Friday, May 30, 2008

Gender Brain Differences: What does it mean?

Here's a neat article from Forbes about gender differences and how they appear at work. Michael Gurian and Barbara Annis have studied this area for over 20 years and have published a book, Leadership and the sexes: Using Gender Science to Create Success in Business. It's a fascinating look at all that biological, behavioral, and physiological research and reframed in how it manifests itself at work and in business situations. While I would love to believe that both men and women are eating this type of research up to understand how to appreciate diversity in the workplace at the current time it's more beneficial for us women to read it and assume this is how our behaviors are interpreted. For example, women may run from one topic to the next before returning to the task at hand as we're born to multi-task, whereas men might appear to shut down in a meeting as their brains are more apt to enter a rest state. So the key is for women when in a business meeting full of men is to stay on topic and not link several topics together without keeping the audience present.

The article also emphasizes that neither gender approach is the ultimate successful approach, and that leaders and success can come from both genders. Again for us now as women the tricky part is understanding the rules of the game today, to increase our opportunity to succeed so we can create a more diverse and appreciative diverse work environment in the future.

There's a fun little slide show as well on the site that hightlights some of the top differences.

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