Women Are Different from Men… Really

First published ‘Two Plus Two’ magazine – February 2012

Leo Margets: “There’s no difference between excellent men or women players although each will have their own style. It’s my observation that with lesser skilled players, men will make more mistakes being too aggressive in the wrong spots and women will be too passive.”

Stereotypes

Despite stereotyping getting a bad name, it is an extremely important part of people’s psychological make up and without stereotyping, it would be impossible to function. Stereotypes are natural, vital and helpful. If with each person you met you had to begin from scratch filling in their characteristics, you simply wouldn’t have enough time in your life.  Stereotyping allows you to fill in the gaps. It gives you a pretty full initial picture that allows you to add to, refine and remodel as you get more information.

For instance, you sit down at a poker table and you’re playing with players you’ve never met. One of these is a hotshot Scandinavian and another, a young blonde girl who doesn’t look old enough to get into the casino. I suspect you already have a different strategies planned for each. This may not be a conscious decision, and you may well think that you are approaching the game with a totally open mind, but that would be practically impossible. You will have already formed some stereotype, some “fixed, over generalised belief about a particular class of people”.

The assumption you have will be based on a number of factors including your upbringing, culture, media, beliefs, personal experience, etc.

In an interview Gus Hanson, Scandinavian player describes his stereotyping experience:

 “Every time I’m at a table with 8 players I’ve never seen before, they might have seen me on TV. They kind of already have it in their minds that the last time they saw me I was bluffing with 2-4 off-suit and called all in with this and that. So naturally they will give me a little more action because those are the hands that they’re seeing me play. But they might not have seen the fact that I won a big hand with kings a day earlier or whatever, so it definitely gets me more action that’s for sure.”

Your assumption of the young blonde girl who didn’t look old enough to get into the casino may be along the lines of Daniel Negreanu who writes about his first experience of playing poker against Jennifer Harman;

“I had my strategy all figured out: I wouldn’t bluff the crazy young kid, but I’d attack the poor little blonde girl. I thought, what is she doing playing so high, anyway? Well, she probably won’t last long, so I’d better get some of that money before it’s gone. That annoying little blonde girl was crushing me! Every time I raised, she reraised me, and every time I bluffed, she called. I was now stuck a little more than $9,000.”

Origins

Jennifer Tilly: “We are raised to be polite and honest. We are not raised to be most of the things that make good poker players.”

The typical stereotypical traits of a woman poker player are: passive, polite, non-competitive, honest, likely to fold in the face of any raise, quiet, slow….

There’s a fair amount deal of truth in a lot of this. There has been a great deal of research carried out in some relevant areas around gender differences. The research is fairly consistent and has been carried out over many years from a variety of sources. The most interesting from a poker playing viewpoint lie in the areas of competitiveness, problem solving and self esteem.

Competitiveness

Annette Obrestad “I’ve always said that girls suck at poker. I say that because they do. Maybe they just aren’t as competitive and don’t try to learn from their mistakes.”

This seems to be true, or at least, partly true. It does however, only tell half the story. Research by Hoygena and Hoygena suggest that women frequently compete as vigorously as males. However, there is an inherent stigma that seems to prevent women being seen to be competitive. This appears to come principally from centuries of social conditioning.  Throughout history, women have had to adapt to be taken seriously in a ‘man’s world’. For instance, the world of arts and writing has primarily been a male-dominated arena for centuries. The only way for some authors to get their work published has been to adapt. Mary Ann Evans had to change her name to George Eliot, and even recently Joanne Rowling was told by her publishers to use her initials J.K.as they felt boys would not read a book written by a woman.

It’s also been proven that women are significantly more likely to compete where they are unlikely to be discriminated against and where they believe they have an equal or better chance of succeeding. Highlighting this, one study by Robinson-Staveley and Cooper found that females outscored men in an isolated competition but men exceeded women when other people were present.

This would explain the influx of women to online poker.

Victoria Coren explains;

“Internet poker is the best thing ever invented for women. Everything that didn’t suit women about live poker was removed at a stroke. It allows you to be as competitive as you like and you won’t get men giving you funny looks. Live poker, broadly speaking, is a more masculine activity.”

Reframing

The stereotype of a passive woman is very strong. Stereotypes tend to be. Even in the face of contradictory evidence, people will cling to their stereotype. One way of rationalising this is reframing. Even when a person acts totally against the stereotype, others rationalise it.

In an interview Vanessa Selbst gave with Kirsty Arnett, she tells of her experience at the final table of a WSOP event. In the hand she was dealt the 5spade2spade. She raised preflop, got re-raised and then she pushed all in. Unfortunately, she was up against a pair of aces and lost. She continued;

Vanessa: “I got a ton of flack for it. I still get a ton of flack for it.
Kristy: “When I watched that hand, I was thinking, she is second in chips against the chip and leader, and this is absolutely brilliant and ballsy, because he has to fold almost all hands!”
Vanessa: “Yes, exactly. If he has A-Q he folds, and I look like a genius. If he has aces, I look like an idiot. That’s the way it goes.”

In a televised High Stakes Poker game, Phil Ivey played a hand that ended with him going all-in with 5 -2 against Lex Veldhius. This was described as “one of the greatest bluffs in the history of HSP”.

Problem Solving

It has long been established that men are more risk prone than women. Women tend toward a strategy of risk aversion and accept risk as a last resort. They would prefer to take a risk ‘when the benefits are maximised and costs minimised’. Men are generally more comfortable with risk-taking. Men tend to want to rush to a solution whereas women are more likely to spend time longer conceptualising a solution and then implementing it. In their research on competition, Daly and Wilson found that women tend to “develop elegant solutions”, rather than ‘good enough’ solutions.

In poker, as in life, there is generally a time limit around problem solving and quick, successful risk taking is widely admired especially in public. In strict time limit situations, men will more rapidly identify and select a ‘close enough’ solution and implement it. Women may feel more anxious and have performance issues, at least initially.

Both parties can learn and adapt to the situations. The better poker players are either instinctively more flexible in their approach or can learn quicker and adapt more effectively. In general, men have an advantage learning poker in public arenas. In many situations it is almost a mark of honor to play hyper-aggressively even if you lose big. Women tend to be more risk averse and initially at least, handle failure more personally.
Kathy Liebert talks about her strategy in the 2007 WSOP heads-up event;

“You have a series of events in your head already planned out at the beginning of every hand. So, if you see a line from a player, and it winds up being similar to how other players play the same hand, it makes it easier, especially heads up. You’ll see spots where it is pretty obvious someone is going to bluff, or where someone raises and you know they don’t have x, y, and z hands, or whatever it is, just from experience.”

Self Esteem

Clonie Gowen: “To be a successful player, you need a lot of confidence”

Another aspect of the female stereotype is that women lack confidence. There is a great deal of evidence to support this. This seems to emanate from childhood.

Studies on school children have found that girls’ performances are often strongly influenced by the way boys perceive them or the way the girls think boys perceive them. This will greatly affect their performance in the classroom. Many times, girls act naïve or hide their intelligence and abilities because they think this is the way to be socially accepted and popular with boys. Also, it has been shown that even when female college students have the same intellectual results as males, there are frequently huge differences in their perceptions of themselves. A recent example seems to indicate that this perception continues beyond school;

A senior management role was advertised with a salary of £55,000 a year. The advert did not attract one female applicant. However, when the same post was re-advertised for £35,000 a year they were overwhelmed with applications from women.

The way of building self-esteem seems to be a fairly reasonable and well-documented one. The way to build self-confidence is not by throwing them in at the deep end and hoping they can swim. The approach is a systematic series of small steps and confidence building.

Maria Ho: “I would have to say it was online poker that I credit with being able to jump so fast. I’ve always felt more comfortable playing higher online than I did live… I think I was just intimidated in the beginning. So playing online really helped me like get over that intimidation because once I became a winning player at the higher limits, then the limits didn’t intimidate me as much, so I was able to take that into the live arena.”

Finally

This, of course, isn’t true for all men all the time, or all women all the time. There are numerous examples of uncompetitive male players, females that make snap decisions, etc. However, the evidence indicates that there is a degree of truth in the stereotypes.

However, the learning is about playing the person, not the stereotype. For poker players, stereotypes can be dangerous and the better players will take advantage of them. Female poker players will happily play to this;

Kathy Liebert: “Most men treat women as stereotypes at the poker table, not as unique players. This makes it pretty easy to play with men that have never played with me before. Certain types of men check a strong hand because they want to be the “nice” guy. Other types of men might try to bully a “weak” woman. Whatever the case, I win bets. This is a huge advantage to me. There is less advantage against regular opponents of course.”

For women players, the learning here is that if you don’t feel confident playing poker initially, you’re not on your own. Online poker will help some people. Women-only tournaments will help some people. Ultimately, women are different from men, really. Whether the reason is genetic, cultural, behavioural, it really doesn’t matter. There are psychological differences. This should be recognised and acknowledged as it should be for all groups of people. Lucy Rocach’s thoughts on women only tournaments seem to be some of the most sensible on the topic;

“In any activity dominated almost exclusively by one group, there has to be a case for positive discrimination. In the case of live poker, the whole casino experience can be intimidating for the lone uninitiated woman, where the gambling industry is geared towards men. If you can get women used to going to a cardroom and have an enjoyable night out in a non-threatening atmosphere, half the battle’s won.”

Why Women Aren’t As Successful As Men At Interviews Yet In The Future Will Probably Take The Majority Of The Seats At The WSOP Main Event Final Table

SOME FACTS

  • The female brain develops at a different rate to the male brain;
  • The corpus callosum is “the caring membrane in the brain”.
  • Girls’ CC is three times larger than boys’.
  • Boys frequently cannot demonstrate empathy unless it is related to a physical action.
  • Every report into education standards seems to reach the conclusion that girls consistently out-perform boys at school;
  • Girls tend to be more flexible in their approach to learning and adapt to different learning styles. Boys tend to prefer activities.
  • One report suggests that girls have more ‘sensory capacities and biosocial aptitudes to decipher exactly what teachers want’ – they are better at understanding people.
  • Boys tend to learn by doing. Girls tend to learn by thinking
  • When given a sheet of blank paper most girls draw animals, flowers, people. Boys tend to draw an action scene.
  • Observations show that when completing a jigsaw puzzle girls tend to ask for help three times as much as boys will.
  • In terms of competitiveness on equal terms, women tend to compete as aggressively as males – however there seems to be a psychological ‘brake’ on women competing due to societal upbringing – “ little girls –seen not heard”
  • The basic concept of problem solving is different from men and women; men tend to adapt a high risk high payoff strategy over a low-risk, low-payoff strategy adapted by women. So men will rush toward a ‘close enough’ solution, women like to conceptualise a solution then implement it
  • Some of the differences in problem solving is cultural as males tend to be admired for the ‘good enough’ approach

INTERVIEWING

Research shows that men are more successful than women at interviews as these traits continue in later life.

The more measured, considered approach preferred by women is frequently regarded as being weak and indecisive at interviews. Aggressiveness and risk taking is rewarded at interviews and often seen as being decisive and confident. This is often assessed by interviewers as the amount of time taken to answer questions at interview. Females tend to want to weigh up all the options whereas men seem happier to go with the likeliest. Women are less inclined to take guesses than men.

However in the work environment this gung-ho approach is seen less favourably. The female considered approach – longer thinking time, low risk, approach is favoured over the male instant decision, high risk approach. In many instances the male ‘do or die’ attitude is soon regarded as a negative trait.

However, these female traits would seem to have huge potential in the workplace; the benefits of achieving the task cooperatively would result in more motivated staff, more ownership of the work amongst the team, less task demarcation, etc… Also the targets are far more likely to be met as there are more people focused on achieving the result.

Women learn quicker and more effectively – because of their approach to learning. They learn by learning in a certain way – better – more considered. They learn more effectively when they are supported, have role models, are allowed to develop a make mistakes in a ‘safe’ environment.

Once they have learnt they are more likely to want to learn more than men.   Men tend to adopt a ‘need to know’ approach to learning.

Women entrepreneurs are financially more conservative, emphasizing profitability and profit over rapid growth, and their management policies seek to minimise work-family conflicts. Women’s businesses tend to grow more slowly than men’s, incur less debt and higher quality.

Researchers have started looking into the relationship between testosterone and excessive risk, and wondering if groups of men, in some basic hormonal way, spur each other to make reckless decisions.” – The End of Men, Hanna Rosin

POKER

Unsurprisingly these same traits appear on the poker table, or the poker screen. Many men are very successful initially with the high risk, decisive approach. This is taken as a sign of strength, confidence and competence.

Women tend to want to take longer and initially this will appear as a weakness. It may contribute to the fact that this trait is seen as indecisiveness makes other players regard this as a weakness and play even more aggressively toward them.

It has long been established that in general women tend to be more co-operative that men. However looking deeper at the research it shows that women are more likely to compete where they believe they can succeed. It’s a phenomenon known as the cheetah complex. The cheetah cannot afford to expend energy chasing its food if there is not much probability of catching it. It therefore chooses it’s times of action extremely carefully and will only commit to the chase if the odds are heavily stacked in its’ favour. In some regard women regard competition in that light,

Female are far more likely to engage in competitive activities where the environment does not inherently disadvantage women, female are more likely to be successful. This would pretty much sums up the real, or perceived, growth in online gaming. This would appear to be a major reason for the steady growth and success of women over the past decade or so.

As men and women develop their poker skills they tend to be more aware of their own and others’ strengths and weaknesses and adapt their game accordingly. This element of learning is critical in the development of top poker players.

Men, in general, seem more comfortable learning in a challenging environment. They tend to be less concerned about taking a new approach and losing. Women are far less comfortable with this and tend to want to build their learning slowly and steadily in a safe environment. The advent of the internet appears perfect. Woman can learn skills anonymously without the stress and strain of failure having a big impact.

The area of development they seem to need to push them to the next level comes from the socialisation and developing the relationships they need. This is the stage many females seem trapped in, the step from online playing to face to face playing.  The environment is now no longer felt to be safe and a number of talented players will retreat to the safety of the computer.

One approach has been women only tournaments. This allows women to take the step from internet to tournament play in a safer environment and seems to be a sensible approach.

THE FUTURE

In an article in ‘The Atlantic’ last year, ‘The End of Men’ – Hanna Rosin looks at the cultural balance between men and women and the role they have in the future. The female traits of empathy, developing relationships, producing more workable solutions seem to be what businesses want and need these days. The concluding paragraph;

“Innovative, successful firms are the ones that promote women. The same Columbia-Maryland study ranked America’s industries by the proportion of firms that employed female executives, and the bottom of the list reads like the ghosts of the economy past: shipbuilding, real estate, coal, steelworks, machinery.“ –

It seems inevitable, to Hanna Rosin, that the future at the very top of businesses around the world, will be led by females. The skills and talents required have moved over the past few decades from the physical to the cerebral. The focus has changed from processes and control to creativity and people.

The poker world is no different.  At the very top level where everyone knows the rules, the odds, the techniques it’s not about aggression or experience. It’s about instinct and reading people. Traits women seem to have more than men.

* NOTE

In general this is what the evidence tells us.  It’s not every man and every woman – it’s nothing you can point to an individual and say – “this is how you are”. It’s a generalisation based on evidence. Evidence as a percentage – a majority – a best guess. There are many, many men and women who will not fall into the broad categories outlined below. I know this. You really don’t need to point this out to me.

 

Truth, Power and Equality of Opportunities

First appeared in ‘Better Business (U.K.)

‘When in doubt, tell the truth. When not in doubt, tell the truth.’

A simple phrase I picked up on a training course a few years ago has helped me to solve so many problems. You don’t believe me? Try it.

Simple. Easy. Brilliant. Use it as the staple answer for many managerial problems and concerns.

One definition of a manager is that you have staff to manage. If you have staff, you have problems. It goes with the territory. Don’t be surprised. It’s like doctors complaining that they only get to meet sick people – it’s going to happen. Your staff will have problems and they will want you to help. Those 13 short words can really help – ‘When in doubt, tell the truth. When not in doubt, tell the truth’.

How often have you been in a situation, perhaps a meeting, where, for some reason or another, you aren’t sure what’s really going on? Can you recall how frustrating that is for you sitting there trying to look as if you know what’s happening? Try this approach. Tell the truth.

The first time I run this experiment was at a very senior manager’s meeting. The very senior manager was talking about our bid for Investors in People. I had no idea where she was going with the discussion.

I took a deep breath. Then another.

“Irena. Excuse me for interrupting but I have no idea where you are going with this.”

The whole room took a sharp intake of breath.

“Neither have I come to think of it”.

The room laughed, slightly too loudly.

This works incredibly well with all sorts of problems especially personal problems, especially managerial problems. There’s the standard problem that gets asked, in one shape or form, at many interviews; “What would you do if a member of your staff has B.O.?” This type of problem arises all too frequently in life. Someone has a problem, perhaps their work is slipping, they need to change jobs, any number of situations. Try this approach. Ask yourself how you feel about the situation. More often than not I guess you feel uncomfortable, nervous. Address the problem;

“Ken, can I have a word? I feel really uncomfortable doing this but I feel I’ve got to let you know – You obviously haven’t recognised it yourself but I think you’ve got B.O.”. Then wait, listen and keep explaining until they understand. You may not be loved, initially, but I bet you’ll be respected far more than if you’d ignored it and they’d found out another way.

Tell the truth – as it honestly appears to you. There are many types of truth and you can only tell the truth as you see it. Let my explain. If your watch stops and someone asks you the time and you get it wrong – you’re not lying are you? You’re telling the truth as you see it.

This concept of truth is linked to power. There’s a certain power that comes from telling the truth.

A typical training course:

“What do I do if my boss keeps interrupting me and I can’t get my work done.”

“Tell her, “You keep interrupting me and I can’t get my work done.””

“But I feel really awkward about telling her – she’s my boss.”

“Tell her, “I feel really awkward about this as you’re my boss but you keep interrupting me and I can’t get my work done.”

“But…..”

“What do you think will happen?”

“Probably nothing.”

It’s that simple.

There are a number of success stories. Often it’s the smallest things that make a difference. I was training a group of Personal Assistants and one of them was very worried about telling her boss that she wanted to change the layout of the office. It was becoming really stressful for her. She spent a great deal of time complaining to other Personal Assistants, anyone that would listen in fact. She felt her boss would hate it and get furious. We discussed it, acted it out and eventually she decided she’d deal with him. Two days later I got a call – the office had already been changed – it worked out that he hated it as well and didn’t say anything as he felt she would resist. The amount of time and effort that was saved just by this was incredible.

It’s an excellent tool. Use it wisely. Use it honestly. It could help cut through the corporate code that all large organisations use. And there is a lot of corporate code. Having been on the interviewing end of many promotion boards I’ve seen so many reports about saints. Virtually every candidate has never done a bad thing in their life, according to their managers. They’ve never done a bad deed. Never had an evil thought. Then they walk into the room. Please…

After a while you spend all your time looking through the reports looking for secret code words. One secret word is ‘usually’. Alan is usually calm and even -tempered. This translates to Alan has psychopathic tendencies. Rebecca usually responds well to customers, particularly on the telephone. This means Rebecca can lose it on the phone now and again.

Angela is sociable would be code for Angela can be loud and a party animal and may have the odd Monday morning off work with a hangover.

It would be so refreshing to read “Fred is an ace worker in all aspects apart from figure work. He’s useless. He couldn’t add up 2 numbers to save his life.

I’d promote him and keep him well away from the Accounts Department.

On a recent equal opportunities seminar the question came up about managers feeling unable to help. After some discussion the problems were really in the managers’ heads. They were afraid of getting it wrong, afraid of upsetting someone. Having run a number of events with disabled staff and having worked through similar concerns with people with disabilities this approach works extremely well. My advice is – tell the truth. People tend to treat people with respect. They trust peoples’ intentions. If someone makes a mistake but their intention is to be helpful most people will forgive them. If you are unfortunate enough to ask a partially sighted person why they can’t read the signs (as I have) you’re far more likely to get a huge laugh rather than an embarrassed silence.

The question arose: “If you see someone in a wheelchair struggling to open a heavy door, what do you say?”

“Say, excuse me I can see that you’re in a wheelchair struggling to open that heavy door, do you need some help?””

It’s so simple. So easy. So do it.

Managing Disability – Some tips

First appeared in ‘M.I.S.’ (U.K.)

There’s a fair amount of anxiety amongst managers when dealing with disabled people. There’s the whole language issue for a start. Is it disability, people with disabilities, handicapped, the disabled, the ably-challenged? What the hell’s the correct term to use today?

For me it’s about awareness and breaking old patterns of behaving and ways of thinking. You need to give it some thought. However remember that you may well get it wrong at times. Usually it doesn’t matter what you say as long as your intention is to be helpful. People will forgive you making mistakes as long as your intention isn’t to be malicious or hurtful. So far I’ve never come across a case where people have taken offence when people have tried to be helpful. I’ve asked blind people to ‘look at the board’, people with speech impediments to ‘speak up’ and of course I’ve felt like an absolute idiot. Yet I’ve never been made to feel bad. Any embarrassment has been generated internally.

It’s more than being p.c. It’s common courtesy and being sensible. If a friend gets married and changes their name you’ll call them their new name. If you forget and refer to their old name it may be embarrassing but that doesn’t make you a bad person.

Looking more closely at some of the implications behind common phrases may help. The term handicapped for instance was fairly recently widely used. However this term has associations with going ‘cap in hand’ and begging and it’s recommended that people use the term ‘disabled’ instead. I have heard the argument about ‘political correctness gone mad’ and ‘you can’t say anything these days’ but I would just go with the common sense, pragmatic approach; If I wanted you to call me ‘Barney’ because I thought ‘Byron’ was offensive why wouldn’t you? Would you try to argue with me that I was wrong? I hope not.

Other terms that can give the wrong impression are suffering from, victims of … or when a disabled person is talked about as being brave or courageous. I’ve been assured that this isn’t always the case. People with disabilities often aren’t any braver, more courageous or more suffering than anyone else.

It’s become a cliché I know but often it’s about seeing the person rather than the disability. So, labelling people with their disabilities; paraplegics, schizophrenics, the physically disabled is lazy and easy. It doesn’t help in developing a relationship with the person. It’s as bad, but less offensive, to label people as Welsh, or a management consultant. It puts people into a box and attributes them with all the prejudices you have about that particular stereotype.

It seems straightforward enough when you think about it. The real lesson for me is what to do when you’re not sure. If you’re not sure what word to use or not use then ask someone and tell them how you feel. Say “Look I don’t want to cause any offence so what word should I use here.” It’s not difficult, but it does take some thought.

Although managing people with disabilities may seem daunting, managing anybody should seem daunting. People with disabilities want to be managed the same way as anyone else. This doesn’t mean treating everyone the same. People aren’t the same. The most basic example would be building a ramp for wheelchair access alongside a set of steep steps. This is a good thing I hope you’ll agree. Yet if you were to treat everyone the same you wouldn’t build the ramp. It’s a spurious argument I’ve frequently heard with managers – “But I treat everyone the same”. Whilst their staff are all saying, “But we’re not.”

Everyone is different. People have different talents and it’s for managers to bring those talents out. The difference for me is illustrated in an example from football mangers. A decade or so ago when Jack Charlton managed the Ireland team he had a great defender Paul McGrath who had a severe drink problem. He managed this quietly and effectively. At the same time Paul Gascoigne’s similar problem was front page news everywhere and dealt with a good deal less effectively by a number of managers.

In the work situation this doesn’t mean you have to ignore someone’s disability – deal with it. The easiest way of doing this is by talking about it. This raises another problem in managers’ minds. How do you get the balance right between being intrusive and appearing uncaring?

My advice would be to trust your feelings. If you feel there is a problem you should address it. There will be no need to pry or ask personal questions. Have an adult conversation about your concerns and listen to the reply. Don’t ignore the problem and hope it will go away. You know that never happens.

If possible attend a training programme. Hopefully this should achieve a few things for you. Firstly it should help reinforce all the things you are already doing well, and secondly it should help raise your awareness of issues. It will also send out a message that you’re taking the situation seriously.

Some of the lessons I learnt from a course I attended ten years ago have stuck with me. One exercise was particularly traumatic for a number of us on the course. The instructors asked us to choose our disability. This was extremely hard. People were getting very upset imagining this. Eventually we’d all chosen – some were blind, deaf, etc… Then they introduced the second part of the exercise.

“Now, what can’t you do?” we were asked.

Initially there was a great deal of debate about all the things we couldn’t do if we were in a wheelchair, visually impaired, etc., but after a while we started to realise that there weren’t a great many barriers for us. Or at least if there were barriers there were ways around them. Most of these obstacles existed in our heads. OK, so being blind I was unlikely to win the hundred metres Olympic title. But as the trainer, very accurately, pointed out, pushing forty and being not particularly fit would tend to suggest that anyway.

The facilitator gave us an eye-opening example of the stereotyping wheelchair users come across. One day he was sitting in his wheelchair outside Marks and Spencer waiting for his wife and drinking a can of coke. A middle aged woman walked past, looked at him, opened her purse, took out a pound coin and dropped it in his can. “There” she smiled and walked off.

The tip is to address the issue and talk about it. If your member of staff is in a wheelchair and has problems opening a heavy door say, “Excuse me I can see that you’re in a wheelchair struggling to open that heavy door, do you need some help?”

It’s not difficult – is it?