In the past few days, I have spoken to over 300 women in two different audiences. They were both annual Women’s Conferences in two parts of the country: Palm Springs and Chicago. Yes, the weather is quite different, but the women are not. I did the “Necessary Roughness” speech, tailoring the material in my book to the different audiences. I love making them laugh, but what was most interesting to me is where I got spontaneous applause—indicating a real connection to the group, and what they resonate with.
The first thing they go nuts over is the “Joe story”—my first real football lesson that women NEED to hear. I was in my 20s when my boyfriend taught me how to watch football. When the game went to commercial, Joe caught me wiping a tear. He said, “What?” I said it was my favorite part of football, when one guy from one team knocked down a guy from the other team, really hard, and then reached his hand out to help him up. Joe was a bit annoyed that I thought it was sweet. “Meem,” he said, “the whistle blew. The play is over. He’s helping the other guy up to start again quickly. It’s efficiency—not compassion!” I felt a bit sad, but it was a stunning realization. The whistle blew. The play was over. The women reacted when I told them while we women have a wonderful capacity to CONNECT, we need to learn how to COMPARTMENTALIZE. We need to let go. When the whistle blows, the play is over. Each moment is a new moment of now. Men appreciate a short memory! Here’s where an audience of men will break into loud applause; the women did a little applause of recognition. I told them that male lawyers have been verbally bashing each other in morning court proceedings; then, they go to lunch—together! “Women?” I ask, since I know there are more than a few lawyers in the group. Someone yelled out, “Not so much.” The room chuckled in recognition.
In this economy, it serves us to have a short memory. We need to brush off the bad plays (months) and renew, with vigor, our intentions to go forward and turn a profit!
Another part of my speech that scored big with the women was my assertion that men go for the points—in everything! Women get caught up in the “journey” and aren’t so laser-beam focused on scoring the goal. This can hurt us in this economy—we need to play to win, and go for the goal. Women love the process—great for us, but confusing to men. Sometimes, it’s not enough for us that he got us what we asked for—example: flowers—but we want him to go about it in the WAY we WANT him to figure it out—from the “hints” we give him. Mind-reading is not a value for men—that’s the journey. He’s going for the goal: he wants to KNOW what you want, get it for you, and have you REWARD him profusely—that’s romance for a man.
During these times of scrambling for work, no one –men or women—have time to hint around at things we want. We need to be more direct than ever, and go for the goal. In a large group, we laugh and applaud at this advice. I can only trust that once the audience gets back home to their lives, the advice will stick, and they will use it, and then I’ll count it as a success. So now, I wait for the emails. . .and the twitter and Facebook posts. . .cool.