(Or listen to it here.)
If it’s a situation where it doesn’t make you look foolish, you can let it go and talk to him in private. He’ll appreciate the gesture when you say, “I didn’t want to mention it earlier, but the new information shows X. I’ll get it to you.” I certainly don’t want to promote deferring to men, but poor guys, they take the heat from other men when corrected by a woman in public. As Arnold Schwarzenegger would say, “Don’t be a Girlie Man!”
There is one situation that really irks me! It’s when a group of intelligent, voluptuous women hear a man spout a stupid idea and then enlist the entire group to work on it. Yep, you guessed it, I’m talking about Donald Trump’s The Apprentice! And congratulations should be given to the Donald—he called them on it. He wanted to know why women who had been promoting their own viable projects would defer to an unworkable idea put forth by a man. And then they worked on it! I’ve given that situation some thought. At first, I thought those aren’t regular women. They’ve selected candidates who have lots of telegenic qualities plus lots of cleavage. OK, they aren’t exactly regular women, but unfortunately they act like regular women when they defer to men. I say “unfortunately” because that may have played out well in the past at home or with the nomad clan, but now women are at work, and that’s different.
Now, here’s my Women in Business Tip of the Week.
Tip: This week, I want you to pay particular attention to instances where you’re starting to backslide into your old Don’t Tell Him He’s Wrong tactic. Think quickly. Find a way to get your information out with the least damage. But get your information out! Is there someone in your company who frequently spouts nonsense? Talk with other women about the Speaking Up While Saving Face technique. And make a pact that you’ll back each other up when this occurs. I’m not talking Revolution here, merely what’s good for business—and good for women—well, that’s the same thing.
Further Reading for Women in Business:
Podcast (always less than 10 minutes), Working in Heels, by Nancy Clark, Communicate Without Losing Your Authority —Assertive, Not Aggressive, Works Best For Women or read it here.
Blog, Women’s Lunch Talk, by Nancy Clark, Be Confident, Cover Your Self-Doubt —Use Confident Language That Says, “I Can Do It!” or listen to it here.
Website, WomensMedia, by Hilary M. Lips, Radford University, Women and Leadership: The Delicate Balancing Act