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Working on your ‘gender blind spots’


Published: Sep 04, 2013

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If you find that the most difficult aspect of business is working with colleagues of the opposite sex, then ‘Work With Me: The 8 Blind Spots Between Men and Women in Business’ will have managers and co-workers alike breathing a sigh of relief.

No longer will you need to pretend to have a “gender neutral” attitude, for fear of being branded a sexist.

‘Work With Me’ aims to resolve the most stressful and confusing challenges facing men and women at work.

The co-authors are Barbara Annis, a world-renowned expert on inclusive leadership, whose principles on “gender intelligence” have been adopted by 10 governments.

And John Gray PhD, who is a leading relationship expert and bestselling author of ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’, which is ranked by USA Today as one of the top 10 most influential books over the last 25 years.

The result is thankfully not a play on stereotyping, but an evidence-based guide for understanding of the unique, sex-specific features of the human brain and is based upon a survey of over 100,000 in-depth interviews of men and women executives across 60 Fortune-500 companies.

Their findings have been used to identify the “eight gender blind spots”, false assumptions, and opinions that men and women hold resulting in misunderstandings, miscommunications, mistrust, resentment and frustrations at work.

Each chapter of ‘Work With Me’ focuses on our respective biological differences and offers practical advice on key questions including: Are we really the same; Do women want men to change; Are women being excluded; Do men listen; Are women too emotional; Are men insensitive; Building trust with women and ultimately achieving work-personal life harmony.

The conclusion is that biology and social influences compel men and women to think and act as they do, and direct how we all communicate, solve problems, make decisions, resolve conflict, lead others and deal with stress.

Ultimately understanding and valuing these differences can result in greater satisfaction in our professional and personal lives, enabling men and women to work together successfully.

In my experience many books about gender actively encourage women to act more like men; and deplore men for acting like themselves.

It’s therefore refreshing to be encouraged to understand and celebrate our differences. So is it a good book? Wait until I ask the wife and I will get back to you!

• ‘Work with Me’ by Barbara Annis & John Gray and published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Keith Appleton JP, BA (Hons), N.Dip.M, MInstLM has extensive experience within an academic, managerial and strategic leadership role. He is a member of the UK Institute of Leadership & Management and can be contacted at KeithAppleton@Hotmail.co.uk or follow him at twitter.com/WritingRightNow.


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