are usually insecure, so they tend to surround themselves with people that have weak personalities. These weak personalities tend to enforce the stereotypes and prejudices that bigots and chauvanists already hold. To me, an a-hole is an a-hole no matter what color, sex, or sexual preference and I call 'em like I see 'em. I do have to agree with the women's voice thing a bit. When I was in boot camp, the worst punishment we could receive was to have to stand there and listen to a female drill instructor and her platoon screaming. It was excruciating. I also think that the 52 seconds thing is a little too low for me (I'll be 30 this year). I would guess it's something more like 30 seconds. But I don't judge women based on my over-active sex drive. EDIT: "there" not "their"

Genera-nation
Genera-nation

completely sexist - I should complain to CNET about this.... Perhaps I will!!!!

jpgeorgia
jpgeorgia

The article seems too simple and unscientific. Having worked in adult education for many years and having taught literally thousands of adults, I learned that one cannot categorize people and make the data fit on a bar chart. Invariably, the first person you test will not fit any of your hypotheses and blow your survey right out of the water. My experience has taught me that the human brain is just too complex to categorize neatly.

ttocsmij
ttocsmij

whenever some new PHD candidate notices that men and women are different ... Doh! We're supposed to be different, folks ... we're designed to be different ... so we'll be complementary ... so we'll be able to weather the problems of life by bringing our unique strengths to the table as necessary ... oh yes, I am one of those ... so save your bandwidth.

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

I saw this blog post before anyone had started a discussion thread, and even though I was itching to comment, I wanted to see what TR member consensus was first. Unlike many of the comments that I've read, I wasn't ticked off or disgusted... I actually thought this post was REALLY funny, and it felt good to have such a big laugh in the middle of the day (he posted it last Thursday afternoon). Every 52 seconds for men, but only twice a day for women? Whew!! That's a good one...

uberg33k50
uberg33k50

When I read this I was like...who makes up these numbers. If I thought about sex every 52 seconds how the heck would I get any thing done???? I work in a prodominately female staffed office, some of them are good at what they do and some aren't --- wow just like men. I really don't get the us vs them attitude. I say as long as you can do the job let's work together and make the company successful.

fday
fday

Guess none of these brainy guys have ever noticed all the posters and pix tacked around female workspaces. Most of them are not pix of flowers, fuzzy rugs or kittens. They are of hot guys! We think about sex only twice a day? Yeah, right.

rkendsley
rkendsley

If men in your work environment cannot have pictures of females on their computers or cubicles (not nudes of course) then you should not either. Many women find pictures of females on the cubicles of men offensive (I don't think men care what a woman puts on her walls), so management must enforce policy to eliminate them. Management should also enfore the same policy for the female members. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. BTW, I'm glad to hear women think of sex more often. It is my opinion, through many years of personal research, that the older women get (Up to the 36 year old age) the more freely they think, and talk about sex. This is of course typically, usually and generally. There are exceptions.

jdclyde
jdclyde

you get a taste of wedding cake, that is. Then it is like and old star trek movie "hours seem like days"....

mjd420nova
mjd420nova

Twice a day?? Daytime and nighttime, Dark and light.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Sometimes the old dinosaurs are entertaining. But be sure that even back in the day 20 years ago, not all people or managers were like that - thank goodness. I feel sorry for the women who had to work for this guy. James

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

What a collection of irritating generalisations. Don't spend your advance, the publisher is going to want it back.

Tig2
Tig2

One of the best works I have found on the differences in how men and women interact in the workplace. It is written by Gail Evans, a former Senior VP at CNN. Among the many point that she makes is that recognising the differences and working WITH them improves the overall situation for all players. Good advice in my opinion.

Tink!
Tink!

Rather than attempt to change everybody to one generalised behavior pattern, you must acknowledge the differences and embrace them. Sometimes gender creates certain roadblocks, but the individual personality of the person in question determines the likelihood of success, not the gender itself. Gender generalisation is just another excuse...I'm tired of hearing excuses...we all have to get over our own hurdles in life with determination and effort, we can't rely on using excuses to knock down barriers. Tink

RAPace
RAPace

I've learned from my dog trainer?? Per my dog trainer, when giving a command lower your voice and speak assertively, but don't yell. When praising, raise your voice and smile. I have an exceptionally well behaved dog. I'm going to try this on my team and let you know how they respond... ;)

RAPace
RAPace

After an amusing conversation, the team consensus was - high-pitched voice was annoying, smile was a little creepy (but then they might have been thinking about sex) but they really, REALLY liked the scratch behind the ears. :D

C L Kerr
C L Kerr

Keep things simple for them -:).... Stay away from the diatribes - speak to the point - and leave the emotions at home. The hardest thing I find is trying to join in in games such as fantasy football or whatever the latest bonding activity is! By the way I think saying please and thank you is common respect .. unfortunately, many organizations have lost all sense of civility... Mercy

dbols00
dbols00

While I was in the Navy I had the unique opportunity to attend a class regarding how men and women communicate differently. While it didn't convert me from my caveman days, it gave me a better understanding on what I need to do to work effectively with both men and women. I have had male and female supervisors that were both good and bad. The bottom line is that I worked better with and had better results because of working with/for those I respected. Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman in my workplace, you need to know what you are talking about, present it well, and rationally listen to differing opinions. Respect goes a long way to making a workplace not only enjoyable but beneficial to all that want to move up in the world.

madtechgirl
madtechgirl

This is a load of crap. I'm sick of hearing about the differences between male and female. I've been in the male dominated IT field for 17 years, I'm tiny and I sound like a 4 year on the phone due to my high pitched voice. I never have a problem being heard and I don't allow anyone, male or female to claim my idea as their own. I read years ago that men believe if you say thank you or please they consider you weak and that men in executive management never apologize as a deliberate strategy for dominance. That's also a load of crap. Be yourself, speak up, be competitive and move ahead. Dress appropriately and don't worry about some nut who can't think about anything but his own pants. He'll never move ahead, if he does - get a new job with a reputable company. PS - This is definitely NOT going to get me to buy your book.

fday
fday

I totally agree. This guy is putting out a load of crap! He won't be selling this female in IT any books! Get over yourself men! Try thinking about the job and how to do it better than your colleagues (male or female) if you want to get ahead. If you can only think with the part of your anatomy below your waist, you're in the wrong field! And all us females can work for companies run by a "person" with intelligence who wants to make the company shine instead of the jock in the bigger chair! I've never forgotten a quote from long ago that all women in business should keep in mind -"Never wrestle with a pig. You both get all dirty and the pig likes it!" Great advice.

JEDavis64
JEDavis64

The last temp job I had was predominately women, it was very refreshing to work in an office environment that ran like clockwork so to speak. I got so tired of the guys in my classes when I went for my A.S.Degree giving me this stupid sexist attitude of women don't belong in the IT business. Funny how I took that and dug in deeper and graduated along with five men.(the class group was orginally 20) Now I am back going for my B.S.Degree and thinking about getting my Masters Degree next at the end of this two year stint of school and temp jobs.

djoubert149
djoubert149

Wow you sure are appropriately named. But i do partially agree with your stance on things. And yes being only 28, newly married and not working in IT for nearly as long as you maybe my views are a little young to you. But I think your feelings about this male/female things are very biased. Theres no way your opinions will be respected by you implying that if theres a guy in your workspace who "cant think about anything but his own pants" then the company is not reputable. I have been through a few companies as a temp and seen that actually the bigger the company and sometimes the more well known the place is, the more likely you may be to encounter what you might call "non reputable" company instances. Men AND women really need to be more objective and understand the design of each other. Men definitely do think with their "pants" for the majority of theirs lives, (not just while at work). And thats just the way its been since we were cavemen. Some of us are STILL cavemen. Why?, because thats what we know. Guess what, a lot of women do it too btw, and may even be more blatent about it. Ask me how i know. Does that make the company less reputable? I think not. Thats a whole nother book. Men are designed to be very sexual, 85% visual, and 15% emotional. Those are not official stats and will vary from guy to guy but you know where im going. And Women have some elements of a general design too. They like Pretty things like flowers, and fuzzy bathroom carpets, baby pictures, drama movies, and most are emotional from head to toe, M-F, thats not an accusation... its just understanding that we work from different schematics, on different processors, running different commands. Even our internal syntax may be different. So the more we make an effort to understand each other rather then point to internal design issues and resort to unprovoked namecalling, the easier these working environments can become. Dave bigdav149@yahoo.com

maecuff
maecuff

Dramas? I don't think so. First of all, fuzzy bathroom carpets are just creepy. And movies are always better if sh*t blows up in them.

tparadise
tparadise

OK this comment toally drives home my point. Some women prefer floral print and others shudder at the thought of cute little blue flowers covering their kitchen wallpaper. The differences between men and women don't come from their prefernces in movies or decor. Our differnces generally arise during communication or how we go about doing certain things. We should keep these differences in mind but don't let them rule how we interact. These differences are based on generalizations that may not be true for every individual.

dawgit
dawgit

partially nude?? "I'm a chick, working in IT." And a 'CuteElf' too, you forgot that. ;)

DanLM
DanLM

Entertainment is just that, entertainment. Something you do to pass the time. What makes a child is the morals and standards we teach them. My daughter is slightly goth, opinionated, and loves her blood and guts. But, my daughter has a lot of my traits in that she does not base her opinion of anyone on how they look or how much they know. She base's her opinion on how the person treats her and what she seer's in their heart. She also reads quite a lot on things she has questions on. She loves the horror flicks though, and that is some serious blood and guts. Will my daughter go out and slaughter someone with an Ax? lol, doubt it. She will call her dad to come kick their butt instead. roflmao, my little girl. Dan

maecuff
maecuff

I hate to tell you this..but.. I AM in management. I've been in management for the past 4 years. If it makes any difference at all, we're short staffed, so I still write code(sometimes). And I rarely think about Harrison Ford partially nude. Antonio Bandaras? Sure.. :) Even so, I still like it when sh*t blows up.

CuteElf
CuteElf

Hey, I'm a chick, working in IT. I think one of the things I'm noticing is that women who are DIRECTLY technical, hands-on fixers....we DO think like the guys. We seem to like blowup movies, fragging games, and general violence. Now the people in the MANAGEMENT levels are different; less technical, less geeky? and so are going to be an easier sway toward Feminine and Masculine. The OP might be talking about the Management, whereas Mae and I are in the trenches, fragging dustbunnies and grumbling about PEBCAKS. Whilst wearing heels, short skirts and thinking about Harrison Ford partially nude. What a day. CuteElf

jdclyde
jdclyde

If a women is not brought up being indoctrinated to become a good housekeeper who finds a good man to take care of her, she is free to learn all the cool stuff that guys have been keeping to themselves. It was never "lady like", but with the pre-defined roles being cast aside, "throws like a girl" is more than some guys can manage. You get in games that are not dumb brute strenght like soccer, and the girls will make you look silly out there......

Tink!
Tink!

are probably more common than we all realize. My 9 year old daughter has inherited her mother's taste of action, sci-fi, suspense and horror movies. She loves blood and guts. [i](but is not a violent out-of-control terror who will end up killing someone someday au contraire she is a sweet little angel - except to her little brother)[/i]. But she did paint her version of Cat Kong on our windows (Halloween decorating) with plenty of blood on it's claws, body, and spewing out of it's mouth. Am I a bad influence? Tink

DanLM
DanLM

Lol, that is just great. I have never heard a female say that about movies. I know women who can kick my butt in the IT world, who know more then me with regard to repairing things, who are just plain smarter then me. I have worked for women all my life, and respect them because they earned their position by their knowledge. But [i]And movies are always better if sh*t blows up in them.[/i], that's just precious. I'm sorry, but I thought that was just great. [i]Edited because I was wrong.[/i]I take that back. My wife is a huge James Bond fan, and lots of sh*t gets blown up in Bond movies. dan

saviour
saviour

This was the biggest load of crap I have read since Harry Potter. Clearly the author has never watched a womans hocky match! Also the Female is far more competitive than her male counterpart, She will fuck her way to the top, if she has or wants to, wheres a male will move on to pastures new in other words, give up. Saviour

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

Sex for promotions will never get you to the top. It might get you to the second in command position, but only if everyone doesn't know that's how you got there - unlikely in the extreme. Women can be the most cutthroat of competitors; but not in the same way men are, their competitive drive stems from a different source. Truely competitive women make male competition look like a bloody tea party. And yes, men do think about sex frequently. How else do you think we got to 6 billion people and climbing?

zlitocook
zlitocook

Women that I have worked with were at least as good as I am if not better! I like working with women/girls because they seem to think things in a different way then I do. I will jump in and try things and find ways around problems but a female/girl/woman will do things that I would not even try. We need the female in IT and I like having them around.

tparadise
tparadise

Finally a man willing to stand up for a woman. I was stunned that after the comment about women ****ing their way to the top that the only thing others focused on was his comment about Harry Potter. Men and women should be able to work together and be able to enhance each other. I don't dispute that we certainly have differences but this should be a good thing. Stereotypical ideas such as women using their bodies to enhance their careers hurts both men and women. First it solidifies the idea that men think about sex all the time and second it shows that some men are often threatened by a womans presence as an equal or supervisor in the work place. I am totally floored by these ideas. We live in the 21st century these ideas should have been wiped out long ago. Perhaps I am naive because I don't understand any form of prejudice at all. In my opinion anyone who still feels that a man is better than a woman or that a certain race is better than another is totally ignorant. Lets grow up and deal with the issues without slinging mud. Yes we are different in how we perceive things and often in how we do things but we should rejoice in these differences instead of resenting them.

mjd420nova
mjd420nova

At work I think about work and working with coworkers who like to work too. Otherwise why would I be in a job that's not fun. I look forward to each work day. I learn a lot and I teach a bit. My coworkers look to their coworkers for support in their work. That's called a succsessful business. It must be an pleasant and ego free envirionment that is full of sharing. Whether we feel we are participating or not, your coworkers take in their info and use it to guide their work and how to do it without crossing boundaries or VIOLATING ANOTHERS SPACE. We learn how to work with those specific others in a different manner than our significant other. The mixing of those relations can lead to embarASSing situations. Successful managers have learned how to use those workers with individual skills library management but nothing takes the place of being one of the workers who is not seen as supervisor. I have worked with real cavemen, but you'd never know it at work. I've worked with and for some very self centered females of both big and small statures and voice pitches. When they want to be a bitch it doesn't matter what the cause. Not where I work. The boss won't tolerate a problem child. You fit the template that they proscribe or no one will be happy. Now exceeding the expectations are where you need to start, not strive for. Attitude will make you or break you, but you can't overcome physilogical conditions that change from day to day. Even seasonal changes affect the over all morale and well being of a business. All particants need to know and either exploit those differences between the physicality of a man and the qentler touch of a female. Managers have to be the conductors, they know what keys to play and which ones to save for later on in the course. We are a small (24 employees) service oriented business with consulting and hardware specializations. We all get to talk with prospective employees and it gets to be interesting when we all get to to vote. Might sound crude, but as some might use the expression IN THIS TOGETHER, we literally are. If someone decides negative, they must explain why and in some cases, allowing just the women to decide when considering women. I look on it as a way to ensure that the men don't get a vote on some of the women prospectives. They will think with the wrong head and then you've got trouble. The women are also the most likely to institute policies such as birthday lists and anniversaries and potlucks. It should sound like a symphony and not a ragtag blues band. Choosing your instruments and when to play what keys. Give your share and a little more and your coworkers will learn your strengths that will go a long way to being assertive and not combative. Playing the keys deftly and not striking sharply. Does this all make any sense to you?? Some of the present employees are quite deft at eliciting revealing responses from candidates that would otherwise not have been comfortable talking with the BOSS. Some ladies get real upset over the implications that they aren't capable of doing any job a man can. You notice I called them ladies. I climbed poles and strung cables with LADIES and worked under ground with WOMEN. You see, it's the attitude. Works both ways. Don't scowl when I ask when you can do it instead of if. I wouldn't select them to do the job if I think they can't or won't do it..

rkendsley
rkendsley

Talk about zoning out..... I could not make it through this post.... too long.... blah, blah, blah... men thinking with the wrong head... we are all in this together.... I'm thinking of number one! Wow....

Tink!
Tink!

What's wrong with Harry Potter?

maecuff
maecuff

I really liked the Harry Potter series. They're fun.

JamesRL
JamesRL

Though "the order of the Phoenix" needed a good editor. These are kids books adults can enjoy. And like the CS Lewis Narnia series, they are instructive to kids on many levels in terms of exlporing issues and conflicts and values. James

dawgit
dawgit

flies around on a broom? Now that's a skill in need.

stress junkie
stress junkie

... about a 12 year old boy discovering his magic wand. A boy's best friend. :D

serena.c7
serena.c7

Really? Clearly, you are a chauvanistic male who is inclined to beleive that any woman who suceeds in the workplace must be banging the top dog. You are an id10t if this is the case. Ever stop to consider that a woman may actually be good at what she does? Esp. if she has the correct pitch and volumn to be heard by the men in her workplace? Men are deaf. I run into it every day. And not all men give up either. They'll fight to the top as ewll. It takes a certain type of personality to acheive the top, which you clearly don't understand.

rkendsley
rkendsley

You must have been a little ticked off since you transposed 'w' and 'e' in the word well so it came out as ewll. I'm sure this was overlooked on your part because of your emotions at that moment, and in no way reflects your abilities. ;-)

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

I do it all of the time. Like eth is the and aer is are, etc...

serena.c7
serena.c7

yeah, a little... *raises eyebrows and shrugs helplessly*, tis a fault of mine, i can't spell the word "well" properly unless i slow down.... the e and w *always* get transposed....

jdclyde
jdclyde

is that some PEOPLE are motivated and have the ability to advance, while some people suck. Does that about cover it? B-) [i] (accept for games, because EVERYONE knows that "chicks can't frag"! :p :^0 Sorry, can't be entirely serious, ya know? :D )