Are the Rules Different for Women?

Yesterday I had the privilege to speak to about 270 Georgetown University alumni, offering them some of the top lessons from the book — how to connect with an audience, tell better stories, express yourself visually and stand out in the marketplace and workplace.

You can watch it here.

They asked a lot of great questions in the final Q&A portion, challenging my thinking-on-my-feet faculties. One question really stood out. (It’s at the 53-minute mark.) Someone asked if the rules of workplace communication/performance are different for women than for men.

I talked some about an experience I had counseling a woman executive who worked in a male-dominated industry and I offered a few observations. Mainly stuff I learned from her.

But I am not an expert in this area. Nor am I a woman. And I’m thinking it’s something I should get more educated on. I’m surrounded by successful women from multiple generations — perhaps they’ve got some insights to share.

Any thoughts from readers would be most welcome, too. Are the rules different for women? If so, how? What are the landmines you’ve encountered and how did you overcome them?