Different things are taboo for different people in business. Depending on your sex, age and the field in which you work, there’s going to be a different taboo for you. This doesn’t mean that you have to watch each and every step that you take when you’re in business. However, it’s a good idea to consult your common sense whenever you feel as though something is not quite right.
In general, people always find that hindsight is 20-20. They can’t help exclaiming, “I thought something was wrong” or “I knew I shouldn’t have said/done that.” If you ever feel that your instincts are telling you to do something other than what you’re doing, it’s time to step back and think about whether you’re breaking a taboo. Here are a few of the taboos for men in business:
Holding Yourself to a Different Standard than Women
Let’s say you’re an account executive at an insurance brokerage firm. There are about five other people in the same position as you, all of them women. You see them coming in early to work everyday and leaving late. They’re obviously professionals and hard workers.
In this type of environment, if you’re seen coming in to work late and trying to charm everyone with your boyish smile, without doing the type of work that the other executives are doing, people are going to notice and be resentful. You need to accept that the same standard holds for both, men and women. Then work hard enough to meet it.
Hiring Someone for Their Looks
We’ve seen this scenario play itself out in various movies. The high level executive hires an assistant based purely on her appearance and not her skill set. You might think that having a beautiful assistant hovering around you is going to make you look like a powerful man in a business setting.
However, this is unfortunately not true. Not only are you missing out on the work done by someone truly efficient, you’ll also be coming across as someone who is easily taken in by appearances. Plus, if your clients are women, you can be sure they’ll notice that you value women only for their looks.
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Talking About Women Behind Their Backs
There are many ways in which women are slandered in business. They might be made fun of for the way they look or act. Their reprimands may not be taken as seriously as those of men. And lies might even be spread about them.
Given that we are in the twenty-first century, these behaviors have become very outdated. Neither your male nor your female work colleagues will appreciate it if they’re not taken seriously. So it’s a good idea to give people the respect they deserve based on the work they do rather than their sex.
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This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising, graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering, Now what do we do?” We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?
By V. Santoro 05 Sep 2015
Great points and I think it would have provided additional value if you made it gender neutral. Making it politically correct diminished it. Men and women both have their short comings when it comes to this important subject. Maybe adding addition points for balance would have been more helpful to women readers. Thank you, V.S.
By Daniel 07 Sep 2019
And yet this article already breaks the first taboo in the preamble : “Depending on your sex, age and the field in which you work, there’s going to be a different taboo for you.”