Women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men and becoming a major force both in the traditional and the new global e-business marketplace.

Even though the business world demands that we leave a lot of unworkable behaviors and attitudes behind, the emotional sensitivity and the capacity for human connectedness usually attributed to women can be very useful in business negotiations.

Here are five reasons why women are naturals at going global, and how absolutely indispensable they are in international business:

1. We are more attentive and supportive toward others. We are socialized to give care and support to the people close to us (primarily husbands, lovers and children), and we often extend this care-taking impulse to people outside our family circle.

It can serve you well in foreign business, too. You wouldn't want to upset or offend a foreign associate, but how do you know what offends?

All you can do is be gentle, gracious and respectful, and let them guide you. When they see that you are committed to their comfort and happiness, they're likely to forgive your minor blunders and keep negotiations moving forward.

2. We study people, "read" their behavior and make judgments. We're concerned about why people do and say what they do. Men don't always notice. Women do because we want to act effectively in the interpersonal world.

We've developed an instinct for taking accurate readings in a hurry, and acting accordingly. Trust that instinct. Where language and cultural barriers hinder communications, it might be all you have.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laurel Delaney (LaurelDelaney.com) is the founder of GlobeTrade.com and the creator of "Borderbuster," an e-newsletter, and The Global Small Business Blog. She can be reached at ldelaney@globetrade.com.