The other day, I was listening to a friend complaining about her meetings at work and how her female colleagues talk too much, analyse problems for too long and don’t generate outcomes or assign actions. Apparently things never get done, unless she takes what she considers a ‘male’ lead! She now prefers to work with the men in her team who seem to be keener to generate solutions and actions.
This got me thinking because I collaborate and work almost exclusively with female colleagues. And yes, we can talk a lot whilst analysing and exploring our options. Indeed, when talkers get together meetings can easily overrun because we get sidetracked; and if they don’t overrun, they may require a follow-up meeting or call, just to finalise the actions.
One of the problems with too much talking and exploring can be that ‘doers’, who are often not natural creative thinkers themselves, can see it as dithering or prolonging decision making.
Why is it that many ‘talkers’ get sidetracked so easily? Sometimes it’s because we also want to build relationships during the meetings – relating after all is an important strength most women rate very highly!
‘Doers’, on the other hand, may not need to relate, discuss or analyse in great detail. ‘Doers’ may be able to move mountains, but problems can arise if they don’t spend enough time considering different options. It can be counterproductive to rush decisions as making a later u-turn or having to rectify mistakes may not always be easy.
Often, the best outcome can be for ‘talkers’ and ‘doers’ to link up for joint projects and acknowledge their different thinking or decision-making styles. The team members can then learn from each other as the meeting will offer a good mix of styles.
So, when holding a meeting, make sure to agree on certain specifics: always include an agenda, plan outcomes in advance and document actions, not forgetting to include that all-important relationship building and creative thinking time. This can be particularly important for virtual collaborators who don’t hold physical meetings very often.
Not only will the talkers minimise the risk of being left behind by the quicker ‘doers’, but everyone can work with their strengths and get to know each other better too!
PS. If you would like to grow your business or enhance your effectiveness, please email Ute Wieczorek-King to arrange a complimentary 30-minute mentoring session. Ute helps busy women to be well connected, visible, effective and profitable in business. You can connect with her via Twitter, the Success Network Community on Linkedin, or Success Network Recipes on Facebook. To sign up to her monthly newsletter, please vsit the Success Network website.
Copyright 2012, Ute Wieczorek-King