Do you do business like a woman or a man?

Did you know there are two distinct styles of doing business — a man’s way and a woman’s way? Neither is wrong or right. But this information could make a huge difference when writing a business email, starting a new project or even making a pitch.

People often tell me that in business my approach is pretty direct. I usually get straight to the point in meetings. I want to know the salient information and whether we can do something or not. That’s called a man’s way of doing business. But I can also change my style when the situation requires it.

A woman’s way of doing business involves talking about things at length. You have to communicate differently with a woman and discuss how things could work. She loves to be asked, “What do you think about this idea?”

There have been times when I got into strife by treating someone like a man, when they wanted to do business like a woman. As soon as I realized this, I changed my approach and asked them how they’re doing, what they did over the weekend or how they feel about the project we’re working on. And our communications changed immediately.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re actually a woman or a man. In any workplace you’ll come across men who like a woman’s way of doing business and women who do business like a man. So look around at the people you work with. Do they do business like a man or like a woman? What about you? Do you prefer a man’s way or a woman’s way?

Use this awareness to have more fun in your business. And here are 3 additional tools to add to your repertoire.

  • Women, you don’t have to be a bitch

I’ve come across women who have decided that they can only succeed by being big, bad, tough businesswomen. That’s simply not true! Women can be great manipulators in business.

Manipulation is considered crafty or even deceitful, and that’s one definition of the word. It also means to handle a situation easily and skilfully —that’s the kind of manipulation I’m talking about. When I see women operate as if they’re nasty or mean, I’m tempted to say, “Do you know how easy things would be for you if you used a little manipulation?”

Even when people know you’re manipulating them, it still works. What if you could have fun with manipulation?

  • Never confront

Asking someone questions is a great manipulation. A question is designed to dissolve any conclusions you might have and create a totally different outcome. It also allows the other person to give you feedback and ask their own questions.

If there’s a difficult conversation to be had with someone, the first thing I say to them is: “I’m confused. Can you help me with this?”

Never justify, never confront. If you force a confrontation, people have to fight you.

When you say you need help, perhaps because you missed something, the other person will try to fill in the blanks; they will try to help you.

This tool really works! What you’re looking for is greater clarity and more awareness. It’s not about right or wrong or winning and losing. The only time confrontation may be useful is when you desire to control a situation or to end a relationship. 

  • Men, you don’t have to be the commander-in-chief!

As I mentioned a man’s way of doing business is quite direct. Many men have been taught that they have to give and follow orders. They think they have to be the authority at all times and people should simply do as they’re told. This approach can lead to blind followers and that’s something you don’t want in your business.

Invite the people you work with to contribute to your business. Every person in your company or business has a different perspective and their own awareness so be willing to tap into that. I’ve noticed that entrepreneurs rarely act like commanders-in-chief. Their approach usually is, “What does this person know and what can they contribute?” Entrepreneurs constantly ask questions about every aspect of business.

You can only do business as a man or a woman, but that could limit what’s truly possible in your business. Use this information to have ease of communication. What if changing how you do business is as easy as changing your clothes?

About Your Guest Blogger: Simone Milasas is the Founder and Creator of Joy of Business as well as the Worldwide Coordinator of Access Consciousness® which operates in over 170 countries. Simone is the author of the internationally acclaimed book Joy of Business (currently available in 13 languages) and recently released her new book Getting Out of Debt Joyfully. Sign up for her 3-part free video series, Putting the Fun Back in Business here