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Men, Make Room

In this short video Craig explains that men have a responsibility to help women be heard.

That is, if you want good group decisions.

This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody! Hey it’s Craig Freshley here. Now I know that there is a danger in categorical judgments, but I’m going to make one because this is something that I have seen over and over again in my meetings.

Men tend to talk more. Women tend to defer more. I bet that if you tracked the data in the last 100 meetings that I have been in……let’s say you looked at the proportion of men and women in each of those meetings and if you looked at the proportion of time of men talking and women talking, you would find that a disproportional amount of the time is dominated by men.

Now if your goal in the meeting is to get your way, to get the whole group to affirm what you already know to be true — without even having to hear from anybody else — then yeah, you should be a bit of a bully. You should dominate the conversation, you should interrupt others, and take up as much airtime as you can with your point of view. But if your goal is for the group to make a good decision with the very best available information and the very best chances of implementation because of buy-in, then spend more time listening and less time talking. Make room for everyone.

Now if you’re a man you might be thinking, “Well, if women don’t speak up that’s their fault; it’s their responsibility.” But I don’t think that’s entirely true. I think it’s a shared responsibility like pregnancy is a shared responsibility.

If you are a man in a meeting and you are thinking about making a comment — you know exactly what you want to say and you’re about to jump in — I’m encouraging you to pause, look around the room, especially at the women in the room, and give a chance for one of those women to take your turn. When I’m on my best behavior that’s what I do and I have found that the benefits are pretty amazing.

Men, make room. It will help your group make good decisions.

Thanks for listening everybody.

One thought on “Men, Make Room

  1. I was talking with someone about this today and she raised an eyebrow about my pregnancy analogy. Our conversation made me realize that it’s dated. Today there are many ways to get pregnant and it can be an individual choice with individual responsibility. My analogy was a throwback to what I was taught; that as a man I have a responsibility to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It’s like I have a responsibility to make room for women to be heard.

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