We women now know that status symbols are important. Even if we secretly smile about them.
There's not a single career guide that doesn't include a chapter on company cars, the size of the office, or a parking space on the company premises.
The career-conscious man uses status symbols to show his environment what status - i.e. what rank - he has. So status must obviously be important.
But did you know that there is another axis to consider besides status or rank? If you're a man, you're probably wondering why she's writing about something that's so obvious. If you're a woman, you might wonder, "What is she even talking about?".
I am taking about territory. The dictionary defines it as “(an area of) land,…, that is considered as belonging to…a particular … person”. Animals defend their territory because it gives them access to resources and this is worth defending. The defense of this area is also called territorial behavior and this also exists in humans.
Why is this important? And what does this have to do with our everyday life in companies?
Today I want to let you in on a secret.
A secret that unfortunately not even Hillary Rodham Clinton knew and which could have served her well in her election campaign. And it might also serve Joe Biden in the upcoming debates.
Here it is: Basic Talk beats High Talk.
I am talking about a concept that was first introduced by Dr. Peter Modler, a German management consultant, coach and author. Dr. Modler has specialized in restructuring companies on the verge of bankruptcy. What he found out was that the companies which had women in the top management were more likely to recover. He also found that a lot of these women didn’t know how to deal with the power games the men played they worked with.
What he invented is a step-by-step model of effective communication: High Talk, Basic Talk and Move Talk.
Recently, I spoke with a friend of mine. My friend has been successfully leading a sales team for a long time. During our conversation we talked about her new boss. She gets along well with him, but she also expressed some concerns. Since her boss is at a different location, she is afraid that she might be left behind. After all, they practically never run into each other.
Well, I thought that was no problem at all, especially since Corona. After all, very few of us are sitting in a building with our all our colleagues at the moment and we are all more than used to video conferencing. So I said she could just do a video conference with him regularly.
That's when the main issue became apparent: My friend was reluctant to approach her boss and ask him for a meeting "just like that", for no reason so to speak.
According to the motto "But I don't have anything to speak about, because I solve all my problems myself. So what am I supposed to talk to him about?".
I have encountered this attitude many times - and interestingly enough always with women. And this behavior is a problem in my opinion.
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