Four Ways Women Can Influence Men

This is a guest post by Lisa Whittle, an author, speaker, and blogger. She is also active on Twitter and Facebook. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Becoming the first ever solo-female author under the acclaimed George Barna literary imprint intimidated me. Can I influence men? Can I play in the boy’s field? I had all these thoughts when I was offered a contract for this new writing project.

Happy businesswoman with colleagues in the background - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Yuri_Arcurs, Image #10361595

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Yuri_Arcurs

Until this time, my “tribe” consisted mainly of women. Although I am a strong woman, I was not sure I could adapt my leadership style in order to connect with men. Thankfully, I have.

In the intervening months, I have learned four tactics:

  1. Understand men’s need for brevity. I learned very quickly in working with men that I would need to find a way to say a lot in a few words. (You might think that being married, I would have already known this.) But the reality is that females tend to be wordy. Men cut to the chase. If I was going to be successful in influencing men, I needed to respect their need for brevity.
  2. Connect to a universal need. While we do not share gender, we do share many other human needs. We both search for significance. We both have a need to define ourselves outside of our roles. We both desire to be loved and appreciated. Connecting to a universal need is an important aspect of influence—with both genders. But it is especially as it relates to women influencing men.
  3. Don’t apologize for your growing influence. More than ever, women are becoming influencers in less traditional venues. The church is even using women in a vibrant, new way. It is an exciting opportunity for women to use their unique voice to share truth. Men who embrace this will benefit, just as the women who embrace it will. But first, women have to own their growing influence, without apologizing for it.
  4. Show them truth from your life. Regardless of their gender, when women offer truth from the wellspring of their own life experience, it resonates. Truth is truth. Therefore, being more intentional about sharing our life experiences is a way to expand our influence and connect in a meaningful way.

Women have been influencing men for years, in society as well as in the home. But it is my conviction that in the coming years, I believe this will only grow. The key for women is to learn how best to translate that influence to reach both women and men.

When that happens, everyone wins.

Question: What have you learned about how women can best influence men? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com Patricia Zell

    At this point in my life, I don’t even think in the terms of gender. What I have to share about–God’s absolute love–is gender neutral. I don’t view myself as a teacher or leader; I simply see me as an older sibling in the Lord or as a friend. My effort is based on who God is and how much He loves us. His love is absolute (perfect, complete, and real) and His love will work everything out for good for all of us.

  • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

    Great post, Lisa. I agree that women can certainly influence men in very positive ways. I think a key thing that women need to remember is that, for the most part, men are turned off by hysterical, needy women. I guess this would fit under your No. 1. While women seem to be entertained by a lot of gab and fluff from their teachers and leaders, men are not. We must present truth in the context of reason and sensibility without many of the girly stories thrown in.

    I want to be profoundly influential for Christ in the lives of both men and women and I think the best way to do that is to let the Holy Spirit guide what I say and write.

    • Lisa

      Hi, Leah! Thank you for these thoughts. I too, want to be profoundly influential for Christ. With that goal in mind, we cannot go wrong.

    • Meredith

      It’s frustrating we have not come farther than this. It seems you are categorizing women as “hysterical” “needy” & their preferred communication style as “gab” “fluff” & “girlie stories”. Using this type of language in this type of discussion is inappropriate no matter what gender you are. It keeps us where we are more than moves us forward.

      • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

        Meredith, I value these thoughts and hear this. I know you were responding to Leah’s comment, but I do want to say that I agree that stereotypes and assumptions are not helpful and cause us to feel polarized. So much of what effects us has to do with personality preferences and style, as we are so very individual. I think we all arrive places in different ways at different times, which is why connecting in a universal way is so important. I want to acknowledge the many amazing women out there who are speaking the message…many of whom are my good friends and I do ministry with. Thank you for being open, just as Leah was, with your perspective.

      • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

        Meredith,

        Please forgive me if I offended you. I was in no way trying catagorize women or be condescending. My point was that men typically want the facts…just the facts, without a lot of extra material that would either fill time or attempt to endear the speaker to the audience. That is what I call girlie stories/gab/fluff (i.e. where I bought my new shoes or handbag, when I had my hair colored and what color it is, what my toddler said that cracked me up, etc). Most speakers have used it, myself included. It just isn’t as necessary with men as it is with women.

        Again, please forgive me.

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  • http://www.confessionsofalegalist.com Jeremy@confessionsofalegalist

    I love brevity.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Amen. ;-)

      • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

        Exactly!

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          Ditto!

          • http://www.walkwiththewise.wordpress.com Gail

            Me too! It’s not a guy thing, it’s a personality thing! This is “truth from my life”.

            So I’d say you need to learn how to communicate with the people you are with. In leadership this is usually cholerics which is why they like brevity.

    • http://twitter.com/dona_teresita Teresita A Krueger

      I’m having a good chuckle out of this thread!!!! It’s so “fait accompli”

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    I believe that influencing principles are universal for both men and women. Yet, I feel women can influence men better by -

    – Being assertive and confident in what they do
    – Not taking advantage or lenience citing their gender as a reason

    • Lisa

      Good thoughts, Uma. Assertiveness and confidence are great ways to influence men. Often these things emerge even stronger as we achieve success in our initial efforts. Cyclical.

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        Agreed Lisa!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Interesting post, Lisa. One of the best books I’ve read on influencing others is Becoming a Person of Influence by John Maxwell and Jim Dornan. In the book they share 10 attributes of an influencer. Two of the most powerful are Listening and Understanding others. What I’ve found when working with people is that it is a good idea to ask questions and seek to understand where the other person is coming from. Find things that you have in common, but don’t be afraid to embrace differences.

    I work with a lot of women on my job, and I find that they often have unique insights that I might not see as a man. I look for confidence, vision, and decision making skills when I work with people in leadership roles. With those attributes, the gender lines often disappear, and team work and individual strengths are embraced. I think as a society, business, or culture we can only get stronger if we embrace the positive differences that we all have.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree with you, John. Are differences should be celebrated—and employed—rather than glossed over. As the father of five daughters, I love how my girls have influenced me and what they have taught me.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Agreed! I have three daughters and two sons. It’s simply amazing just how different they are as girls and boys.

    • Lisa R Whittle

      Great comments, John. Asking questions and seeking to understand other’s perspective: vital! I gained from the book by Maxwell and Dornan, as well.

  • http://twitter.com/kpalmer71 Kerry Palmer

    Many women are very good at showing compassion. This is a huge step toward influencing men, especially when the woman is in a leadership role. I suppose this ties in with your point about showing truth from your life. You can have compassion and show empathy, thus identifying with one whom you are leading. You can then provide direction and guidance.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Right, Kerry. Movements of compassion often start in the heart of a woman. Thank you for noticing. :)

  • http://ergliangel45.wordpress.com/ Kathleen Langridge

    Rational yet employing discernment/sensing in your understanding. Also no men where abused in this advice. It isn’t about a ‘battle’ it is about loving family the full revelation of God: male and female. Thanks Lisa and Michael.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      I agree…no battles. Thanks, Kathleen!

  • Aman

    Competence is the key. Too often, the motivation is “a woman can do this, too,” instead of being motivated to get the job done. Many men will react negatively to this. And there’s also the reality that for many men, their role is part of their identity as men. When women take that over, the men will find something else to do, even if it’s just drinking beer and watching sports on TV. In other words, if women move in, lots of men will move out. Doesn’t matter whether that’s right or not, or whether you like it or not, it happens. I think that’s why Paul wrote about not putting women over men. The obvious flip side is, of course, that there are numerous cases in the Bible in which women did the job because there were no competent men available.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is an over-generalization, but I think men rarely think in terms of gender. We just want to get the job done. If the best person is a woman, we’re happy to let them do it.

      • Kerripkw

        Thanks for saying that Michael. I work with incredible men who reapect my leadership in my area (which many times means I am directing them) and it in no way diminishes their effectiveness, excellence or motivation. For a man to bow out of the game simply because a woman steps up to lead in a position over them is actually rare, in my experience. Sometimes the best person for the job is a woman. Nit because she’s a woman, but because she has the skills and experience necessary to do the job well. When qualification is clearly the reason a woman is placed in a leadership position the men in my world respond brilliantly and we accomplish so much! I agree that qualification, not gender preference, should be the determining factor when placing anyone– male or female — into a leadership position.

        • Kerripkw

          So sorry about the typos– apparently I’m not qualified to type on my iPhone.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            I’m not very good at typing on my iPhone either. This is one area where the Blackberry (remember those?) was better.

          • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

            Hey now — I am all Apple but for my Blackberry. And for this exact reason.

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

            I love my BlackBerry!

        • Aman

          Agree with you there. There have been times when I needed instruction in traditionally male-dominated fields, and the best instructors were women. I hired them. And I once had a female boss who was generally regarded as a dragon lady. I thought she was one of the very few people in the company who had a clue as to what she was doing. And there are many examples at the other end of the spectrum. Competence is the key.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Interesting perspective, Aman. I think it’s important not to assume things about either gender or our reactions to them, while at the same time, knowing/appreciating the different hard wiring we have. Thanks for your input.

    • Maryelizabethfisher

      Aman I am sorry but not looking at the context of what Paul was saying and the use of the one time in the New Testament where the word for authority is used in that way leads to the bad exegesis of the text that your simplistic statement in referencing Paul implies. It is why competence with the text is so important. So may I suggest that your should go back and look again at the text in Greek and recognize the complexities of the text,

  • Bethdeesb

    Thanks, this is great stuff! The brevity is the hardest for me. I find it very difficult to put my deepest thoughts into words so that others can understand, not only my thoughts, but also the triggers that caused such “light bulb” moments, which in turn produces in me more questions and greater depth in the search.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Beth…I hear this. I have struggled with this myself, as the need for self-edits is universal. But I have come to see this as one of the most important aspects to my writing, as well as my life. I wrote a post not long ago about the importance of life edits that I think you may find helpful: http://bit.ly/fksHay.

  • Bwenman

    Excellent post! I will definitely be reading more of your work! As I have grown through various roles in business, I have discovered that sometimes women have a harder time being led by a female than men. Men are typically more results-oriented and if you give them results, they will respect you – most of the time. I would elaborate, but I want to be “brief” for all of the male readers!

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      This is a great point, and I think it’s true. Women are often judgmental of each other and gravitate towards male teachers. I’d love to see our gender become more willing to learn from both and make even more strides to be the kind of influencers that resonate on a core human level.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I have definitely seen this in the workplace. I find that women often resist—and resent—working for other women. I think this issue really needs to be addressed if women are going to succeed at leadership. Sometimes those holding women back are other women!

        • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

          Agreed. I want women to move past our issues of insecurity and become each other’s best advocates. Ask any woman and they’ll tell you this is hard. It’s one reason my passion runs deep to see women become well and whole inside…so they can truly cheer for each other.

          • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

            And by “they” I mean “we.” :) Always in need of my own growth, first.

          • Bwenman

            I actually tackled this issue in my own circle of women leaders. We formed a group called the Alliance of Women Leaders which is a small local network of professional women who were strictly there to support, guide and inspire each other to be more successful in whatever we wanted to accomplish. We meet once a month and have been meeting for 5 years. We have supported each other through a great deal of change and success! One thing that was important is that we decided that we weren’t going to try to use that group to do something for others. We all are very involved in our community and give back generously, but this was just going to be strictly to support each other’s success ( Think Michael’s post on our personal board of directors) I would encourage other women to do the same. With women it is all about TRUST. We just don’t easily trust other women. We were not taught to trust other women so it is something we need to learn. Men do this camaraderie thing much better than we do! Okay – so much for brevity! Thanks again Michael for an inspiring and intelligent format to discuss these issues!

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            You might find a post I wrote a while back helpful. It was called, “How to Build (or Rebuild) Trust.”

          • Bwenman

            I will check that out again! The interesting thing about this kind of trust issue is that it doesn’t have to be a situation in which someone “lost trust”. It is so instinctual that it is hard to explain. Women just have a hard time trusting other women. We have dissected this pretty well in our group. I will have to give this some thought and see if I can put into words some of the things we have learned about Women and trust. It’s a fascinating subject.

    • http://www.kerriweems.com Kerri Weems

      @Bwenman I would agree with this. I lead women very differently than I lead men. While I follow Lisa’s basic guidelines for influencing men, I feel it’s necessary to add more collective dialogue, empathy and chemistry to the mix when leading women. I find men respond well to clearly defined and succinct goals, quantifiable results, and very direct feedback on performance. They get bogged down if I try to bring them into a process too early and talk out ideas with them — only a few men seem to be wired to enjoy that (and I actively seek out their advice.)

      Women, on the other hand, love to be brought into processes. They seem to like clear and defined goals, but want to talk more about how to arrive at those goals. They seem to be comfortable with quantifiable results, but like using anecdotal evaluation forms as well. I have found that when giving feedback to women on their performance, it’s important to show them that you understand their context, their obstacles, etc, but give an honest evaluation couched in that context. Women respond better to feedback when they know not just whether or not they succeeded, but also that that they are understood. It can be tempting to hold off on honest critique with women because they get emotional. not only can that cause an energy drain fro me, as a leader, but it can hurt team chemistry and effectiveness if hurt feelings and wounded pride become an issue.

      Because men and women respond differently to different styles of leadership, I try to be adaptable in my approach.

      • Bwenman

        I agree, but just one caveat! Some women are very much like men. I have 11 older brothers so I typically do not think like your average female. I love football and I hate shopping! We are generalizing here to educate on a broader spectrum, but as always, the best advice is to treat each others as individuals with individual needs and insecurities! Yes, even men have insecurities! Thanks for your reply. You have a great perspective!

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          My wife grew up with four older brothers. She is the mechanical one in our house, for example. Your advice is sound: while we can generalize, we also have to recognize that individuals are more than there gender.

        • http://www.kerriweems.com Kerri Weems

          I LOVE the idea of the network you created — what a great thing! And yes, women DO have to be intentional about doing something that is solely for the purpose of equipping themselves. You are so right about that. Agreed about the generalizations, too. There are people of both genders who fall on both ends of the spectrum — wisdom about interacting with individuals and not just genders. Good stuff!

          • Bwenman

            Thank you. If there was a way I could teach other women how to do that, I would. I have been racking my brains on how to help others re-create it, but it is unfortunately a very unique group. Maybe I will finally blog about that!

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        It is obvious that you have a lot of first-hand experience, Kerri. Thanks for sharing your wisdom here.

      • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

        There is no question that we have to customize our conversations to speak to the unique needs in people/gender. That is just being diligent with the message. It’s why it’s so very important to understand your message and know how to best translate it to those who you are in front of. The fact that we are talking about this subject is an important first step to understanding for us all!

  • Patlayton

    My darling Lisa–YOU ROCK!!
    xoxo,
    Pat
    (Was that brief enough? :)
    BTW–I have to talk to you about my “Twirty group”!

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Pat…thank you! Feels like home to see your name pop up here. :) Yes, let’s talk soon.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJRLITL5IEFHDDFURAESLXOOZ4 Jim Whitaker

    Thanks for putting this perspective up today Michael. It is a great insight in to men as much as it is into the way that women deal with men. I really appreciated Lisa’s point on connecting to a universal need. This, I believe, will work in any situation with people you are dealing with and it will also help in the time of change and leading people through it. I really like her third point as well. Jesus used women to transform lives in the Gospel and I think that too often we are stuck in this mindset that Paul really meant for women to be quiet. Which is just plain wrong when you really get to the context and what was going on at the time. If you really read Paul’s writing you will see a wealth of information that is on the contrary and you will note that women were a very prominent role in the beginning church and all throughout church history. Women has just as much a right to be a part of the church and church leadership as men do. This was a great guest post. Thanks for putting it up.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Go, Jim! :)

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJRLITL5IEFHDDFURAESLXOOZ4 Jim Whitaker

        Thanks and great post. I really liked it.

  • Patlayton

    Lisa,
    I just realized that my “xoxo” show of affection was very girlie wasn’t it :)
    sorry guys,
    p

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No problem. We just all collectively rolled our eyes. ;-)

      • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

        ha! Could’ve called it.

        • Patlayton

          Michael, does your smiley face have a beard??
          Looks that vay to me….

  • TNeal

    Lisa and/or Michael,

    Thanks for sharing from a different perspective.

    The 4th point, “Show them truth from your life,” resonates with me. My wife has shared some significant God moments with me in recent weeks that I’m still ruminating on. God has used her again and again to speak truth into my life. I’d miss so much if I didn’t allow her wisdom to influence my life and career choices.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      As a wife, I love hearing these thoughts about how yours has influenced you. It is truly the gift of partnership as God intended it. Thank you for sharing, as it inspires me to be better for the main man in my life!

  • Jeannie

    My Spanish language tutor gave me a great tip that I think many women can use: Talk louder!
    Joaquin instructed me to open my mouth wide, get a lot of air and get the words out. In his words, “People will think you know Spanish, even if you make a mistake!”
    He told me people generally talk much louder in Spain but I think it’s a great tip in any language.
    By changing your volume (not your tone) you enunciate better, convey confidence and authority and raise the energy level. So talk to the other end of the room!

    • Joe Lalonde

      That’s a great tip Jeannie!

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Great tip, Jeannie. My thought is: if we speak loud, we better have something good to say. Right? Otherwise, we are simply 100% volume.

  • TNeal

    An earlier comment reminded me of an experience in the summer of 2000. I had the privilege of attending Amsterdam 2000 where over 10,000 Christian leaders from all over the world gathered. Godly Christian speakers filled our daily schedules with excellent messages.

    The most memorable speaker though happened to be Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz. Her message was memorable for two reasons. First, she spoke well–not surprising since the presenters were excellent throughout the two week gathering.

    Secondly, her message was the only one where many men got up and left the auditorium. Why? Because she was a woman placed in a leadership position.

    • Kerripkw

      That’s so sad — and actually almost superstitious sounding to me.

  • Esther Feng

    I like #2 — Don’t apologize for our growing influence. I easily fall into the trap of excusing my growth, my influence. It’s doubly hard sometimes as an Asian American woman. Need to remind myself to rest in who God made me to be.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Yes, Esther. Amen. I have, myself, wasted time and energy apologizing for the ways God wants to use me. Let’s agree to be done with that. We have too much He wants us to do.

  • Joe Lalonde

    Lisa, you made some good points. I especially agree with the brevity. Short and to the point works a lot better for men than a long and drawn out explanation!

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Thanks, Joe. I always appreciate hearing the guy’s perspective straight from him. Lets me know I’ve successfully tapped into them.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      Joe, could you head over to my site and send me your address? I have a book to send you. Thanks!

      • Joe Lalonde

        Will do. Thanks for letting me know!

  • Jennifer

    Good stuff!!! Especially the part about truth…..Great post Lisa.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Thanks, Jennifer. So glad it resonated.

  • http://joshuamhood.com Josh Hood

    It saddens me that many people today view gender difference as a terrible obstacle to overcome instead of a beautiful gift to enjoy. Our different strengths balance us out and allow us to do things together we could never do apart. We need each other!

    Viva la difference!

    • TNeal

      Great comparison–”a terrible obstacle to overcome” versus “a beautiful gift to enjoy.”

      Viva 2

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Right, Josh. A body of Christ type thing, yes?

      • http://joshuamhood.com Josh Hood

        Exactly. :)

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      I was going to post something similar; but, you beat me to it :)

      It seems like the main rally cry has been to make women equal with men. But, I think there is so much more to it. We need to see into each other, see each other for who we are, and use our differences – whether male or female – to be the most effective team possible.

      • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

        Can you hear me from North Carolina? I’m saying a big AMEN to you on this comment. Love this. So much more to it. Kingdom work should be the focus. When that happens, things tend to fall in place.

        • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

          I thought I heard something over hear in Colorado ;-)

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Agreed. I think that we need to look past that, one the one hand, and focus on the Kingdom. But at the same time celebrate our differences. There are many things that a woman can do that a man can’t, and vice versa. And that’s not a bad thing, like many seem to think.

  • Anonymous

    I so appreciate your honesty and sensitivity to the Spirit on this. We are all, male and female, an intricate part of this world. Finding joy serving alongside is a huge benefit.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Yes, Mary so true. Thank you for your endorsement, personal contribution and friendship. All are so very valued by me.

  • Chris Friedman

    I find that working alongside women in the workplace brings a better balance into the decision making process, accomplishing projects, etc. As a man, I tend to be more black & white and maybe a little more “harsher,” especially when it comes to dealings with people inside and outside the company. My female collegues help me to see that there are sometimes gray areas and they also help me to relate to people in a “softer” way.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      I like hearing this, Chris. I appreciate the word, “balance.” It shows the genius crafting of differences between people. Truly, we need each other to be better.

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  • http://patalexander.com Pat Alexander

    Lisa, I wish that women would take your #3 point to heart in their professional lives. A few years ago I was an expert witness in litigation. During a session in which the attorneys were preparing me for the deposition one of the female attorneys said “Pat, you need to own your accomplishments and be proud of them”. She said I was coming across as meek in this area. I’m thinking “Pat Alexander meek? Are you kidding me?” They played back the tape of the session and yes, I did need to step up my ownership of my accomplishments.

    While we shouldn’t be boastful, neither should we be overly humble. Own it and be proud of it if you want to be a player and respected in your field and in life.

    Thanks for your insightful post.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Pat…you have no idea how much I relate to this. I have never considered myself meek nor apologetic, but this was recently pointed out to me, as well, as it relates to my ministry. There’s such a fine line between confidence and pride, just as there is between humility and insecurity. I’m learning more about this, every day. It surprised me to recognize how much time I’d spent apologizing for my gifts and passions. Let’s commit: no more apologies!

      • http://patalexander.com Pat Alexander

        NO More Apologies – I agree

      • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

        This can apply to men as well. While there are many personalities that are willing to step out and claim their choices and decsions (not just their successes), there are still many others, including men, who struggle with the fear of failure and rejection – which makes it difficult to accept and claim their gifts and passions.

        • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

          For sure. Steven, I talk about this in my new book, {w}hole. My husband and I started a church and closed it within 13 months. My perspective on failure forever changed.

          • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

            13 months – wow! I would love to read your story. My church is working on launching our first satellite campus and I may go as part of the leadership. I am sure we will hit many road blocks and fail at many things. Hopefully the failures will strengthen us and spur us on.

          • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

            Absolutely. Wouldn’t change the experience for anything. Look for the book to come out in September. I think you’ll find some things in there to be valuable.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I agree with this advice, too. I think being matter-of-fact is the most humble posture to assume. I want to avoid arrogance or false humility.

  • http://twitter.com/bigmet Metric

    I’ve learned that women can really influence men when they are able to get men to see the “big picture” without showing it to them.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Metric…how do we accomplish this?

      • http://twitter.com/bigmet Metric

        Lisa, I believe this is best accomplished when women simply speak the truth in love without “diluting with details”. When men are able to work the details out themselves they’re able to have some ownership which usually begets confidence. When women try to “dot every I and cross every T” it leaves the man without a voice and in the end can compromise the woman’s influence. One man’s opinion…

        • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

          I appreciate it. Since I spend my time “showing” people things with words, I was wondering how to accomplish getting men to see the big picture without showing it to them. Maybe then, this points back to my point #1 about brevity. Maybe, too, this nods to women knowing how best to maneuver our influence without it sliding into becoming preachy and controlling — the less is more principal. That’s a good lesson for all of us, I think. Thanks for the discussion!

          • http://twitter.com/bigmet Metric

            It definitely points back to your first point. Great post!

          • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

            Thanks, Metric!

  • Brettvaden

    Jesus says the last will be first and the first will be last. In many ways, I think in the consummation of Christ’s return, Iwill be very surprised about who’s “first”. I will not be surprised, however, if my wife is one of them. She has humbly lowered herself and put the interests of others before her own. And that is one of the best ways anyone (regardless of gender) can influence others.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      This is rich, Brett. I could not agree with you more. And as a married woman, I could not appreciate this comment more.

  • Sharelle

    ~ I wholeheartedly agree with the Four Ways Women Can Influence Men.
    Women can and have been influencing men for quite some time BUT not necessarily in positive ways and your tips here, Lisa, are excellent and undoubtedly with the intent of positive influence!

    There ARE certainly differences in regards to effective communication when dealing with people. Knowing one’s audience is key. We deal differently with toddlers than we do teens and generally interact with girls differently than boys during formative years when attempting to give instruction and achieve a goal. It should not stop then. We must listen to and provide what others need in order to accomplish that goal and the keys provided here help unlock the doors on some of those barriers.

    There are many women of influence throughout history and several found in the Bible. Regardless of gender it is of critical importance that any influence be of a positive nature and not manipulative. It is sad that Hollywood portraits most influential women as…well, we know the character – just as some have described here in regards to how others (men and women), at times, view women in leadership/influence roles.

    Lisa, may you be recognized as a Woman of Positive Influence. I know that is your heart.
    Thank you for daring to share from the heart. Truth is only revealed to others when we are willing to get real and be honest with ourselves. Only then can we begin to make a lasting, positive difference. Women will continue to influence those around them and I agree that it will increase…if people are willing to hear and receive the Truth no matter the messenger or method of transmission.

    Thank you again. May God bless your work, words and deeds.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Knowing the audience: yes, so important, Sharelle. We are responsible for the way we share the message, and it starts with a sense of who we are talking to and how best to connect. Your comments have touched me. I do so want to be a woman of positive influence.

  • NealMD

    Awesome post!

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Thanks, Neal!

  • http://twitter.com/AngelaBisignano Angela Bisignano

    Wonderful post Lisa!

    I appreciate your sensitivity in approaching this topic. As a mom of sons, I have been influencing “young men in the making” for years. I agree with your observations. In the counseling profession I have the privilege of working with both men and women. I find it an honor to hear their stories, speak truth into their lives, and influence their hearts.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Yes, Angela. Amen. So with you.

  • http://twitter.com/MaryRSnyder MaryRSnyder

    Lisa — love your thoughts and couldn’t agree more. A transparent life shows God’s goodness and grace — whether one is male or female.
    That is my desire has a speaker, teacher, leader — to live transparent to show His glory.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      What a great goal, Mary. I join you in this desire. May we both do it well.

  • http://refreshmentrefuge.blogspot.com Gina Burgess

    Wise words, Lisa!

    Just to add a point… Any good leader should be able to tap into the motivations of his/her team players. This makes for much greater productivity and morale. The key is discovering those motivations. It is much easier for Christians because we can study the motivational spiritual gifts of each person then tap into that. I have a study here: http://refreshmentrefuge.blogspot.com/2006/01/links-for-whole-motivational-gifts.html

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      No doubt, Gina. A team of people with a common goal can accomplish much! Thank you for your thoughts here.

  • http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com NikoleHahn

    It’s difficult. But I’ll stop apologizing.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      I know, Nikole. You have my wholehearted support!

  • http://dontforgetthepepperspray.com Kristen Marie

    A few years ago, I worked for a very aggressive alpha-male that was used to pushing his way around, I learned he had no respect for women (or men) who just withered under his reign. I countered him, questioned him and engaged in dialoque rather than running scared. The result? His respect and his favor that got me promoted. Lesson: If you work with strong men- you have to show them you are equally as strong.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This really is true.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      So true, Kristen. I love that you put this out there. I’ve found the guys to be very open and accepting. As long as you do #1-4, they are a receptive audience.

  • http://twitter.com/shawnakirk shawnakirk

    I love this topic. I greatly admire Michael Hyatt’s leadership and influence and how he uses it. This is a perfect example by offering his platform for a great guest today.
    Lisa, thanks for the clean and clear perspective. I find your writing to be deep and rich and always worth the read.
    If a leader has something great to say it will only be a “small” mind that will discount or resist the blessing because of gender.
    And now, I must go practice brevity!

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Thanks, Shawna. I know your heart is to see people to do well…and that inspires me on many levels.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    But the reality is that females tend to be wordy.

    In general, a person’s loquacity is proportional to how many shoes they own.

    What have you learned about how women can best influence men?

    Not sure if this is an appropriate question to answer in a Christian forum.

  • Lelia Chealey

    Because Lisa keeps it real, I love anything God puts on her heart to write. My husband Gene loves when I’m in a brevity kind of mood. When I try to reach my 10,000 words per day quota, I see him drifting off around 6,000 so I call my sister and we talk forever!

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      You are not alone, Lelia. My husband would agree with your Gene. :) Thanks for your thoughts and as always, your support. You are a woman who represents her gender well.

  • http://twitter.com/ConnieMcKnight Connie McKnight

    What a fabulous perspective. I especially loved “Show them truth from you life”. Truth is truth, so by standing in your truth, you show men your confidence. Respect has to be earned and I think this is an excellent way to earn it.

    Thank you Michael for giving Lisa the opportunity to write this guest post.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Yes, thank you, Michael. And thank you, Connie, for sharing this comment. Truth is indeed truth.

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  • Susan Wilkinson

    Nice post, Lisa. (Thanks, Michael.) A woman’s power, via her influence, is a topic of passion for me. I agree with your points and would add a few others.

    For a woman to use her influence properly she needs to understand how powerful it is. She needs to know that when it’s used properly it is an equal power to authority. (Can ‘t help but think of that tongue-in-cheek line from the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “The man is the head, but the woman is the neck… and she turns the head any way she wants…” :) )

    Women who see their influence as a weak form of power will tend to deny it, leading to all sorts of unpleasant behavior that flows when we feel powerless. When we don’t feel powerless it’s much easier to influence others effectively, particularly men who can so easily intimidate us.

    Another important point: all power must be used in love, that is, with the best interest of the other person in mind. If you want to influence a man, act in his best interest. Sometimes that means listening and yielding. Sometimes it means respectfully reasoning. Sometimes it means cautiously and carefully resisting. Whatever it looks like, the main point is that it acts with great strength in the best interest of the other person.

    When you don’t realize your power or use it in love you either end up feeling powerless or trying to control others, neither of which is effective or rewarding.

    So glad you posted here today, thanks!

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      All great thoughts, Susan. I especially appreciate this: all power must be used in love…with the best interest of the other person in mind. What if all influencers practiced this? I can’t help but think our environment for growth would look different. Thanks for the reminder.

    • TNeal

      This particular comment reminds me of my wife’s position as the library bouncer.

      She’s the children’s librarian at our public library. When someone misbehaves or misuses library property, she’s usually called in to toss the violator. Size doesn’t matter. She’s as likely to toss out a monster-of-a-teenage boy as a petite elderly woman. The former being more likely than the latter.

      Why my wife? Because she’s empowered by doing the right thing. If she’s supporting the right against the wrong, she’s pugnacious.

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    Fascinating comments! I’d offer the following suggestions ~

    • Once a man (the team) makes your idea his (its) own, let them own it. There’s no need to reminisce when looking ahead.

    • Build relationships on respect, not the other way around.

    • Friendly banter should always respect, never disparage, and leave no room for innuendo.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Great additional thoughts, Anne. Thank you for the input.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent post. I currently work for a woman I have great respect for that is excellent at the items you have outlined and is extremely respected in her industry. I follow her lead with pride as I know I am learning from the best.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      David…I find your last statement extremely cool. Thanks for being strong enough to be teachable. I suspect the woman you work for has a great employee on her hands.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you Lisa. Man or woman, quality leadership is easy to follow. I feel very blessed to be where I am.

  • DanielBecerra

    Amen for point. ;) lol

  • Carmen Bernal

    Great article!

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Thanks so much.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Wow! Number one is so true in my marriage. I prefer to be brief, and my wife loves details.

    Thanks for a great post!

    • TNeal

      Boy, is that ever true when friends have a baby. It depends on who heard the news first as to how long the conversation is.

      Her: Jim and Tammy had a boy, Nathaniel David, 22 inches, 6 lbs., 3 oz, this morning at 8:07.

      Me: Jim and Tammy had a baby today.

      • http://twitter.com/shawnakirk shawnakirk

        TNeal and Jeff Randleman, guys this is hilarious because it is true!

      • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

        Man, is this accurate. You guys give us nothing!

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Thanks, Jeff. Glad to connect.

  • Chris

    Great stuff, thanks for understanding men and the needs of human nature!

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Thanks, Chris.

  • Vrsinc

    If I’m really focused on Christ and living on the edge for the Lord, with zeal and warmth, excitement, love, boldness, humor, and no bitterness, I’m treated with respect and honor. Jesus is irresistible, even in a woman. ;-) My authority comes from Him.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Focused on Christ…authority comes from Him…yes, agreed.

  • http://www.transformationalleadershiphq.com Mighty

    Nice points Lisa. :) It’s great to read about the empowerment and growing influence of women everywhere.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Thanks so much.

  • http://joeandancy.com Ancy Joe

    Thanks for this post.I love the word ‘brevity’

  • http://twitter.com/mylivingpower Laurie Wallin

    I’ve seen influence happen best when women are respectful in how they talk to men. Power corrupts… absolute power corrupts absolutely – even in women. Respect shows a confidence without arrogance that influences others.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Yes, Laurie. I agree. Respect is huge. Thanks for leaving your thoughts!

  • http://mirrorsandwindowsnow.blogspot.com/ Alicha

    Thanks for the post, Lisa! Boy, did I need the “wordiness” reminder! My husband is a master at getting to the point…I’m going to start heeding how he does this a bit more.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Alicha…I’ve learned this from my husband, as well. He was really the first person to encourage me to tap into this need from my male audience. Grateful for the perspective, as the guys have echoed this need in their responses!

  • Jackie Ley

    I’ve found men appreciate female attention to detail. If we can help them think through on the implications of a proposal without just throwing up possible negatives, then this increases our influence.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      True, Jackie. Many women are detail-oriented, which is fantastic for the guys around us.

  • http://www.fbcgallatin.org/Larry/ Larry Yarborough, Jr.

    Women are high influencers in our lives and that doesn’t make all men boys looking for their mommas.

    Your point of brevity hits home most for me. Right now we only have one female ministerial staff member. She’s effective, respectful and no one ever feels that their ever on emotional egg shells around her. Truth is, she’s probably walking on more egg shells around us.

    You know what they say, behind every successful man is a woman … rolling her eyes.
    LY

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Thanks for this, Larry. So glad the brevity point hit home…enjoy knowing you have a great woman on your team.

  • http://www.forthesakeoftuth.ca Donna Lowe

    I am a speaker. For some time, I would only speak to groups of women. I was, to be honest, intimidated by most men. Especially in a corporate setting.

    When my own book was published my influence, in the lives of many men, increased exponentially. My confidence, in who I am as a child of God, has grown. As you said, Lisa, truth is gender neutral. It speaks to an willing heart. I am thrilled to see how God is using me to speak His truth, without partiality.

    Thanks for your insights.

    Donna

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      Great word of personal testimony, Donna…of branching out into something that at first intimidated you. Do it, my friend!

  • Ron

    As a man and husband, I sure know about that first one–being brief. My wife has a way of going on and on, when all I want is for her to get to the bottom line. As a journalist I know the value of getting to the point. If she has to share an issue by email, she goes on and on, giving far too many words to the matter and thereby hurting the case she is trying to make. Oh, yes, I know: Women need to process matters, men want to problem solve. Lord, give me strength. No, give me the 5Ws of journalism found in any good lead, and let the details come later. What, the house is on fire, and you’re telling me about the smell or light?

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      ha! Ron, you have successfully made me laugh by this comment. :) My husband would sympathize with you, I’m sure. I’m pretty to the point, but I’m still a woman and I like the verbal process, as well. Though working with men I have come to really appreciate the bottom line. Thanks for this…

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  • http://twitter.com/drrandywillis Randy Willis

    Thanks for the (brief) post, Lisa!

    I am a pastor, but my wife is also a pastor, so the role of women in ministry/leadership is an important one. We met in seminary in the early 1990s, married in 1994, and co-wrote our thesis on husband/wife co-pastoring in time for 1995-graduation. We wrote about Aquila & Priscilla (posted somewhere on our blog, http://www.williswired.com)

    Today, in our conference of the United Methodist Church, our bishop is a woman (first in this conference’s history); she’s been great. Also, the current-but-retiring District Superintendent for our district is a woman as well as the DS who will replace in this summer.

    This is such a non-issue for me/us that I sometimes fail to remember that it can be an issue for others (but it shouldn’t be), which is NOT to say my wife has always had it easy in the church.

    • http://www.lisawhittle.com Lisa R Whittle

      I hear you, Randy. I do think sometimes we forget about issues that don’t touch us directly, which is why putting on the shoes of another is so important. It’s what I’ve tried to do in this post. Thanks for your input, and continued blessings on your ministry.

  • http://twitter.com/Decide2day Haelie

    Great post. I so well relate to what you say here, since I have felt led into a more mixed ministry audience. I don’t write just for women or just for mothers. I have from the beginning had specific men in mind when I write, depending on the subject. I have not let the gender thing limit me, because I have not felt God leading me to be a “women-only” writer and minister. Your words encourage, guide, and reaffirm me in that. As to the brevity…I leaned that one quickly, too! ;)

  • http://twitter.com/joantankersley Joan Tankersley

    Excellent and spot on advise. I also think it is important that men know you appreciate them as a gender and not assume the worst about their response to yours. There is so much negativity that goes on in the marketplace from both perspectives regarding gender bashing. Choosing to engage from a respectful neutrality is always well received, regardless of whether you “wear a skirt” or not.

    One last point: You can also influence men by being their mom.
    If you are the mom of a little boy, remember that your voice will have a lasting influence on his perception of women. Teach them from your heart to respect women, by being a woman worthy of respect.

  • http://www.walkwiththewise.wordpress.com Gail

    Again, this is a personality thing, not a gender thing. I have girl friends who are terrible at details and guy friends who have great attention to details. And what kind of details we pay attention too also differ person to person based on personality not gender.

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  • http://karlakakins.com Karla Akins

    It’s an awesome time to be a woman! This was a great post.

  • http://twitter.com/dbonleadership Dan

    I have not focused to much time thinking about your question. But I plan on sharing this post with my wife and seeing how she likes it. Something worth thinking about.

  • http://www.convenientcalendar.com 2013 Calendar

    That is key when you are over someone in business you do not have to explain yourself when it comes to decisions you make, it shows insecurity in your decisions and most people will have a hard time following those decisions!

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  • Caroline

    I’m struggling with this as I try to influence my father and my husband. In the professional arena, men may listen – but at HOME, how do we influence the men around us? Particularly if we feel they need to take action to step-up and protect their family, or make a difficult decision. My dad seems to discount my opinion as “parroting my mother,” and he moves on about his day without a second thought. Influence at home seems to be more difficult than influence in the workplace.