Posted by: kenwbudd | February 16, 2009

Communications – mutual respect

The primary key to motivating another person is trying to understand their perceptions and manage their expectations.

The primary driver for men is normally status and respect, their standing in the community. This is not only a defensive action but can also be an offensive action. A man’s status and respect is most beneficial to him when it grows. A more defensive reaction is triggered when it is seemingly being assailed or reduced.

Initial man-to-man meetings can result in an immediate confrontation and checking of status and esteem, starting with “What is your job title?” and followed by “What ‘things’ have you got?” e.g. cars, houses, women, etc. The answers are rated, by both sides in the comparative status stakes and from this each person’s position in the ‘pecking’ order is established and a resulting hierarchy is established and will remain, until a change in status is achieved by either party. This can be done openly and aggressively or subversive and defensively. Therefore, it is in both men’s interest to check their status, often. Discuss!

A US study of 400 hundred men proposes; 74% said that they would prefer to be alone and unattached, rather than be disrespected and made to feel inadequate (married??). Men perceive criticism as contempt and 81.5% of the sample group, felt disrespected when in conflict with their wife or partner. So, 85% of men withdraw into silence during a conflict. Possibly because he is unfamiliar with the feelings he is experiencing and /or in an attempt to keep or gain control of himself and his emotions. It is an internal fight, an attempt to stay calm so he doesn’t break out of his shell and overreact, breaching social norms or worse. He may see it as the honourable and respectable thing to do but his wife or partner will only feel shut out and rejected by this. So the conflict continues, until it reaches a crisis point.

On the other side, it is said that the primary drive and deepest value for women is acceptance and affection. They communicate freely and verbalise openly. They will opt to do this with other women to resolve a conflict, which normally leads to reconciliation or at least mutual understanding. This is not what men do and it is naive to expect it.

The initial meeting between women will be an exchange of feelings and expressions, to ascertain what this person is like and can we bond. The need to be accepted and embraced as part of a supportive ‘family’ group or ‘pack’ is very important. Not so with men, they are vying to ‘lead’ or ‘dominate’ the ‘pack’ and be the top dog because it is residual in their ancient genes to do so.

Most women are endowed with the need to be supportive people, teachers or instructors particularly if they have children. They quickly adopt the role of teachers and therefore critics of their husbands, partly without intending to or without realising it. They just simply want to put him on the ‘right’ path to building a better, more cohesive pack. Their motives may be pure but their tactics often wound the man. Women want their partners to be inclusive, to be close, to open up, to talk, etc. Most importantly, he should be willing and able to listen and share, not necessarily trying to “fix” her every concern or issue, except loose floor boards, faulty lights and other household fittings. In these cases a definitive list often helps.

Men communicate on a competitive level, by sharing experiences, sports or other physical activities. This is normally done on neutral round, without threatening direct eye contact and by just sitting with each other side-by-side, in a guarded position, backs to the wall and facing outward. To gauge their feelings and reactions, women will share experiences openly, in a non-competitive manner and by talking about them to each other, sitting face-to-face, often touching and often in a group or inclusive circle.

Quick tips

To Communicate with the men:
1. Regularly tell your male employees what you appreciate and admire about them – be aware of, and build on their self esteem
2. Stop instructing and correcting and give them your trust and respect – empower them, give them a chance to succeed and the support that will prevent them failing
3. Take time to spend time with them and get to know ‘who’ they are and what motivates them – no threatening eye contact and no competitive comparisons, don’t judge people

Communicate with the women:
1. Make time to talk to them face-to-face – ‘include’ them in your day, allow them to include you
2. Listen to their problems and don’t be too quick to jump in and try to “fix” what is wrong – share their concerns and validate their feelings, be supportive and open
3. Regularly tell your women employees what you appreciate and admire about them – build their self esteem but guard their open-hearted-ness, it is a gift bestowed and not to be used or abused.

Communicate – Single minded isolation and solitude is no way to protect your status or self respect. It just restricts it.

Share your thoughts and feelings and support others who wish to do the same. Build open cohesive teams, not barriers.

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