I stumbled upon a short piece that set out how to impress a woman. Now, this is not a specialty of mine so any clues are always welcome. It read:

Wine her, Dine her, Call her, Hug her,

Hold her, Surprise her, Compliment her,

Smile at her, Laugh with her,

Cry with her, Cuddle with her,

Shop with her, Give her jewellery,

Buy her flowers, Hold her hand,

Write love letters to her,

Go to the end of the earth and back for her.

You may even have seen the item, or something similar, yourself. My first reaction was that this seemed a bit old fashioned. When everyone is supposed to be more equal, either I should get the same treatment, or why should I have to do that for anybody else.

Have you read Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus. A fascinating book. I have not read it for a while but I keep meaning to go back to it. I suppose that what all this is saying to us is that the traits built in to each different culture, sex or nationality over tens or even hundreds of thousands of years, are not going to disappear overnight.

I know that I cannot multitask. Ask me to think and talk at the same time and you will see what I mean. If I am focused on a job in hand, I cannot quickly switch to something else. Helen can multitask and also switch lanes in an instant and then switch back again seamlessly. Why is that? I suppose I have given up asking that particular question and learned to just accept it. Does that make me stupid? Depends on who you ask!

Many years ago, I came across this piece of advice. Never tell a woman what to do, always ask her opinion. She may well agree with your own point of view. Just don’t tell her or you are asking for trouble.

On the other hand, never give a man too many options. Give him 3 options, say which one you prefer, and he will probably agree.

I once read that all this stems from our shared history when men had to go out and hunt, with focus and determination. Women typically cared for the children and were more focused on domestic matters. Hence men are more focused and women can handle anything that might come along in the course of a day. This may of course be complete nonsense, but it seemed to fit at the time.

Business life in the UK in recent years seems to have bridged these divides. A business might be run by either a man or a woman, equally successfully or equally badly. There are very few roles that cannot be done by either, unless there is a need for physical strength.

We are of course talking in broad generalities here. There will be man with a strong feminine side and women who behave more like a man in their everyday business dealings. That’s just life.

In my own view based upon what I see from my own experiences, a business will benefit from having both male and female perspectives. I firmly believe that our own business is stronger for having both Helen and I making decisions together. You get the different perspectives and I would say a more considered approach.

I came across a series of blogs some years ago called Between the Spreadsheets. It carried interviews with couples who ran businesses together and looked at the pros and cons. Of course there are both advantages and disadvantages but on the whole I would say these businesses have a strength and understanding missing in other enterprises. Is this an argument for more women on the boards of larger companies?

Coming back to my first point above, it also said how to impress a man.

Show up naked.

Bring food

Hopefully we are not quite that simple but we are probably simpler and more transparent. What do you think?


Alan E Long

The Long Partnership

07770 738770



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