Most of my “business” conversations with men are over the phone or by e-mail. I’m either conducting an interview, hooking up an interview, or working on some other publicity matter. Therefore, it was hard for me to glean practical advice for my present situation. Still Shaunti Feldhahn’s latest book, The Male Factor (Mulnomah), has brought to light some of my communication foibles in dealing with the opposite sex. If I had only known…!
Though The Male Factor is a dry read and incredibly long, it is an insightful read for women (and maybe men) in the business world and beyond. Just because I don’t have meetings with a CEO, knowing a bit about how the male brain functions is helpful. In describing the difference between male and female brains, Feldhahn likens the female brain to a computer with a bunch of different windows open and applications running because women were born to multi-task. Men, however, are more linear in their thinking—like a computer with only one window open.
The amount of research that went into this book is impressive—over eight years of study and interviews with over 1500 men (some material went into Feldhahn’s first book on what men really think, For Women Only). Even though Feldhahn doesn’t endorse the views of these men who suggest that women act less emotional, less personal, less this and that, I couldn’t help but feeling that men wanted women in the workplace to act like, uh, men. Sure, the men felt that women were valuable to the work place, but interfered with the environment.
Certainly women can learn how to play with the boys; we’ve been doing it for years and that’s what The Male Factor can help savvy women learn. However, do not compromise your precious, God-given womanhood in the deal—the things that make a woman unique and special part of the team. Maybe men should take a few less “sexual harassment” seminars and learn to adjust their attitudes as well.
By the way, my edition of The Male Factor is the “Christian” edition of the book, which includes an additional chapter of “counsel from experienced Christian women.” Plus, there are a few verses and ideas thrown in here and there to market the book to a faith-based audience. This book promised to help me in ministry, volunteerism, and all avenues of working with men, but the case studies, interviews, and advice were only minimally helpful to my situation and could be gleaned from any relationship book on the market today.
But for the woman hitting her head on the glass ceiling, The Male Factor, will serve as a valuable resource.
For more information on the book and to engage with other readers, be sure to visit malefactorchristian.com.
(This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.)
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