After decades of ineffective quotas, a revolutionary approach to breaking through the glass ceiling for women has come into focus—one shaped by a greater understanding of our gender differences instead of trying to ignore them.
Today, Gender Intelligence is improving communication between men and women in organizations around the globe. It’s resulting in superior innovative thinking, more effective problem solving and decision-making, greater team productivity, and more enduring customer relationships.
Gender Intelligence and Conflict
Barbara Annis begins the program by sharing some of the fundamental differences between men and women when it comes to conflict. She says the sexes really do react to conflict differently. Women tend to internalize conflicts and ruminate about it. Men tend to externalize it. They will often make a decision to either resolve it or move on, which as Barbara explains, links to the fight or flight response.
What is S.A.R.A.? Shock, Anger, Rejection, Acceptance Barbara describes SARA as the path that men and women take as they go through situations of conflict. Her advice is not to get stuck in Shock, Anger or Rejections, but to commit to a period of ‘short-term’ suffering where you truly ‘feel’ those moments, but have a genuine intention to get to Acceptance. While men tend to get stuck in being angry and women often get stuck in rejection, Barbara believes we are ineffective in communicators when we are in either state.
Blame-Frame and Outcome-Frame These are the two frames of reference that Barbara refers to in her books and workshops. She says blame is really about creating a win-lose. I’m right and you’re wrong. On the other hand, Outcome Frame is really about asking ‘what’s ’the win-win here?’ How can we get to understanding?
Using Triangulation Barbara’s described the theory of ‘triangulation’ where people in the workplace choose to complain to others rather than taking on conflict in a direct way with an individual. Barbara explains why ‘triangulated behavior’ only complicates things, but it’s a pattern people fall into. She believes that rather than involving other people, it’s better to go directly to the individual you are having a conflict with to resolve it. The key is having ‘zero commitment’ to triangulation.
What Can We Do About It? A Gender Intelligence Worksheet: The next time you’re in a conflict situation, take a few moments to review and apply each of these 6 ways to reach a positive resolution.
Ten Techniques for Resolving Conflict: Regardless of gender, these techniques will help you when you find yourself in a conflict with a colleague:
1. Stay calm. One big thing that can intensify conflict is anger. To keep the conflict from escalating, take a mental step back and remain calm. Chances are if you can remain calm, those around you will calm down as well.
2. Listen to understand. Once the anger sets in, we tend to stop listening to understand and we start listening to argue back. It will be difficult, but you need to practice your active listening skills and listen to understand.
3. Own what is yours. Are you part of the problem? Take ownership of your mistakes and apologize for them. This will usually surprise people—in a good way—and make them more open to resolving the conflict.
4. Leave a little room for doubt. Rather than insisting that you are right and the other party is wrong, leave a little room for doubt. Take the opportunity to check your sources and confirm what you know. While you still may be right, you are gathering more information.
5. Use an “I” message. “I” messages describe the experience from your point of view without blaming the other party. Using an “I” message is a way to express your needs, expectations, and problems to your listener in a non-‐confrontational way. Some examples: •I expect...•I understood you to say...•It was my understanding that...•I guess I misheard. Please...•I would appreciate it if...•I need...
6. Attack the problem, not the person. If you want your point to be heard, depersonalize your comments and talk only to the issue. Rather than accusing the other party, frame your statements towards finding a solution. For example, instead of “You’re always getting that wrong,” frame the statement as “Let’s look at why this keeps happening.”
7. Avoid finger pointing. In conflict
A Look Back at Barbara’s Path to Becoming an Expert in Gender Intelligence
After a busy life raising a family and building a career in sales at Sony, Barbara Annis turned her interest in gender differences into a lifelong mission to bring Gender Intelligence into the workplace. In today’s episode, Barbara shares the story of her journey with Paul, and explains why there’s so much more to accomplish.
One of the biggest ‘a-ha’ moments for Barbara was when she realized she wasn’t being fully authentic in her life. She describes how her persona at work, where she took on ‘alpha’ male behaviors to fit in and compete with her male colleagues, clashed with who she really was.
Paul shared how when he first met Barbara, he instantly understood what she meant using the term “Gender Intelligence.” He says the title of Barbara’s first book, “Same Words, Different Language,” also rang true to him.
Barbara described the process of writing, then editing her first book. She says it was well received, and a common reaction from people was “why didn’t I know this 20 years ago?” She says it was always her goal to create balanced learning for both men and women, without blame. She says men find it very freeing, and women find it incredibly validating.
Find Barbara’s first book “Same Words, Different Language” here: https://www.amazon.ca/Same-Words-Different-Language-Intelligence/dp/0134513274
Barbara and Paul discussed some of the books Barbara co-authored. She described how her work with author Michael Gurian led to their partnership to write “Leadership and the Sexes.
Find “Leadership and the Sexes” by Barbara Annis and Michael Gurian here: https://www.amazon.ca/Leadership-Sexes-Science-Business-2008-08-25/dp/B01FKWTYO0/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=annis+gurian&qid=1618508935&s=books&sr=1-1
Paul and Barbara also discussed Barbara’s book with John Gray entitled “Work With Me,” and how the two authors collaborated on ways to be authentically Gender Intelligent at home and at work.
Find “Work With Me” by Barbara Annis and John Gray here: https://www.amazon.ca/Work-Me-Intelligence-Succeed-Barbara/dp/B00QAU26YC/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=barbara+annis+john+gray&qid=1618509058&s=books&sr=1-2
Today, Barbara describes her life as being much different than it was before the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the success of her books and consulting work, Barbara spent many years ‘living out of a suitcase,’ and traveling from one keynote address to another. Today she does most of her work virtually. She says she’s finally convinced that workshops can be delivered virtually, and it’s an extremely useful platform for learning. That’s a big advantage for companies that wanted her to be able to scale her corporate learning programs globally.
Barbara says the pandemic hasn’t changed her mission to bring the value of Gender Intelligence to thousands of organizations. She says a key to that is her “Be Gender Intelligent” online learning platform. It’s a 15-hour program where learners can earn their Gender Intelligence Ambassador certification.
To learn more about the “Be Gender Intelligent” learning platform here: https://www.genderintelligence.com/digital-learning/
Safety and Gender Intelligence
"Over the last 40 years, studies have shown that female officers are less authoritarian in their approach to policing, less reliant on physical force and are more effective communicators. Most importantly, female officers are better at defusing potentially violent confrontations before those encounters turn deadly."
Hiring & Retaining More Women: The Advantages to Law Enforcement Agencies Kimberly A. Lonsway Link to study: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED473183
In this podcast, Barbara explains that she first began to consider the connection between Gender Intelligence and safety in the early 90s when some of her clients shared stories with her about how teams with women tended to outscore all-male teams on the implementation of safety practices in the workplace.
Since then, many research studies have confirmed it. Barbara says that would reflect the brain differences between the genders. Because women think more contextually, they tend to be more detail oriented, and also tend to employ consequential thinking to a higher degree. In contrast men tend to be more transactional in their thinking and focused on accomplishing the task at hand. Barbara and Paul reflect on the research that demonstrates the benefits of having women in policing. Barbara explains the differences in the Amygdala, and how testosterone affects men and women differently. She shared the story of Vale, the global mining company that pivoted to embrace all forms of diversity including gender, after a tragedy in Brazil.
Link to Barbara’s interview with Vale’s Chief Operating Officer, Dino Otranto: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GXRAe2qFJA
Gender Disparities in Injury Mortality: Consistent, Persistent and Larger Than You’d Think https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222499/
How Covid-19 is Changing Women’s Lives https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200630-how-covid-19-is-changing-womens-lives
A Simple Solution to Policing Problems: Women! Mindy E. Bergman, Jessica M. Walker, Vanessa A. Jean, Texas A&M University https://www.icos.umich.edu/sites/default/files/lecturereadinglists/bergman_walker_jean%20(2016)%20IOP%20women%20policing.pdf
Gender and Wealth Management
We know that today, women influence 80% of purchases. They often manage the day-to-day expenses of the family but aren’t generally managing the family wealth or investments. Barbara Annis interviews Jo Ousterhout, a financial coach who has been described as a champion of women’s political and economic leadership.
Ousterhout acknowledged the latest data that show women will control 60 to 70% of the world’s wealth by 2030. She says we shouldn’t be all that surprised by the number considering that in many marriages, the husband is older, and men don’t live as long as women generally.
Watch the full interview with Jo Ousterhout here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT6lXaBiCNw
Barbara reflected on research showing that 72% of women fire their financial advisor within a year of their spouse passing away. She discusses how gender differences are at the core of that. She says it’s important to hire a Gender Intelligent financial advisor. That’s someone who recognizes that women often bring a different approach and perspective in the way they interact with a financial advisor.
Paul and Barbara discuss what approach to take in dealing with a financial advisor who is not Gender Intelligent in their approach to male and female clients. Barbara recommends intervening in a non-blame way. She describes a recent situation with her husband where he was able to do this effectively.
Barbara discussed the adage “be interested, not interesting.” She says the solution to creating a more Gender Intelligent experience for women customers isn’t to replace male salespeople or financial advisors with women, but rather to train staff of both genders to be more Gender Intelligent. Barbara and Paul discuss the neuroscience underlying the way in which men and women think and view the world. Barbara explains male convergent thinking and female divergent thinking, and how they are both important, and a real strength, especially when combined. Paul reflected on his experience at the Gender Intelligent Deep Dive, a 3-day workshop and learning event Barbara holds annually. He says that for he and his wife, one of his biggest ‘take-homes’ was that women aren’t generally great negotiators for themselves, but they are often incredibly good at negotiating for others.
Paul and Barbara ended the discussion with some thoughts on Barbara’s favorite quote by Lily Tomlin.
“I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific”
To learn about Barbara’s innovative microlearning program called “Learning Nudges”, visit the website here: www.learningnudges.com
Gender Intelligence in Mining
The Gender Intelligence community is growing. Early adopters in finance and technology are now being joined by manufacturing and mining companies, as they too recognize the benefits of building inclusive cultures through an understanding of the value of gender differences.
On today’s show, Barbara and Paul discuss the progress of Vale, one of the world’s largest mining companies, with more than 76,000 employees at operations in 30 countries. The firm, founded in Brazil in 1942, has declared that its mission is to transform natural resources into prosperity and sustainable development. Part of that is a recognition that diversity is at the core of its people and the people it serves.
Barbara Annis describes the challenges that Vale faced, and the catalyst that moves the company to further define and declare its goals around building a diverse, and more gender-balanced workforce.
Gender Intelligence can benefit companies in several ways:
“difference thinking” better leadership improved communications greater safety help individuals to feel valued empower women in the workplace Recommended Reading:
For individuals interested in learning the concepts and principles of Gender Intelligence, read Barbara’s book, “Same Words, Different Language.” - https://amzn.to/38M9SHY
For organizations and teams interesting in implementing Gender Intelligence within your company, read Barbara’s book, “Gender Intelligence.” - https://amzn.to/2OH3ieR
Interview with Dino Otranto, COO, Vale Base Metals
As part of an interview series for International Women’s Day, Barbara spoke with Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer, Vale Base Metals. Barbara described his authentic commitment to Gender Intelligence and inclusion, and how it connects to Vale’s mission.
See the full interview with Dino Otranto here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GXRAe2qFJA
For more information, contact the Gender Intelligence Group: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-922-2462 ext. 120
International Women’s Day 2021
On a day to mark the progress of women’s rights around the globe, Barbara and Paul discuss ‘mining the gold,’ to recognize and appreciate the differences and strengths that women bring to the workplace, and in leadership roles.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is “Choose to Challenge.” It’s a theme Barbara takes some issue with because it raises the age-old concept of Gender Equality, the ‘battle’ for being treated the same. But we’re not the same, according to Barbara, who coined the phrase “Great Minds Think Unalike.” She says we need to celebrate our differences and the unique skills and perspectives that both women and men bring to the table.
As part of International Women’s Day, Barbara conducted a series of interviews with senior corporate leaders, to get a sense from them how Gender Intelligence is helping to shape their organizations in 2021. This show features some of the content from Barbara’s conversation with Scott Anderson, the President and CEO of Zion’s Bank. Anderson is a huge proponent of Gender Intelligence and says the process has empowered him and made him a better leader, partner, and community member.
Watch the full interview with Zion’s Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6LzJst77QA
Men Speaking for Women?
Paul expressed some surprise that Barbara chose to interview not just women leaders, but also men on International Women’s Day. Barbara explains that we often learn the most by ‘walking in each other’s shoes,’ because it forces us to really try and understand each other.
How Have We Missed the Mark?
Despite a worldwide effort, we’re still not valuing women fully, according to Barbara. She describes the story of a woman executive who describes the ‘silos’ she sees, even within organizations, that prevent women networks from truly being embraced. Barbara’s concerned that the pandemic has created further isolation.
Contact the Gender Intelligence Group for more information: email@example.com or 1-877-922-2462 ext. 120
Gender intelligence is impactful knowledge!!!!
After listening to this podcast, I am aware of how different men and women are. More importantly, I am able to implement new strategies of effectively communicating and working with men. I recommend this podcast to men and women as we may believe and acknowledge that each gender is different, but to understand and know how to work around these differences is priceless.
This podcast shows how to compromise in order to better communicate with the opposite gender. This is extremely impactful in understanding the differences between men and women and gaining knowledge in gender intelligence. Barbara Annis does an extraordinary job of explaining how men and women communicate in different ways, yet are all striving for the same goals of fulfillment, growth, and purpose.
This is significant knowledge to lead one to becoming a better leader, team player, and communicator. Barbara offers several ways to empower different genders and to work through team conflicts in an understanding manner.
Refreshing and insightful
It’s refreshing to hear conversations about the importance of having men and women brainstorming ideas together to fuel innovation. Despite that, I’ve never worked on (or with, as a consultant) an innovation team that was made up of more than 20% women. My experience is exactly as Barbara Annis describes - men think differently than women and both have valuable insights to contribute. Without a strong representation from both women and men, “group think” ensues, which stifles generation of creative, and profitable, ideas. Great mini-series 👏