By k | September 30, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my mentors,
ironically a male VP,
taught me
to never say something
without having facts to back it up.
It doesn’t matter
if that something was my opinion.
I needed a fact behind it.

Why?

Because it limits
what we now call
mansplaining.

Mansplaining is
“”to explain something
to someone,
typically a man to woman,
in a manner regarded
as condescending
or patronizing.”

If a woman states something,
even her opinion,
and men are listening,
it is almost guaranteed
that she will be challenged on it.
She could be the expert
and he could know nothing
but he will state his usually contrary opinion
and undermine her position.

Often one source isn’t good enough.
I was in a discussion recently
about the ownership of the company.
I knew who owned the company
because I knew the management team
and I gave one media source to back that up.
The man told me that source wasn’t reliable.

Sometimes the man will interrupt
the woman
before she’s finished speaking,
sending the message
that her insights aren’t important
or reliable.

So she stops talking.
She’s intelligent.
Why should she speak
if no one values what she says?

Why should you
care
about mansplaining?

(Whether you’re male or female
- women often borrow
the management styles
of their male mentors)

Because if you
have women
on your team,
experienced women
who have been in the industry
for a while,
they are NOT going to share their opinions
unless they have facts behind it
and they care enough about the topic
to fight to defend their answer.

UNLESS
they know they can trust you.
You have a record
of valuing their opinions,
of not asking for backup
for these opinions,
of not asking for proof
regarding topics they’re experts in,
of supporting them
when they speak on these topics.

If the women on your team
don’t share their opinions
in meetings
without prompting,
you haven’t earned their trust.
You’re not benefiting
from all of their knowledge.

Build an environment
where mansplaining is NOT okay.
This will be so rare,
unfortunately,
that it will give you and your business
a strategic advantage.

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