Men and women don’t look at office politics and power dynamics the same way. That’s what my consulting partners and I recently found when we surveyed 134 senior executives in large organizations and conducted follow-up interviews with 44 of them. There’s no right or wrong here, but the discrepancies help explain why women assert themselves differently.
We found that men tend to talk about “competition” when they describe office politics, using language like “the tools people use to win at work,” whereas women are more likely to cast it as “a natural part of influencing” and emphasize the ability to shape “ideas and agendas.” Similarly, women and men report having differing objectives in the political situations they face at work. Men use words like “achieving results,” and women — again and again — talk about “influencing others.”
read more in hbr.org