12 Views From Women's Eyes
Managing the New Majority

by Laura Ricci 

Today, over 40 percent of the workforce in the United States is female. Their numbers are already significant among the executive, administrative and managerial workforce. And yet, you rarely find them among the high ranking corporate leaders. This is ironic, because those firms which fail to integrate the diverse talents of the female half of the workforce into their organization, have cut nearly in half the methods, solutions and benefits that are available to them. As the new millennium approaches and the balance shifts, the irony will be all the more obvious. By the turn of the century, women in the workforce will outnumber the men. The recommendations and techniques in this book are aimed at giving managers the tools to tap into the power of the new majority and retain the benefits that men have already brought there.

Laura Ricci is the author of a brilliant new book exploring territory most are afraid to discuss when it comes to men and women in the workplace. " 12 Views from Women's Eyes: Managing the New Majority " deals directly and insightfully with the differences of those from Venus and Mars and provides practical methods and solutions for managers working with a diverse workforce. Women deal with issues differently than men do - and Ricci offers insight not only into the unique strengths of women, but how to tap and integrate both gender specific approaches for superior performance within organizations.

The book is a practical guide and invaluable ‘reality check.’ In the author’s words. “We're not into stereotyping; we're into changing motivation. We're not into overhauling; we're into awareness. If you believe that everyone in your organization ought to work in the same way, communicate alike, and approach problems with a single mind-set, this book will do no more than disturb and dismay you. But if you see the value in the diversity that surely exists in your organization and you want to exploit that by applying the best abilities of everyone, you may find some helpful ideas here.” And there’s much more than ideas here - the exercises and ‘conversations’ provide very meaningful ‘tools’ to get on with the ‘business’ of tapping the talent of diversity. Two excerpts follow:

Management headache #3:

Why do women talk so much?

Women at work, just like women away from work, seem to talk a lot. They pour over details with other people and they "discuss the topic to death" in the eyes of some male managers. Women talk, compare, whine, question and probe as an important part of their way of preparing for action. Women take more risks and accomplish more when they've had a chance to talk it out first.

When managers try to mute women, they deny women an important step in preparing to charge into battle. Managers need to provide some space for the communication women crave. Those managers who do, find themselves working with a super-charged employee rather than a reluctant, overly cautious employee.

When managers mute conversation, it's as if they are denying someone's dreams by waking them up every few minutes throughout the night, to be sure they aren't dreaming again. After enough deprivation, they find themselves on the wrong side of a sluggish, grumpy performer.

Successful managers make time for talk before action.

Management headache #2:

Why won't men drivers stop for directions?

Out for a family drive, and the route is new. After a few too many miles, it becomes clear that the route is less than certain. Women can't understand why men won't just pull over and ask for directions. Men can't understand why women are so impatient.

And yet, managers are surprised when men behave this way at work. What is it that drives them to skip the tutorial, ignore the instructions, and "just get started"? The urge to "get my hands dirty", and get a feel for the problem, is one sign of the male pattern of approaching problems. This has great benefit when swift response is necessary, but is risky. Thorny training issues such as plant safety require more deliberation and less action. You don't want employees "just trying it out" in a dangerous situation, and you want to make sure they don't "tune out" the instruction.

The solution isn't to hog-tie men to sit through an entire course, but capitalize on that urge to "do something." Successful managers allow some room for experimentation before instruction for male pattern employees. Female managers may not naturally do this because it's not part of how they approach problems. But managers find better motivation and stronger performance from men when the preference for "action first" is built into tasks.

Selected topics from the book include:

Girls Join In; Guys Join Up: 
Want both genders to accept responsibility? Men and women handle it differently.

When the Chain of Command is a Web: 
Want to find solutions quicker? Use a web and build Hot Links (we're not talking sausage).

Keeping Score and Scoring Points: 
Need to plan for the long haul? Women take the longer view.

He's a Shaker; She's a Mover: 
Want to keep your good employees? You'll need to stop women from moving out by moving up.

Good Relations Make Good Vibrations: 
Want get the best from both genders? Let women form the attack plan; let the men carry it into battle.

Heroes and Heroines: 
Tired of the infighting? Aim it at your competition!

Tears and Beers: 
Disgruntled employee? Tailor your responses to the gender.

Good People; Bad Teams: 
Men don't have pajama parties. Why not?

Susan Greene offers the best synopsis and recommendation for this very timely work, “The combination of insightful observations punctuated with humor and wit makes for an interesting and valuable business tool. This book is a "must" for today's managers -- and a valuable tool for anyone who works within an organization.”

12 Views from Women's Eyes: Managing the New Majority , practical advice to manage the (gasp!) differences among men and women in the workplace. Available on-line at R3: http://www.R-3.com/bookorder.htm or by calling 1-800-953-6755.

Contact: Laura Ricci at lricci@R-3.com

Many more Refresher Reviews in The CEO Refresher Archives


Copyright 1998 - Refresher Publications Inc. All rights reserved.

Current Issue - Archives - CEO Links - News - Conferences - Recommended Reading