Do we need another book about gender differences at work? Authors Barbara Annis and John Gray think we do. "Work with Me" promises to reveals the "8 blind spots between men and women in business." Gray is also the author of bestseller "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus."
Granted, I haven't read the book, but a Wall Street Journal interview with the authors made me roll my eyes like a teenager. Here's an excerpt, with Annis resorting to the old sports metaphor issue at work:
WSJ: How can men and women bridge these differences?
Barbara Annis: There's equal learning that has to happen on both sides. I worked with a firm where a high-level woman was feeling alienated partly because her boss always talked in hockey metaphors and mostly left her alone. His intention was to value her in his own approach. But she misinterpreted that. He saw she might want him to step into her office and see how she was doing, and have conversations that bond, not just about hockey. And she had to understand that he had the best of intentions for her. This is about knowing you have blind spots and turning your head to see more clearly.
Gee, that's original. Have we not progressed past the 1980s? I think we can find better ways to increase understanding. We could start by not exaggerating and generalizing differences, and we could use solid research instead of stereotypical, one-off examples.
The interview reminds me of generational differences at work that are often overstated for a good headline-or another bestseller.
- What's your experience with gender differences at work? In what ways are they valid, and in what ways might they be overstated?
- What's your view the interview with the authors?