If you have been working for several years chances are you have had more than one boss. Whether you want to admit it or not there are preconceived notions about the pros and cons of working for a man or a woman. Depending on your gender you may have a preference, or (this too may be a preconceived notion), and it may not have mattered to you whether they were a man or woman. If you have struggled to see beyond the gender of your boss/supervisor Brazen Careerist has some tips to help you remain neutral.
1. When making small talk, try not to revert to gender stereotypes.
Yes, the majority of men like sports. And sure, plenty of women like to cook and bake. ButÂ if your female boss is huge Red Sox fan, don’t ask her what she plans to prepare for the July Fourth picnic potluck; talk boys of summer and batting averages instead. Once you know a boss’s favorite team, keep an eye on sports websites so you have something to say.
2. Use each sex’s communication style to your advantage.
Lots of studies recently have highlighted the different ways men and women communicate.Whether or not you agree, reading more about these theories will help build your skill arsenal.
Sophie Hahn and Anne LitwinÂ published a great article that listed gender perceptions at the workplace. Among those they highlighted were that women are more intuitive when it comes toÂ problem solving (trusting instincts first), and men are more linear (will not trust intuition until proof is presented). When there’s conflict at work, women seek to create harmony, whereas men accept conflict as normal.
Do those theories sound familiar to you? If so, how can you use that knowledge to be more a more valuable and helpful worker?
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