Why Do I Have To Think Like A Man?
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If women really want to get ahead at work, they need to think like a man. Why is it important for women to understand how men think? There is kind of an internal male culture, like an internal mental culture, and an internal female culture. The problem comes when we don't understand what the other culture is privately thinking. There are still many fields that are very male-dominated, and the way upward tends to have male gatekeepers. And so there's much more impact on us as women if we don't understand that internal male culture than if they don't understand us.
Is there a magic bullet, one thing above all others, that unlocks all the secrets of the guy brain? It's not so much a magic bullet as it is an overarching mental change that I think we as women need to do. We have to get used to the idea that there are certain things that men, like women, are privately thinking and perceiving and expecting that are just different from us. And by definition, if we don't look for it, we're going to miss it.
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One of those big differences in thinking is the way men and women perceive emotion in the workplace. Do women need to put their emotions in check at work? Men assume that the presence of emotion means you're not thinking, because the male brain is not wired to be able to process those emotions and those thoughts together at the same time as easily, so you kind of have to shut down emotion in order to think clearly.
Women can be processing a strong emotion and thinking clearly at the same time. Our brains are actually wired specifically to do that. Men, you say, want people to "get to the point.
Yes and no, actually. In any professional environment, you want a straight answer.
The difference is, as a woman, I want to tell a story first. Women actually process their thoughts externally more often than men do. We have to learn that when we have a male boss, especially, it's easier for him to think about what we're saying and follow it if we give him the bottom line up front.
The phrase "suck it up" comes up a lot in the workplace and in your book. Do women have a hard time sucking it up? I think we have just the same ability to knuckle down, suck it up, man up, whatever you want the phrase to be. The difference is that our world is our whole life together: personal and work intermingled.
So we don't have necessarily this rigid segregation. When we're sucking it up, we're very aware of how that's impacting everything in our life. Is there a danger that, in seeing men and women as wired differently, a man can write a woman's behaviour off as the result of wiring - or vice versa? That's actually one of the things I think is a danger. I think men already do that because they do not understand the reason why a woman said or did something in a certain way. There is a tendency for men, if they are perplexed by something a woman did or said, to say, "Well, she's just being random.
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It's that part of a woman that I will never understand or is understandable. As more women become managers, what's the magic bullet to help men understand them? Assume she has a reason for every single thing that she's doing and saying, that you can understand her, that you can manage her well, or work with her well, or work under her well if you understood some of these things that are currently not in your brain. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.
Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Men and women may feel like they differ on much more than just the possession or not of a Y chromosome. How we react emotionally to a situation, remember events and navigate our way around the environment has also been shown to differ between genders. Gender differences in some of our physical features can be easily determined, aside from just the obvious differences in terms of genitals.
A skeleton can be identified as male or female based on the shape of the pelvis, skull and sternum. Whether our brains differ structurally is a hot topic in neuroscience. Recently, a neuroimaging study suggested that female brains are functionally more suited to social skills including language, memory and multi-tasking, while men are hard-wired to be better at perception and co-ordinated movement. But are these abilities innate to our gender, or are they influenced by the environment?
5 Secrets To Thinking Like A Man That EVERY Guy Wishes You Knew
Are these studies subject to gender biases themselves? During foetal development, male and female embryos start off the same. This is why we all have nipples! But the presence of different hormones such as oestrogen and testosterone during gestation causes physical differences to start to arise — for example guiding the formation of ovaries or testes.
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Exposure to different cocktails of hormones as a foetus may change how the brain develops. A group of Cambridge scientists led by Simon Baron-Cohen suggested that men are, on average, better at analytical tasks, whereas women are better at empathising and emotional processing.
Women who want to get ahead need to think like a man
These traits were linked with testosterone levels during development. Baron-Cohen analyzed foetal testosterone levels from amniotic fluid samples of their mothers. He found lower levels of testosterone were correlated with greater empathy during childhood development. This supports the idea that women low testosterone are better at empathising and detecting emotion than men.
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But some scientists say that a large brain is not simply a smaller brain scaled up. A larger brain means more distance, which can slow the transmission of information down. So differences in structural connections and arrangement may reflect wiring adaptations of larger brains. A group of researchers found regional size differences of male and female brains , which may balance out the overall size difference. In females, parts of the frontal lobe , responsible for problem-solving and decision-making, and the limbic cortex , responsible for controlling emotions, were larger.
In men, the parietal cortex , which is involved in space perception, and the amygdala , which regulates emotion and motivation, particularly those related to survival, were larger.
But experiences change our brain.