Women cannot treat men as if they are just “hairy women” – and men should not behave as if women are prettier, softer, emotionally unstable, multi-tasking versions of themselves.
Do you get frustrated when talking to the opposite sex? Are you tired of feeling that your spouse, female co-worker, female boss, or any other woman in your life does not understand you or misjudges you?
The reason for the misunderstandings and frustrations is that men speak “MENglish®” and women speak – you guessed it — “WOMENglish®.”
Men and women have different innate characteristics and they grow up to live in different cultures. These “nature vs. nurture” differences between men and women influence how we act and how we communicate. Unfortunately, we are hardly ever aware of the dissimilar rules and expected behaviors, and we often interpret each other incorrectly.
We talk and behave in a way that makes sense to us; however, to the opposite sex this behavior can come across as enigmatic and puzzling, maybe even offensive.
Whether you are at home or at work, understanding where she is coming from, appreciating her communication style, and embracing your differences can lead to a fulfilling, exciting, and compassionate relationship.
- Are you tired of her having the need to talk when you are content with just having her in your arms?
- Do you feel trapped when you need alone time after being really close and intimate and she takes it the wrong way?
Or at work:
- Do you get irritated when you request a status report but the female employee gives you the how and the why before ever answering your perceived question?
- Do you get frustrated when female co-workers feel the need to share personal stories and relate to something you mentioned?
Highly successful companies realize that strong co-ed teams will positively affect the bottom line and they will outperform companies which are still negating the gender differences and/or have a small percentage of female professionals in key positions.
Diversity, especially gender diversity, unlocks tremendous growth and leads to higher performance within any company. There is no question that men and women in organizations are willing to work hard. It is just a matter of getting them to work together without demanding they adopt either masculine or female behavior or leadership styles.
A McKinsey study found that out of the nine leadership traits, women outperform men in three, are slightly better in two, equal in 2 and fall short in only two. Women who are trying to act like a man are normally not well-liked by either gender as they are not authentic. When corporations acknowledge the differences and help the leadership and employees to understand and appreciate the differences in learning to adapt and not judge, the companies soar to unknown levels of success – not only within the company but also with clients and customers.
In the 21st century men and women have equal rights and opportunities, or at least should. “Equal rights” however does not mean that men and women have identical traits or needs. We want to be treated and talked to in a different way.
Women cannot treat men as if they are just “hairy women” – a funny term my old college professor in Germany always used – and men should not behave as if women are prettier, softer, emotionally unstable, multi-tasking versions of themselves.
Steve Harvey is a great example of a public figure trying to build the bridge between men and women. His practical advice to women about men’s needs, especially with commitment, has helped countless women to get a better feel and understanding for the men in their lives. When men start investing time and effort in being more prepared for female responses and behavior, everything will change for the better.
We often use harsh words when we criticize the other gender, we do not use the same words describing behavior in other cultures. However, men and women grow up in different cultures – not only do we adapt to gender expected behavior, we also have innate differences that determine how we behave and talk.
Learn and understand the innate differences, study “after-market” influences and expectations, appreciate the differences and acknowledge how important they are. With this growth, judging and frustration turns into love and admiration of the other gender.
Let’s do it!
Photo by Flickr/RLHint