Yesterday I had the great fun of doing a Show for the Merck Women’s Network. Notice the amazingly wonderful name of the group. To get it organized, we had some great discussions about the issues shared by women at Merck and how they figured I could help out with some of them. Yup, they stroked my ego…which is certain to get me engaged.
So imagine my surprise to see a man walk into the room and sign the attendance sheet. And then a few more! We wound up with 4 men interspersed among a huge group of women. I must admit I was disappointed to realize that I would not be the only fellow locked up in the room but when I got over that, I discovered something very cool…men are welcome to participate in the Merck Women’s Network!
I’ve presented the Show both by myself and along with Kay to a number of women’s groups. In all the other cases…women only. Part of my intro is to let them know that I am willing to take any all questions including those that begin “why are men so stupid about……..” or “why do men do those dumb things when…..” It’s their chance to ask those questions that usually stay hidden. Generally a few of these questions pop up during the ensuing Show.
With a women’s group the Show seems to follows a somewhat different path than with a mixed group. There clearly are differences in the dynamic and energy. In the Merck case, I think it was somewhere in the middle although over on the women only side…mostly the dynamic of an all women group with one or two male things thrown in. Quite interesting for me to observe.
So what does all this mean for you, loyal readers? Well, it got me thinking about context and culture and how you need to modify the way you interact and connect with people depending on circumstances. We all do this all the time…mostly without any conscious thought attached.
But, that doesn’t have to be the case. I encourage you to notice the way you change how you find, meet, and engage with people depending on the situation. Observe your unconscious behavior. Now there’s an exercise requiring some practice: observing your unconscious behavior. Be adventurous. Go forth and try it out. Watch yourself act without and direction from your conscious mind. And after noticing how you change naturally…and how it affects your iteractions…try adding in some some changes by design.
Notice how your changes change the way others approach you, connect with you, or leave in a hurry. Have fun with it. After all, the process of finding, meeting, and developing great relationships with new people should be an exhilirating experience. And it might give you an idea about how to drive away those pesty people that just won’t leave you alone. Enjoy.
Thought Tip: Become more conscious.