Networking, Leadership and Sex

Networking, Leadership and Sex

By: Jill Mendoza We have all been told from time to time that sex sells, right?  But have you ever heard anyone explain how to sell to the opposite sex?  Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a recent Women’s Leadership Conference.  At the conference I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to a presentation by Hazel Walker.  Hazel is a Business Coach, and Co-Author of the book “Business Networking and Sex (It’s not what you think)”.  This book actually has a very plausible theory for why men and women have such different skills when it comes to networking.  Studies show when networking woman are typically looking to build a relationship and men are typically looking to make a transaction. Perhaps differences in how the genders NETWORK may also be connected to how they LEAD. Hazel actually explains these gender differences in a story about having dinner with a business contact.  After dinner and conversation about their families, professions and hobbies she decided to call it a night.  As they were heading towards the door, he put his arm around her and said, “How about you and I go out to the car and make out like teenagers?”  She declined but the next day when she shared the outcome of the evening (which she thought was inappropriate) with a male colleague, he just laughed.  He noted the behavior was not inappropriate; it was just a “pre-mature solicitation”!  He told her; you were looking to participate in a relationship and he (the business contact) was looking to make a transaction! In her book Hazel notes; “Women approach networking differently because to most of them, it is much more important to build a trusting relationship and then business  just happens.  With most men, they want to get right down to business and socialize after the deal is done.  Women feel as though they are being coerced into a deal this way when all men are doing is getting the business out of the way so they can enjoy the celebration and frankly will move on most of the time if they think there is any hesitation from you about business.  This is just a communication problem.” In theory, while leading and networking, if women focused a bit more on making transactions and men a bit more on building relationships the secrets to accurately reading between the gender lines, and uncovering a new edge for successfully networking with the opposite sex could be realized by all of us!  Hazel’s business-building mantra; “Build your network before you need it and your “net” will “work” for you.”  

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