Do men and women network differently? The short answer is "yes."
Three networking experts have co-written a book that offers some lengthier insights on that question.
"Business Networking and Sex (not what you think)" by Ivan Misner, Hazel M. Walker and Frank J. De Raffele Jr. (January 2012, McGraw Hill/Entrepreneur Press, $21.95, 224 pages) isn't as racy a book as the cover might lead you to believe. It's a statistical, straightforward analysis of how men and women approach networking in different ways: Women pursue relationships and men want to close the deal.
The authors conducted a survey of 12,000 businesspeople from "every populated continent" to participate in a 25-question study over the course of four years. Respondents were 50.2% male and 49.8% female.
The last question asked the respondents if they had a story to share about networking with the opposite sex ... and nearly 1,000 did. (A lot seemed to have to do with conduct unbecoming a business meeting, such as some men not being able to keep from staring at women's breasts and, conversely, some women dressing more like they were going clubbing than to a business meeting.)
"The results of our study unearthed astounding breakthroughs that will change the habits and results of your face-to-face networking process," wrote Misner in the book's introduction.
Male or female, networking pays off: It is proven to boost business. "Our analysis showed a linear correlation ... the more hours a person spend networking, the more business they derived from it," Misner wrote.
- Women are more likely to focus on building the relationship first - then the business.
- Men felt stronger about transactional aspects of networking.
- Men spent a little more time networking.
- The more time either men or women spend in their networking efforts, the higher the percentage of business they generated.
Both men and women want business from networking and both are willing to work hard to get it. But they approach it in different ways, and need to learn the style of the opposite sex.
Here are some tips for women dealing with men:
- When asking for help, communicate clearly what you want
- When speaking to men, try to impress them and share your accomplishments
- When spoken to inappropriately, speak up immediately. Don’t accept it.
- Convey an image that you’re a serious business person at all times.
For men dealing with women:
- Slow down. Build the relationship.
- Don’t assume that women don’t take their business seriously.
- Edit what you’re about to say. Filter out anything that’s not business-appropriate.
- Remember that women are at networking events for the same reason you are: to get business.
Click here to watch the authors preview the book in a short YouTube video.
Want to win the book?
I think this book might be useful to someone who organizes or attends networking events, is in human resources, or is a sociologist or behavioral science professor. If you would like to "win" my brand new paperback review copy of the book, simply comment on this post with your email address. If you're selected as winner (at random, of course), I'll contact you to find out where to mail the book. If no one comments or otherwise claims the book it will be donated to the Pottstown Regional Public Library.
About the authors:
Ivan Misner is founder and chairman of Business Network International, the world’s largest business networking organization. Founded in 1985, the organization has almost 6,200 chapters throughout the world. Last year alone, BNI generated 6.9 million referrals resulting in $3.1 billion of business for its members. Misner earned a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He is a New York Times bestselling author who has written 16 books including "Networking Like a Pro," a No. 1 bestseller.
|FRANK DE RAFFELE JR.|