Workplace Study: 8 blind spots between men & women

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

by Barbara Annis

Have you ever felt this way, or heard these or similar comments expressed by coworkers and friends?

  • “I’m tired of feeling left out and having my ideas ignored.”
  • “Nowadays, I have to be so careful in what I say and do.”
  •  “Asking questions doesn’t mean I’m not a team player!”

Men and women truly want to work more successfully with each other, but we’re unsure how. We often have difficulty reading each other’s intentions and understanding each other’s behavior. We’re trying our best to work together effectively and find greater happiness in our personal lives but we’re coming up short in many ways, and so unnecessarily!

Work with Me: The 8 Blind Spots between Men and Women at Work reveals, for the first time, survey results of more than 240,000 men and women across the globe—the leading false assumptions and mistaken opinions that men and women have of each other, and in many ways, of themselves!

Here are the first four gender blind spots with equal insight and learning for men and women. The next four blind spots, including Do Women Ask Too Many Questions? and Do Men Listen? will appear in my next blog post.

Do Men Need to Change?

Women are not as content as men are in today’s workplace. They often feel excluded from formal and informal events, and their ideas ignored or dismissed. Men are generally comfortable with their workplace, and they are often not aware of how their behavior can affect the women around them. Women’s blind spot is in assuming men’s actions are intentional.

Do Men Appreciate Women?

How we wish to be appreciated is often reflected in the way we express our appreciation. Men’s blind spot is in assuming that women want to be shown appreciation in the same way and for the same reasons men do.

Are Women Being Excluded?

Many women feel their voices are not heard in meetings and their questions and ideas dismissed. They often feel excluded from informal meetings and mentoring opportunities. Men want to find ways to work with women and often express that their intention is not to exclude.

Do Men Have to Walk on Eggshells With Women?

Men state they are most uncertain with women when giving critical feedback, using careless language, and properly reacting to the changing rules of civility such as opening doors and offering to buy lunch. Women don’t want men to walk on eggshells around them and are often surprised that it occurs to the degree with which it does!

Resolving Our Blind Spots

Greater understanding can only lead to a greater appreciation for each other and the realization that our gender differences are intended to complement, not compete. Through the insights gain in Work with Me, you will grow in your gender intelligence. You’ll learn to stop the blame game. You’ll begin to see each other for the first time without blinders and to value each other, and as a result, find greater success and satisfaction at work and in your personal life.

Stay tuned for my next blog post for the final four of the eight gender blind spots!

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