I recently came across the work of Ari Seth Cohen, who has taken portraits of stylish, real women out and about in the streets of New York. Although “real”, these women are by no means ordinary; they are all of advanced years, hence the title of Ari’s blog: Advanced Style. http://advancedstyle.blogspot.co.uk/
At an age when much of society might expect them to be fading decently into the background, these women are daringly, explosively visible! They inspire us all to grasp life and make the most of it, enjoying every minute.
I’m impressed by the uniquely feminine way they achieve this. By taking such pains with their appearance they aren’t simply dressing beautifully, they are making a statement about their attitude to life, in a spectacular way. Who would have thought a necklace or a pair of gloves could have such significance, in the modern age?
These women certainly ‘do it differently’. Perhaps it’s not so easy for a younger woman to make such a big impact by dressing superbly (and I’m certainly not able to supply fashion advice!). But in the modern age, I do believe there’s a difference in how women present themselves, particularly at work, and how they address certain tasks, from how their male counterparts might do so.
For instance, one of my male colleagues is fantastic at getting his message across in no uncertain terms – he’s colourful, articulate and forceful. In complete contrast, a female colleague tends to favour the quieter “drip, drip, drip” approach to a problem, wearing it away with persistence, asking subtle questions. Both possess steely determination, and aren’t afraid to take an unpopular call, if it’s the right way forward. Perhaps the differences between these two particular individuals are more to do with personality than with gender, but they serve as an example of how men and women can approach things from a different angle.
These diverse approaches to problem solving each work better in some scenarios than others. Both have their time and place, and we should celebrate them both. Complementary ways of working lend themselves well to creating a great team, just as differing colours combine to form a rainbow – differences melding into a whole.
Is appreciating these Mars/Venus type differences the key to success? I believe it can be, if it means we can realise and acknowledge that success can be achieved in different ways – and that the way you would carry out a task isn’t the only way to do it, maybe not even the best way.
SHOUTING LOUDLY CAN BE HIGHLY EFFECTIVE.
Sometimes, a whisper can get even more attention.