So we're not equal, but how do we use this information to better our relationships?
Men and women are not equal due to the fact that based on our physiology we are different. From the hormones which reduce our stress, to how our brains work under stress, men and women are different. Where you can see our differences in action (and how our brains and bodies react differently) is in the ways men and women communicate differently. There is uniqueness between the sexes in the ways we communicate with each other. Our communication style lies at the heart of our expectations. Generally speaking, women want to participate in the decision-making process, and men want to delegate. For example take something as mundane as shopping for groceries. Women may want consensus in the household or with whomever the dinner guests are that they will like what she buys. She may ask her husband what he’d like for dinner the upcoming week, and his typical response may be, “just get something. You do the shopping.” He’s made the decision he will eat whatever is made, and she can decide what to get without him. Which one is right? There is no right answer, this is just a tendency men and women have when buying or selling. Similar conversations go on in the workplace as well in regards to should we invest in this prospect, market to this target audience, or sell to this buyer. What will take businesses to the next level is the recognition that men and women have unique ways of communicating, and bringing both to the table makes for more profit not just with the bottom line, but also in regards to quality of life.
What needs to be happening now amongst us is a discussion on how we can lift each other up and create balance. Are you familiar with Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? I bet you have heard of this concept, but have you incorporated this language into how you deal with your family and friends? What about using gender intelligent communication with your co-workers? Dr. John Gray’s life work deals with explaining the ways men and women communicate differently so that we can have better relationships, both at work and in our personal lives. The coaches as Mars Venus Coaching are working globally with executives, businesses, and individuals to promote this climate of gender difference acceptance so that more people are able to experience success—whatever that means for them—in their lives. The quest is to re-balance people in their relationships so things like their business, which is supposed to be a vehicle to enable them to live the lifestyle of their dreams, is just that an enabler so they can have both work and play. Using Mars Venus as a language to help one another understand the opposite gender’s tendencies unlocks the door for people wherever they are on the corporate ladder or in their personal lives to use their business as a vehicle to the lifestyle they want, instead of business being their lifestyle.
The Mars Venus explanation in gender intelligent communication allows for dialogue to enter into the workforce about how our styles complement each other. You cannot find another coaching or consulting company that incorporates gender intelligent communication into all facets of their services. Mars Venus Coaching operates on this premise for success. To spread the solution for what’s needed to stabilize the shift currently underway to keep women in the workforce, and normalize equal numbers of executives at the top what needs to happen now is for companies to work from the real premise (not an unexamined assumption we’re equal or an unrealistic expectation that we’re equal) that companies are stronger, and they perform better when gender intelligent communication is embraced, encouraged, and respected. Getting back to the points generated lately by BNET discussions, yes, both discrimination and bias stands in the way of the most educated and informed person making investment and leadership decisions. This is due to foggy glasses. The good news is that we can clean our glasses, remove some of the foggy filtering, or take them off completely. There is room for a solution, and there is a way for everyone to gain balance and meet their goals. Our glasses are foggy, because we choose to operate with the filters gained through experience, and our own internal dialogue telling us what to think, say, and do. However, any coach or mental health professional will tell you to make the best informed decision you have to operate from reality; meaning, what’s in front of your face, so you live in the present moment and operate logically based on facts, not on bias, discrimination, judgments (also known as unexamined assumptions and unrealistic expectations). What this means is we have to divorce our petty biases and discriminatory judgments from the situation. The easiest, fastest way to do this is to communicate with one another based on our gender’s unique style of communicating. This requires active listening, and the ability to say what needs to be said in the dialect the other person understands, not your own. So men—it behooves you to pick up on women’s nonverbal and verbal communication when talking to women and reflect back what they are saying, and vice versa. When you are able to practice these skills at more effective assertive communication, and come from a genuine place of connecting, the sky is the limit for how far you’ll go in your professional life (personal too!).
Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd
Corporate Media Relations
Mars Venus Coaching