viii) Interpersonal Relationship And Empathy Differences

From literature on EQ (Martyn Newman, 2007), females have a higher score on interpersonal relationships and empathy than males. This suggests that females are better at initiating, developing and maintaining relationships than males. Furthermore, in the knowledge-based economy where relationships are very important, it is claimed that women are better than men in building relationships, especially outside their immediate organisation (Catherine Fox, 2008a). While men do it better inside the organisation, ie tend to build more team-specific networks with-in their current organisation. Furthermore, women do more due diligence on an organisation before they join than men.

Female star performers who switch organisations perform better than their male counterparts (Boris Groysberg, 2008). This is linked with

- females developing to better and more portable external relationships with clients and external organisations than males; males tended focus on activities and people within the organisations they work.

- females take great care when assessing a prospective employer, ie they evaluate more thoroughly their options and analyse a wider range of factors then males do when deciding to move from organisations where they are successful.

. Remember:

"...brain scans show how a woman's brain is highly utilized in speech and language functions.....a female brain can effectively output 6,000 - 8,000 spoken words a day. Contrast with this a man's maximum output of 2,000 - 4,000 a day and you can see why women's capacity to talk causes so many problems..."for men.

On the other hand,

"'s brains are configured for problem solving and to continually come up with solutions. Men use speech and language to communicate facts and data. Mostly men will only speak if they have something to say, that is, when they want to communicate facts, data or solutions. This creates serious problems when communicating with women......female talk is used as a form of reward and to bond with another person. Put simply......if she doesn't like you, she won't talk......from a woman's standpoint, his constant offering of solutions makes it appear as if he always wants to be right and that she's always wrong. When a woman, on the other hand, shares her emotional problems with someone, she is showing she trusts that person because of the confidences she's sharing..."

Alan Pease et al, 2002

Furthermore, if a woman does not like you, or disagrees with what you are saying, or wants to punish you, she will be silent. Men incorrectly perceive this as a bonus, ie more peace and quiet.

Females are more process-and-detail-oriented than males

. Linked with valuing their relationships, women's brain are process-and detail-oriented while men's are solution-oriented, ie women pay more attention to detail than men. Furthermore, women tend to keep a point-scoring system in evaluating relationships while men do not

"...points are given for of the number of actions taken, not for the size, quality or outcome of a single action.....if men ran a point-scoring system they would allocate points relative to the size of the action or gift.....but 95% of all points awarded in a relationship happen on everyday things that do or don't happen. It truly is the thought that counts with women......women are great scorekeepers and have long memories that accrue points for years.....for women, it is not the size that matters, it's frequency..."

Alan Pease et al, 2002

Males have more hierachical-based networks than females

. Men tend to have power-based hierarchical networks, ie they are interested in who is the most important person; while women tend more to network with their peers.

Females dislike the way males give advice

. Advice-giving is perceived differently by men and women

"...A man sees giving advice as being caring and showing love, but a woman can interpret it as showing he's unwilling to listen. The lesson here is simple but powerful. For men, listen with empathy, particularly if the woman is upset and, if he's not sure what she wants him to do, ask. For a woman, making clear what to expect from the man to whom you are unburdening a useful strategy..."

Alan Pease et al, 2002

Interestingly, a man equates being given advice by a woman as suggesting he is wrong and that she does not trust him!!!!!!

Related to this is that men are more willing to make their presence felt, ie speak even if they have nothing important to say, while women will hold back until they have some thing important to say.

Females are better able to read body language

. The female brain is organized to read words and body language while a man's is organized for solutions and problem-solving. Women process body language more effectively than men, ie

"...body language reveals a woman's emotional condition and accounts for 60% - 80% of the impact of most female..."

Alan Pease et al, 2002

Modes of communications, ie

"...tone of voice conveys what she means and women communicate with a range of five tones - men can only identify three. Words account for a mere 7% to 10% of the impact of the message for women. Consequently, the words are not critical to their conversation because most of their messages are non-verbal..."

Alan Pease et al, 2002

Furthermore, it has been found that males and females use different parts of their brains to recognise faces and expressions: males use more of the right brain while females use more of the left. These differences help females

"...detect fine changes in facial expressions, making them better at sensing people's moods. Reading someone's mouth or eyes requires finer discrimination than judging emotions in the entire face..."

Alan Pease et al, 2002

Women are more likely to use indirect or non-confronting dialogue than men

. Females use this strategy to build relationships and rapport with others by avoiding aggression, confrontation and discord, so that harmony is preserved. This indirect speech method confuses men, ie what is she talking about. For example, using indirect speech in business can prove

"...problematic because men may have difficulty following a multi-track, indirect conversation. Men need to be presented with clear, logical, organized ideas and information before they make a decision. A woman can have her ideas and request rejected purely because a male boss didn't have a clue what she really wanted..."


"...when a man cannot follow a woman's business talk, he often pretends to understand rather than look like he's stupid..."

Alan Pease et al, 2002

A related point is that women need to talk with authority, ie stop using a question mark at the end of the sentence and need to express themselves in a bold way.

The way males and females communicate their talents is very different. Women tend to be self-depreciating, eg emphasise the importance of luck in their success. This can be seen as a way of "putting yourself down".

Need to be careful of the approach that is called "fake it until you make it". It is better to have a mindset that you are not afraid

- to ask questions

- of failure

"...I realise I wasted a huge amount of time by not asking questions. I assumed I was supposed to know things and that people would think I was dumb down if I did not know the answers. A useful tool for me was to reframe it from wanting to look smart, to actually trying to be smart..."

Cyan Ta'eed (Envato co-founder) as quoted by Yolanda Redrup, 2016

Females have better memories than males

"...the hippocampus - the part of the brain used in memory storage, retrieval and language - is filled with oestrogen receptors and grows more quickly in girls than in boys, giving women superior memory recall on emotionally-charged issues..."

Alan Pease et al, 2002

Male's sense of direction is stronger than in females

. There are crucial differences in the way males and females understand spatial location. For example, if you give a road map to a female and ask her to navigate the direction, she may have problems. Furthermore,

"...when boys and girls are asked to draw an map of the journey they have done once, the boys' maps tend to be more accurate. They centre upon the route taken from A to B, while girls' maps are more concerned with significant landmarks along the way..."

Robert Winston, 2003

Time limits are less important for females than males

. Males want to finish any task quickly, such as shopping, while women are keener to take their time, ie specific goals or directives and time limits are not always important.

. Remember: men only have a shopping span of around 30 minutes (excluding "boy toys" such as vehicles!!!!!)

Females are better users of emotions than males

. Women and men express emotions differently, ie

"...women are more alert to facial signals and pick up social nuances in a very intuitive way. They are more likely to be accommodating and less rigid in their view. Men, on the other hand, tend to be more interested in analysing may relish railway timetables, train spotting, aspects of computing or technical details of various kinds, a fascination many women find almost incomprehensible. Perhaps all this is inherited, aspects of human evolution past when men were focusing on hunting and women were more concerned with social cohesion of the group..."

Robert Winston, 2003

. Men prefer to deal with facts, data and concrete realities; women are better users of emotions.

"...remember, man evolved hunting animals and fighting enemies, not trying to understand them or be sensitive to their emotional needs..."

Alan Pease et al, 2002

. Men and women have different ways of handling serious emotional issues

"...women deal with calamity or tragedy by openly expressing their emotions to others, but men withhold their emotions. Men use joke-telling as their way of talking about the event without showing any strong emotions which could be seen as a weakness..."

Alan Pease et al, 2002

. Usually women are more successful at "emotional blackmailing" than men. Most men will use a well-planned, direct approach to get what they want. Emotional blackmail involves

"...a person who is emotionally close to you subtly threatens to punish you or threatens or implies that you will suffer if you don't comply with what they want. They know your deepest secrets and vulnerabilities and use this innate knowledge to get you to obey. Whatever strengths or weaknesses you have, the blackmailer plays them against you......the main guidelines and the players:

the victim: someone who has a sense of guilt or obligation

the blackmailer: a person who knows the weakness of the victim

the demand: payment for silence or co-operation

the threat: threat of exposure, punishment, and the threat of loss of something highly valued or guilt

the resistance: the initial refusal by the victim to co-operate

the compliance: meeting the blackmailer's demand

the continuity: the inevitable ongoing demands......

guilt is the most powerful tool of a blackmailer......

Always remember - emotional blackmailers are like bullies or naughty children and should be treated accordingly..."

Alan Pease et al, 2002

. Furthermore, women are more likely to experience the thought of emotional abandonment if their romantic partner is cheating on them. Men, on the other hand, experience more stress thinking about their partners having sex with another man than thinking about their partners becoming emotionally attached to someone else. In fact,

"...the thought of sexual betrayal makes the heart beat five extra beats per minute, on a par with the effects of drinking 3 cups of coffee..."

Carl Zimmer, 2001

. One of the big gender difference with negative emotions is that women are more critical and men are more likely to stonewall. When women are talking about a problem, men get irritated and turn away; resulting in women getting more critical and the cycle continues.

Females are better able to handle stress than males

. On average females live 7 years longer than men. Generally a man under stress will try to preoccupy himself with another activity. This results in internalising the stress which could lead to serious medical problems. In contrast, women typically deal with stress by talking about the problem, in order to relieve the stress. Furthermore, men like to forget about their own problems by looking at somebody else's and/or use "fire-gazing" as a way to relieve stress, ie disengage the brain. On the other hand, a woman needs to talk about things without reaching solutions in order to release the stress she's feeling

Females have greater emotional swings than males

. Research shows that women are twice as likely to suffer from depression than men. The gender difference is thought to revolve around

"...women think and men act; when something bad happens, women ask the question 'why it did it happen?' and they talk about it and they think about it......The thing about thinking is that it feeds right into depression, so ruminating about your problems is part of the causal maintenance of depression..."

Martin Seligman as quoted by Catherine Fox, 2006b

On the other hand,

"...women are not only sadder than men, they are happier than men......not in the same moment, but the capacity for joy and positive emotions is much higher in women on the average. Men are stony soil, one might think that the same thing that gives women the ability to have highs also gives women the ability to have lows..."

Martin Seligman as quoted by Catherine Fox, 2006b

Females are better at handling conflict than men

"...women can be conflict avoidant, but generally they are far better at dealing with emotional traumas and conflict. The rational process of dealing with conflict isn't very creative, but once you get into the emotional area, women are more creative in dealing with it. Men take sides and stick with that side despite consequences..."

Mark Gerzon as Catherine Fox, 2008b

Males exaggerate differently from females

. Man and women exaggerate differently - men exaggerate facts and data while women exaggerate emotions and feelings

Historically males and females dress for different reasons

. Men have dressed to frighten away their enemies while women have dressed to attract. Today there are 2 basic types of dress codes for women: business and non-business dress

" clothing can give her an equal footing to compete with males and other females in the business hunting stakes and, secondly, enables her to outdo other women by displaying the success, power, importance and desirability of the wearer. The key to successful business dress is simple. How does the person you want to influence expect you to look?..."

Alan Pease et al, 2002

Females are less ambitious/competitive/confident than men in the work place

. There is some evidence to suggest (Andrew Leigh, 2010) that traditionally men are more competitive and less cautious than females. However, these differences could be more to do with culture and upbringing than innate biological differences. Furthermore, it has been suggested that single sex schools is a way to change this stereotype.

. Women don't like to play competitive games. They prefer to be judged on their own performance, not measured against the performance of others.

. Furthermore,

"...most businesses reward people on competitive behaviour, on how you do relatively, not how you do absolutely......if women prefer measures of absolute performance then they are going to be disadvantaged......woman tend not to negotiate as actively as other words, women tend to accept more what they are offered, ie salaries and responsibilities..."

Laura Tyson as quoted by Geoff Kitney, 2005

Conversely, men are more likely to negotiate a better deal on salaries, etc

On the other hand, women can be very competitive outside the workplace, ie

"...women are every bit as competitive as men when it comes to their roles in the community, with friends and with children. In fact, they display a set of warts-and-all behaviour ..."

Catherine Fox, 2007d

. When women are at the top of the organisational hierarchy, men need to adapt to talk in a more co-operative manner about relationships and personal connections.

. Based on USA data, men and women have a different attitude to ambition

For women

"...ambition necessarily implies egotism, selfishness, self-aggrandizement, or manipulative use of others for one's own ambition a necessary and desirable part of their lives..."

Anna Fels, 2004

"...Few people would say that men are better at their chosen careers; simply that they tend to progress further and faster than women, thanks in part to increased ambition and a propensity to take risks..."

Robert Winston, 2002

. It has been claimed that increased ambition and propensity to take risks are genetically-based differences in males and females

. There are dramatic differences in how men and women create, reconfigure and realize (or abandon) their goals. Most women are demure when praised for their achievements. In contrast, men have an inflated estimation of their capabilities. Women's reactions are sometimes put down to women's innate modesty. On the other hand, women's behaviour can vary according to social context: women more openly seek and compete for affirmation when they are with other women, but they behave differently when competing with men. It is claimed that the underlying problem has to do with the cultural ideals of femininity that are linked with giving and developing relationships, especially those linked with the needs of their family members, ie traditional feminine role. If this requirement is not met, a woman's ambitions and her femininity can be called into question. In fact, femininity has been linked with forfeiting opportunities for recognition at work. In the clash between being a mother and a career woman usually the mother side will win. On other hand, after raising a family, women returning to the workforce feel that the femininity pressure is no longer there and can compete more easily with men.

. It is interesting to note that women who express anger in a professional context are strongly frowned upon and are paid less than those who respond coolly. This can be interpreted as the need for rationality being represented by a straight-face.

US-based research has found that men are more confident than women in the workplace (Katty Kay, 2014). Confidence is the stuff that turns thoughts into actions. As a result, men seem outperform women in the workplace, research arena and public speaking sphere. It has been found that men initiate salary negotiations 4 times as often as women; men who negotiate for higher salaries are often doing the same work as women do; women speak up less than men in the workplace. To help change this situation, women need to take action which will build confidence as well.

Males favour acceptance in a group more than females

" are often driven to find a place in the group and be accepted. Even if that place is well down in the hierarchy, any place is better than being an outsider.....women are less needy about group acceptance and more driven by the need earn love or approval of authority figures through hard work...."

Amanda Sinclair, 2004

NB Need to be careful of stereotyping as there are varying degrees of maleness/femaleness

"...the profound differences between the two sexes as 2 opposing sides of the coin; we are better off considering the gender 'divide' as being more a continuous line of varying states, a spectrum..."

Robert Winston, 2003

Females and males have different reasons for friendship

. Friendships perform different functions for men and women. Men make friends through shared activities, such as drinking after work; while women bond by giving emotional support to others during informal chats. Women will often form strong relationships in adverse situations and need this support. They tend to expect to form close bonds at work, whereas men do not. Men regard work friendships as a bonus rather than a necessity.

. Women will leave a workplace if they don't have friends; on the other hand, men are more willing to stay, especially if they are receiving significant rewards and recognition.

"...women are socialized from birth to be more socially orientated and focus on communications and friendship building. It's difficult to let go even when you become a corporate citizen..."

Rachel Morrison as quoted by Catherine Fox, 2007c

. Men are less likely to seek emotional support from their colleagues when times a tough, but friendship at work is more likely to improve job satisfaction for them.

Thinking about sex, physical attractiveness and related matters

"...most men think about sex every six minutes, while about 20 percent of women think about sex at least once a day......Men rate physical attractiveness much more highly than women do..."

Robert Winston, 2002

. Based on research covering 33 countries and interviewing over 10,000 people,

"...women on the average place twice as much value as men on their potential mate having good financial prospects..."

Robert Winston, 2002

Furthermore, women

" men who take risks, especially those who take risks on behalf of other people..."

Robert Winston, 2002

On the other hand,

"...female long-term mating strategy would avoid those males who take selfish or unnecessary risk. Roguish, promiscuous men were considered as candidates for one night stands (perhaps indicating female tendency to dip into the gene pool surreptitiously), but they do not score well for long-term relationships or marriage......women are interested in character, commitment and security; men are interested in physical female attributes and anonymous sex......from the male perspective, it's evolutionarily desirable to impregnate as many females as possible. From the female perspective, it pays to be cautious and to choose a mate with great a long-term relationship, a sense of loyalty, the mores and morals of any particular culture and the unwritten rules of the institution of marriage often dissuade the man from attempting to sleep with other women. But if he refuses an opportunity for extra marital sex, it is more a case of overcoming physical temptation as it is a moral choice. Women...... generally have less interest in sleeping with a complete stranger. Despite modern contraceptive techniques.....women are not built to seek out sex with a large number of men...... they are much more interested in quality rather than quantity. They have relatively few eggs, so they've got to be choosy about who gets to fertilise them..."

Robert Winston, 2002

Males are rewarded for being nice, while women get penalized for not being nice

. Men get rewarded when they engage in extra tasks around the workplace, especially doing things that are not their job. On the other hand, women get penalized for not being nice as we expect women to be more relationship orientated. If a woman says "no" to a task this can be regarded as her being difficult or lazy.

Females have a higher risk awareness than males

. Women tend to be more careful in their risk-taking, especially in business, than men; as they think more about that downsize protection, ie what can go wrong. This is most valuable in decision-making based on consensus. Consensus decision-making is based on the concept that information is very powerful when it is shared

. In Australian industries, like mining, women are regarded as better drivers of heavy machinery, like dump trucks, than men. In an industry renowned for its "macho" image, men take more risks and thus have a poorer safety record than females. This has been explained as women having a higher risk awareness and thinking more in terms of the consequences of actions (rather than the likelihood of an incident) than their male counterparts. The rarity of an event is less important to women than the potential outcome.


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