Gender Intelligent Communication to Increase Women’s Status, Part 1

Article for Forbes 2.7.11:

After reading and witnessing last week’s recent outpouring of opinion on what did and did not happen at Davos, why women are still not ascending and staying at the top of corporations, and why previous solutions have been lip service rather than a long term fix, I ask that you open your mind to the possibility of a quick, yet long-term fix to increase the status of women in the corporate world. I sense there is an undercurrent of paranoia and hysteria being felt by the references to Groundhogs day, and the frustration about why the numbers aren’t equalizing at the top of the leadership pyramid. These feelings of uneasiness are in response to many of us run ragged by constant low-grade stress. When we address the underlying issue of helping ourselves and each other to incorporate stress reduction into our daily life, especially while at work (where we spend most of our waking time), the actual fix pretty much comes down to common sense. However, the common sense is uncommon knowledge at this point in time. The solution I refer to is introducing gender intelligent communication into professional development training.

Whenever I ask people if they are familiar with the term men are from Mars, women are from Venus, there tends to be an instant lighting up of the eyes, and intake of breath. This term coined by John Gray , Ph.D. when he wrote his best-selling book of that title back in 1992 is now considered to be part our society’s vernacular. However, when is the last time you’ve picked up any of John Gray’s, Ph.D. books? There are now too many books (16 and counting) for a high-level executive, or really anyone for that matter who has both a career and family to tend to sit down and devote good chunks of time to read and assimilate the information. Instead of reading all of the literature, the following is a quick synopsis of why implementing this quick fix is imperative, not only for women to remain and ascend in the corporate world, but also why it needs to be done in order to re-balance and give quality of life back to everyone in this fast-paced, high-tech world.

Back in 1992 John Gray, Ph.D. provided an easy way to understand the fact that men and women communicate differently, and if we want better relationships, we have to learn the other’s dialect so we can speak the same language. Now, in 2011, we understand the research behind why we communicate differently, and the message is now more urgent than ever, because not only are women not climbing in corporate, but we’re doing irreversible damage to our bodies, and the families we are currently growing. It is imperative that the culture in corporate shift for good now that we understand the revolution of men and women are created equal to be an unexamined assumption and unrealistic expectation. Men and women are uniquely different genders, and the latest research is showing how our unique natures and physiology are meant to complement the other gender.

So to get back to the point we must saturate the “market” by doing just this: while at work teach how men and women communicate differently in workshops. It is imperative, because right now women are up against a brick wall when it comes to fitting into a culture that disregards their unique gender-based contributions of working and relating to others. Stand by for part two about why teaching workshops on gender intelligent communication is the common sense approach and quick fix for a long term solution.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd

Corporate Media Relations

Mars Venus Coaching

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