Archive for May 20, 2013

Book Review XIX: The Male Factor

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A book I purchased in TIR last year during 23% discount season.
When I first read the cover, I thought it was a book on becoming a real gentleman.
Well, it turns out the book is about how businessmen work Smile with tongue out
It is good for me to learn it as I can try to fulfill my future boss’ expectation.
Also, I can apply some of the expected behavior in work ethics Open-mouthed smile

Shaunti Feldhahn wrote other books like For Women Only, For Men Only, For Young Women Only and For Young Men Only.
One day I shall get her books on women!!

There are many businesswomen who can’t excel in their work as they can’t relate well to their male colleagues. Many businesswomen do not understand how their male colleagues think and they end up jeopardizing their career even without their realizing it. Hence, this book reveals to businesswomen some unwritten rules about how businessmen work.

Male brain wiring facilitates compartmentalìzation in thinking. When men mention, “It’s business, nothing personal”, they really mean it. Men view working world as having separate rule than personal world. Women are advised to stay professional by asking “How does it affect the business?” not “How does it affect me?” Even when women are being criticized at work, they should remember they are criticized for their work performance, not their persons. When emotion is involved at work, it should be something related to business.

Male brain wiring has less infrastructure to handle emotion. Somehow, emotion impairs men’s ability to think. Men value someone who is ‘relational’ but not ’emotional’. (or, in other words, becoming less emotional about self and more emotional about needs of others) What is ’emotional’? Becoming tearful, getting upset or defensive too early, overreacting, jumping to conclusions, holding strong opinions and personality conflicts. Men can also be emotional. However, they can restrain their emotion better than women. In fact, they force calmness in their emotion.

Men consider emotional as interfering with his ability to think clearly and hence will affect his performance. Men tend to highly value performance due to fear. This fear is originated in Gen 3. When Adam disobeyed God, Adam was cursed: the land seems to be fighting against him. Even success doesn’t provide men with much breathing room. Performance is evaluated based on results and teamwork. In particular for teamwork, emotional bond is formed through shared pain.

There are little things that men require from women in a business world. 1.) men prefer hearing the conclusion first before the details. 2.) men value calmness in handling conflict, not overreaction. After all, it is about business, not personal. 3.) men value the ability of letting go emotional baggage after conflict.

Men often have ‘suck it up’ mentality. This mentality means men tend not to let personal or professional obstacles stop them from getting the job done, not to complain, not to ask for help or explanation often and not to ask for different standards unless they adjust their expectation. Men tend to push through obstacles by putting extra effort in their work, not to broadcast how hard they have been working, and not to often talk about personal problem. Men also tend to stick to top-down authority system, obeying the boss without asking much explanation. Men also respect their colleague who acknowledge they can’t take much responsibility and hence are willing to take lesser reward/salary. However, this acknowledgement comes when lesser responsibility is due to family issue.

Men’s greatest fear is being seen as incompetent and a failure. This fear drives men to work hard and to solve problem without asking for help. Due to fear, men’s most important emotional need is respect. Even unintentional disrespect can be damaging. When asking questions to men, one should be more careful on how to ask, not what to ask. Asking too many ‘why’ questions or exasperation can be an unintentional sign of disrespect depending on the manner of expressing it. As unfair as it is, men are more attuned to the body language of women than to men. Even when superior men make mistakes, they should still be respected due to their position. The easiest way to respect men is to compliment them in front of others. Voicing objection can be done in a respectful way too.

Men are visual. Women should be careful in dressing up even in business environment. Low cut blouse and tight skirt might be a distraction for men. Men, on the other hand, should put in effort to stop his train of thought. Due to brain wiring, men can’t not notice visual sexual stimuli. Some images in men’s brain can pop up later and men often have sexual thought. When women dressing up in a revealing clothe give presentation, men often miss what they are saying. Women may not intend to draw men’s attention to their body. However, men often perceive the exact opposite. Men may even view such women with less respect. Hence, women should dress up attractively without looking distracting or sexual.

Some advice from men: women should be confident in who they are, to be their professional selves. Women should not try to become like men as men could tell they were not being genuine. Modern business world tend to be gender blind. As long as women show equal competency, they will be treated with equal respect as to the men.

This book closes with some counsel from experienced Christian women for younger Christian women: 1.) women can ask the Creater of men on how to handle them. 2.) women represent Christ in the workplace. So they should consider their word and action. 3.) women should work as if Lord Jesus was their boss. 4.) women must be purposeful about balancing work and family. 5.) women can be servant leaders and accomplish much without compromising the authority entrusted to them. 6.) since the world is imperfect, women can experience unfair treatment no matter how best they do. When that happens, women should decide if they want to stay on or move on.

Posted May 20, 2013 by Jefri Yue Fei 吴岳飞 in Book Review

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