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Top Ten Tips for Women Who Lead Men

Thinking menEllen recently wrote a nice post titled Top Ten Tips for Men Who Lead Women, and asked for volunteers to offer a complementary perspective. I hope you enjoy!

  1. We men know we are hard to lead, and that can be stressful for you and for us. You should know that stress affects short term memory, so it is important to be able to manage stress well, with meditation or other methods. Check here your level of stress to see how much this point applies to you. Please remember, laughing is good for your brain.
  2. Don’t think too much-we don’t. If we do, we try to find ways to self-talk us out of that uncomfortable state.
  3. Please remember our humble origins. We are tool-using animals, which is why we like playing with all kinds of toys, from a car to that blackberry.
  4. When we are stubborn, you are entitled to remind us that even apes can learn-if you help us see the point. Show us that change is possible at any age. Believe it or not, we can listen.
  5. Especially if we can find common ground: what about chatting about sports psychology?.
  6. Please motivate us to listen and be open minded to learn with wise words. If that doesn’t work, please persevere with nice words. Please don’t ever say that we are worse than pink dolphins-if we feel attacked, we’ll just disengage.
  7. Sometimes we don’t cooperate enough?. Please give us time for our brains to fully evolve, we have been trying for a while!
  8. You can help us grow. For the next leadership workshop, buy us copies of the Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain book. You may think we don’t need this… but at our core we really want to get better at Gratitude and Altruism. We want to be able to play with the ultimate toy: our genes!
  9. If that book is sold out, we could also benefit from reading Damasio’s Descartes Error and discover how emotions are important for good decision-making. Or help us improve our ability to read emotional messages. As long as we believe we can somehow benefit from it, we’ll try!
  10. If you lead someone with Bill Gates-like Frontal Lobes, congratulate him for his brain. If you don’t, encourage him to follow track. Please be patient

Now, any takers for Top Ten Tips for Women Who Lead Women or Men Who Lead Men?

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21 Responses

  1. Robyn says:

    Alvaro, you brought several chuckles as I read your response to Ellen. Interestingly, I wasn’t aware that men don’t like to think much. Hmmm… that stirred my dendrites [I’m thinking of a response!]

  2. Alvaro says:

    Hi Robyn,

    Yes, latest neuroscience has shown that adult neurogenesis and neuroplasticity only happens in women, which may contribute to explain that point :-)

    (for new readers: that is a joke!-both genders can benefit from the exciting emerging research around how our brains can literally grow)

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  16. Patricia says:

    As a woman leader, I think that there are is no significant difference between leading men and leading women.

    I pay attention to individual differences among people. I try to motivate them in the way they like. For example, many people are motivated by money; others prefer praise in public, others crave simple thanks and congratulations in private.

    In short: Reward people in the ways they prefer to motivate better performance.

  17. Alvaro says:

    Dear Patricia,

    I agree with you in that there is much more intra-gender variability that the simplistic men vs. women paradigm. That is why I adopted a funny tone.

    And you are doing the right thing: paying attention to wwhat motivates each individual. Thanks for the tips

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