In an attempt at emasculation, people say things like:
- “Man up!”
- “Quit being such a girl.”
- “Why don’t you go put your big girl/boy panties on?”
- “Suck it up, buttercup.”
While some stereotypes have roots in reality, these are by no means a permanent condition, even when based on a kernel of truth. Women have proven they are highly capable at handling “traditionally male” roles that require assertiveness, tenacity, and fearlessly bucking the system and status quo. These abilities were always there. Today they are more noticeable as a result of numerous women practicing and owning these behaviors.
The same goes for men—we are capable of sharing our feelings, being fully present in conversations, asking someone their opinion (and actually caring about the answer), and taking the time to get to know someone before rushing to consummate “the deal” (both professionally and personally). We, the male of the species, do so, when and only when we accept, practice, and own these as good, right, and productive comportment.
I wrote Sales Yoga to promote better practices that help to eliminate destructive and counterproductive attitudes and behaviors. Gender bias serves no useful purpose; learning from and practicing the best traits often attributed to each gender does.
Real men and women eat quiche, swear like truck drivers (when alone in the car so the kids can’t hear), cry during tear-jerker parts of movies, get their hands dirty, and hug their friends. They also hang on every word said by a buyer and assertively ask for the business when they can provide what the buyer needs.
So, “man up” by assertively collaborating with buyers to help them access the value you provide. “Sell like a girl” by engaging in the best conversations you and the buyers have ever had, hanging on every word as though doing so is a precious gift. Because it is, for both of you.