For Boys’ Eyes Only

Okay, ladies, this means you’ll just have to wait for my next blog as this one’s just for the guys.

This post might not exactly be appropriate. And perhaps it won’t easily fit within the context of getting a job, per se. But a friend of mine, let’s call her Melanie Melrose, was telling me about an incident that recently happened to her and I felt compelled to share, as I think it illustrates some of the tips and principles that I teach in class—principles that might help men better understand women, not just in general, but in business, too.

So, here goes…

Melanie Melrose had a dinner date with her ex-boyfriend, Tommy Turnpike. Tommy was uncharacteristically late, so she sat at the bar and doodled out a list of things to do to pass the time. A few minutes later, Tommy called explaining that traffic was a mess and that he needed directions. So, Melanie walked outside to talk to him…

She stood on the very busy corner of Highland and Melrose trying to direct him to the right place. A guy in new sweatpants and hoodie walked past, stopped, turned around and made serious eye contact. Meanwhile, Melanie’s ex-BF droned on about accidentally taking Big Santa Monica instead of little Santa Monica, blah, blah, blah…

“Mr. Sweatpants” then took off his earphones, raised his eye brows, and pointed at himself as if to say, “So, you want to talk to me?”

He walked back to Melanie and with a smile inquired, “Who are you talking to?”

With one ear at her phone, the other ear and both eyes squarely locked on Mr. Sweatpants, Melanie mouthed, “My ex-boyfriend.”

“Mr. Sweatpants” then playfully grabbed Melanie’s doodling paper and started writing…

It was then that Melanie’s call mysteriously “dropped” (perhaps you’ve heard the infamous technique “Sorry, I’m in the canyon?”). “Mr Sweatpants” told her how pretty she was as he wrote his name and number on her doodling paper. He handed it back saying he’d like to get to know her, but that it was completely up to her.

Melanie was taken aback and said, “Where did this boldness come from?”

“Mr. Sweatpants” said that his mother had raised him right.

“Great answer,” Melanie thought. They then proceeded to have a brief conversation, which ended with a hug, a polite kiss on the cheek, and the ball completely in Melanie’s court.

Now, what does this have to do with you, my male grads? Some of you already have game (I know from chats with some of my female students…) but others are still learning the game. For those of you in the latter, category I’d like to give a 40-something’s perspective on things that girls your age are probably not telling you.

1. WOMEN LOVE COMPLIMENTS. Nothing trashy or base, but a polite sentence that reflects how you really feel. Simple phrases like, “I like your boots” or “You are so pretty” can do the trick. If you’re meeting about business then you MUST do this in a very respectful and genuine way. You can compliment her office decor, or the picture of the adorable 7-year-old on her desk (and if you see the 7-year-old has a tennis racquet, it’s most certainly the time to tell her your summer job was at Bollettieri!) This warms up the conversation, and you’ll look like a star who could potentially help her little pride and joy with his backhand.

2. MAKE US FEEL. Men may be drawn to a woman’s good looks, but it’s how a man makes us FEEL that will pull us into his orbit. “Mr. Sweatpants” made Melanie feel DESIRED and IN CONTROL. He boldly put forth his interest but gave Melanie the power to move it forward or not. The same is true in business: Make me FEEL that if I hire you my life will be easier. Make me FEEL that by recommending you I’ll look like a star. Make me FEEL appreciated and I’ll do my best to make sure you’re taken care of.

3. C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-C-E (as sung by 5th Harmony). Don’t be afraid of silence or an extended eye lock. Sometimes we get uncomfortable with this, but taking a dip in the pause pool will give you a moment to reflect on what she just said. And only a confident person can handle a little silence and enjoy a gallant gaze.

4. BE ON TIME. While you tardy to the party, another man is hot on the trail of YOUR WOMAN! Expect it. If she was hot enough to get your attention, believe me, you’re not the only one interested. Same is true in the workplace: be on time for your interviews, meetings and other obligations. Someone else is always looking to take your position—especially if you’re interviewing, or working, at a very desirable company.

5. OWN EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE AT ALL TIMES. Your age, race, gender, socio economic status, disability, sexual orientation, religion or whatever you are. People will like you or not based on YOU, and not who you are pretending to be. Even in gym clothes, this 30-year-old was authentically himself and managed to impress.

6 . LOVE YOUR MAMA. Invoke the name of your mother and how much you love her as much as possible! This is always a good call in life, a job interview, or anytime you’re dealing with a woman. Women LOVE men who respect and honor their mothers. It’s just a fact. And even if this guy was only saying it to be more desirable—it worked.

Have a great day and be bold, my grads.