My first job out of college was working on Capitol Hill, and in one early project I had to coordinate getting information from a lot of decision makers. So to make sure nothing got dropped, I also needed to ask a lot of questions. I worked closely with Ryan, another guy my age. We started off with a fine relationship. But as the project went on, he didn’t seem to like me very much. He became quite short with me and would avoid conversations that weren’t strictly related to the project.
I’ve now spent 15 years interviewing and surveying more than 10,000 men and teenage guys to find out how they process and hear things that we say in our personal relationships and work lives. If you’re a young woman starting to interact with guys in working settings – whether that is your first professional job, the mock trial team in college, or study groups in high school – knowing a few key tips can make a lot of difference. Here are four: