Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Female Advantage: Impressions Count

Market Yourself Smarter hosted an exclusive and provocative event yesterday located at the swish Toronto Street Goodlife Fitness Club for Women location. The topic? First impressions and why they count. An interesting dialogue and debate ensued which inevitably delved into the male:female communication style discussion. Are women overly concerned about gaining the acceptance of their male counterparts? Are men or other women as judgemental and quick to stereotype as some women believe them to be? Should we care? Is it important? Are there things women could and should learn from the male communication style?

Well yes, it most certainly is evidenced by the room full of women eager to discuss the topic of making a good first impression. The fact of the matter is that we do care and we should care-- at least a little bit.

Whether physical or gender-based discrimination exists or not, the perception is that it does. And perception is reality. Companies are investing heavily in this very topic. Changing the mindset and bridging the gender gap in a corporation is an important effort and will payoff in acquisition and retention efforts and hopefully in encouraging more women into the executive suite.

What was agreed on by most was that women have a distinct Female Advantage that should be emphasized and leveraged. The female advantage pays off in sales meetings, board rooms, top and bottom line results.

Alana Free, Director of People Development at Goodlife Fitness did a terrific job at facilitating this heated discussion and shared with us a list of related books on the topic listed below.

Stay tuned for more cafe events where this one came from! What are your thoughts on the topic?

The Female Advantage, Women’s Ways of Leadership
By Sally Helgesen

First Impressions, What You Don’t Know About How Others See You
By Ann Demarais Ph.D, and Valerie White Ph.D

How To Talk So People Listen, Connecting In Today’s Workplace
By Sonya Hamlin

Happiness is a Choice
By Barry Neil Kaufman

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