Women communicate mainly to nurture relationships. On the other hand, men communicate mainly to exchange data. So how can men and women coexist in the workplace, often spending 12+ hour shifts together?
The answer can be found in a joke.
What’s the secret to a great marriage?
A big house.
The key to working with women, then, lies in keeping your distance. My best advice is to keep your actions benevolent and be a helpful coworker, but don’t talk too much. Keep your actions louder than your words.
Now that we have the most important rule covered, let’s go over three additional principles for working with women:
1) If you find that a woman is continually trying to micromanage you or trying to tell you what to do, it is because she thinks she can get away with it. You need to put her in her place by standing up and telling her that is unacceptable. Telling her this with a low tone of voice will reinforce your superior position in the dominance hierarchy. At a base level, women understand that their words are not enforceable with men because when it comes down to the wire, women are not willing to engage men in a physical fight. So when you tell a woman that her attempts to micromanage you are unacceptable, she intuitively understands that if she disobeys you, her physical safety may be at stake. I am not telling you to hit women; I am simply telling you that you need to call them out on unacceptable behavior.
2) Women are particularly receptive to male directions from an evolutionary standpoint. Therefore, when you give directions to a woman, always refer to the woman by her first name to eliminate confusion. Otherwise, she may use passive-aggressive behavior and defer the directions to another woman.
When you need help, I recommend using straightforward language:
“Sarah, I need you to do X.”
“Michelle, I want your help with Y.”
“Danielle, I need you to suck on Z (that is a joke…but you get the picture).”
All these directions are similar to the directives women may hear in the bedroom.
In other words, listening to male directions is tantamount to reproducing and surviving.
Remember: the bottom line is that women are evolutionarily primed to listen to your directions. Use your low one of voice and be specific about whose help you need.
3) Do not try to appease your female coworkers. Have you ever been in a relationship with a woman? Have you ever noticed that women are almost impossible to satisfy? This is why you hear husbands commonly complaining about “nagging wives.”
Men commonly try to appease women using three strategies:
a) They give fake compliments to women to curry their favor
b) They force themselves into conversation with women by pretending to be interested in women’s personal lives (“How’s your kid doing?”).
c) They speak with higher pitches to blend in with the in-group of females.
I advocate against all three of the above strategies. All you need to do is be yourself. In the workplace, you will naturally mesh well with certain women and rub others the wrong way. Regardless, you just need to let your actions speak louder than your words.