I recently watched a short and marvelous Tony Robbins video a couple of days ago called The Best Relationship Advice for Women. One of the things Tony mentioned (aside from saying it should have been titled "The Best Relationship Advice for Men", was the difference between the female and the male brain. He talked about a woman’s brain having diffuse attention and the male having single focus. You have to watch the video just so you can chuckle at how he presents it.
Funny though it may seem, it is actually true. In Louann Brizendine, M.D.’s New York Times bestseller, The Female Brain, she studies the brain from birth through childhood through all the stages of adulthood. Men…don’t feel left out, she’s also written one called The Male Brain.
In The Female Brain, she says, “Over the first three months of life, a baby girl’s skills in eye contact and mutual facial gazing will increase by over 400 percent, whereas facial gazing skills in a boy during this time will not increase at all. The point here isn’t that one is better than the other, but that females, from birth, focus on nurturing, caring for, and developing and preserving relationships. Men’s brains are focused on “the game” and social rank, power, defense of territory and physical strength.
You may already be asking yourself, “What has this got to do with diffuse attention or single-focused attention?”
Alison Armstrong, nationally known educator and expert on understanding men, points out in her work that men and women just plain have different operating systems.
Women have a certain nature that is shaped by their hormones and all that makes them female, and this makes them see things differently from men. Think about it this way. If you have a Mac computer and a PC, their keyboards look basically the same, but while it would be reasonable to think that you can type something on the keyboard of the PC and have that stuff processed by the Mac, this doesn’t happen because the two systems are different!
So, is there something that some people know that we, as women, are not privy to? And…how does it affect the way we do relationships?
I’ve noticed through the years a couple of things. 1) It’s my mood that sets the tone for the household. Even when I was a stepmom with two children, my mood still dictated the mood of the household. Does it work that way everywhere…in every household? And...2) As long as I’m adoring my man, everything goes smoothly. As soon as I stop adoring him, it seems that everything starts to go downhill. (Again, I’m setting the tone or mood.)
Now, I want you to notice my use of the word “everything” here. My mind just loves to give me a blanket statement…one that I can run with. Really quickly, it seems to my mind that me setting the mood in our home goes across the board in every (there it is again) situation. Really…not! And…the subject of those blanket statements is another blog!
What I want to say here and encourage us all to do as women and men is to get to understand the fundamental differences in our brains and both honor and use those differences to build lasting, loving relationships with our partners, spouses and children. And…use the knowledge of those differences creatively day to day in our work.
As women in business, are you chattering away in different directions to a man? Cutting him off mid-sentence? Expecting a quick answer to a question you’ve asked? Growing impatient when you think he isn’t listening to you?
Or are you single focused, staying on one topic until it is complete, without interrupting? That, according to Alison Armstrong, is the language most understood by men. With other women, we can break away, interrupt, start a new topic, laugh, and come back to the original subject without skipping a beat. It is far too confusing for a man to do the same thing.
I’ve learned so much in this area around my husband, Tim. I know that Tim takes time to think his answers through and when he is talking about something important, he is not finished until he says, “Does that make sense?” Because I let him finish, he feels heard and is then willing to tackle the hard subjects with me…that is…when I remember! Sometimes, I swear, I am actually biting the tip of my tongue to keep from cutting into the conversation!
Think about what you want in a conversation or communication and follow the single-focused mind. Watch the videos and read the books. You’ll start down the path of a strong education that will stop you from asking, “Why?” whenever you don’t understand your man and put you on the path to solid, open and revealing communication.