After decades of ineffective quotas, a revolutionary approach to breaking through the glass ceiling for women has come into focus—one shaped by a greater understanding of our gender differences instead of trying to ignore them. Today, Gender Intelligence is improving communication between men and women in organizations around the globe. It’s resulting in superior innovative thinking, more effective problem solving and decision-making, greater team productivity, and more enduring customer relationships.
Back to Work with Success
20:07When the pandemic surged around the world, tens of millions of people were told their employment was suspended, or they were asked to work from home. Now, as the vaccine rollout is gaining steam, and cases of COVID-19 are declining in most countries, employees are being asked to return to the workplace. This has created uncertainty and an extremely stressful situation for many. Will I be safe at work? Will my job be the same? Will I be working with the same people? Will I still be working from home on a full or part-time basis? So many questions that all lead to the potential for increased anxiety. It’s a challenge that companies are now turning to diversity and inclusion expert Barbara Annis for assistance with. She says many CEOs have expressed their biggest concerns as employees’ wellbeing and productivity. In response, Barbara created a series of Learning Nudges, microlearning modules that can be helpful in addressing issues, specifically related to returning to work with success. Back to Work with Success Program Overview: https://www.learningnudges.com/uploads/1/3/5/9/135923891/back_to_work_program_with_success_-_program_overview_2021.pdf There are also important gender differences relating to ‘back to work.’ Barbara explains. She says that in the research she’s done, men are experiencing twice as much stress as before, and women are experiencing four times as much. Brain differences help to explain some of that, as women have a larger pre-fontal cortex, where it’s believed most of our ‘consequential thinking’ takes place. Barbara says it’s up to employers to provide the tools to deal with anxiety and stress in the workplace. She says they have a responsibility to set the tone for teams and be welcoming, empathetic and inclusive. Paul described an event he attended where they made special accommodation for introverts including buttons to wear, and a room where they could go go and unwind. He described as a great way to set the tone. “The biggest trap is to do nothing,” says Barbara. She says organizations shouldn’t assume that everything is going to go back to normal. She says smart companies are being planful and intentional. The Back to Work with Success program is designed to empower individuals to be more self-initiated in reducing anxiety. “With our program, they can do it in brief 3 to 5 minute ‘microlearning’ moments.” Overview of Learning Nudges Programs for Organizations www.learningnudges.com
Giving Feedback with Gender Intelligence
23:59Paul and Barbara kick off the podcast with a discussion about the quote “feedback is the breakfast of champions,” a quote by author Ken Blanchard in his groundbreaking book “One Minute Manager,” and co-authored by Spencer Johnson MD. Barbara describes giving feedback as one of the biggest challenges, particularly between men and women. She says men often find they have to be cautious in giving women sensitive feedback. Research shows that women want the ‘straight goods’ in feedback, but men are often uncomfortable if the feedback is met with an emotional response. Barbara shared a story about a woman who was unsuccessful in becoming a partner in a law firm, despite meeting all the metrics for being promoted. Later, she was infuriated to receive the feedback third hand. She eventually left the firm and became a partner in a competing firm. It’s an all-too common theme, and research shows men often feel they have to be more careful in giving women feedback. Paul and Barbara discussed a PowerPoint deck which was part of a workshop Barbara delivered on “Pathways to Inclusion: Giving and Receiving Feedback.” Barbara described two important components of the workshop that led to a breakthrough for the client. She provided them with insight on the science of brain differences between women and men, and a set of tools for overcoming challenges. She believes that one important key is for men to be empowered to sponsor and mentor women. Studies show that 42% of men find it difficult to receive sensitive feedback. Barbara says the first step is to be straightforward, not vague with feedback. She says men prefer getting guidance on what specifically they can do to improve. She adds that it’s always best to ‘declare your intentions’ from the start, to ensure the feedback is seen as a positive and constructive way to perform better at work. Paul reflected on the statistics that show 64% of women find it difficult receiving sensitive feedback, though at the same time, 82% of women say they want more feedback. Barbara explained that part of the reason for that is that the hippocampus (memory centre) is larger in women’s brains. Women tend to remember a bad experience they had in receiving feedback. Barbara says men who want to improve at giving feedback to women should remember one important fact. “Women are their own worst critic. We ruminate and scrutinize ourselves all the time,” she says. On the other hand, for men, they sometimes need to step back, reflect on feedback, and replenish their testosterone. For both men and women, the key is validation. Link to “Work with Me: The 8 Blind Spots Between Men and Women in Business” by Barbara Annis and John Gray PhD: amazon.com/gp/product/B00BRALEGG/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i0 Link to the book ‘One Minute Manager’ by Ken Blanchard Phd and Spencer Johnson MD amazon.ca/Minute-Manager-Kenneth-Blanchard-Ph-D/dp/074350917X
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Unconscious Bias Training Doesn’t Work!
17:05Barbara Annis and host Paul Colligan kick off this episode with a story about Barbara’s husband, also named Paul, who had a negative experience during an Unconscious Bias training session. Barbara explains that Unconscious Bias does not work, and companies need to stop delivering that kind of training. She says it has a reverse effect on people because: It’s a band-aid approach that has no correlation to learning; It lowers morale; It is a waste of money for companies because there’s no return on investment. Barbara insists that even the term has negative connotations. The first word, unconscious, is about helplessness, while the second word, bias, evokes blame. She described the work she did with a company where they removed the term Unconscious Bias and replaced it with Blind Spots. It is non-blame and focuses on a-ha moments of discovery, and new insights. Paul and Barbara discussed the experience that people have in a Gender Intelligence training session where the focus is on Blind Spots. Barbara says that once they realize it’s not about blame, but about building understanding, everything changes. There’s engagement from the start, and it’s relevant to their lives, both professionally and personally. Barbara says it takes the divisiveness out of the conversation. Barbara described a situation where a large financial services firm faced the largest gender discrimination lawsuit in the history of Wall Street. She says the legal action came on the heels of Unconscious Bias training in the firm, prompting the company to remove UB training from any mention in its culture. Harvard business review article “Why Diversity Programs Fail”: https://hbr.org/2016/07/why-diversity-programs-fail Paul reflected on the benefits of a Gender Intelligent conversation around hardwired differences between men and women, and the value each gender brings to the table. He says it’s about answering the questions, “what can we learn about each other, how can we perform better with each other, and what does each style bring to the game that gives us an advantage? Barbara referred to a quote from Dr. Fernando Flores PhD, a linguistic professor at Berkeley. He said “You can stall or initiate anything through how you use language.” Barbara says it reflects the importance of using language that engages an authentic conversation. It can make it a transformational experience for men and women. Find the Book “Be Gender Intelligent,” by Barbara Annis and Dr. Keith Merron: https://www.amazon.com/Gender-Intelligence-Breakthrough-Strategies-Increasing/dp/0062307436 Find Barbara’s first book, “Same Words Different Language” here: https://www.amazon.com/Same-Words-Different-Language-Intelligence/dp/0134513274 Are you interested in becoming a Be Gender Intelligent Ambassador? Get in touch with Barbara’s team at [email protected], to learn more about the advantages of becoming a Gender Intelligent leader within your organization through our digital learning programs for men and women.
Common Pitfalls for Women Leaders
22:36On this episode, Barbara Annis and host Paul Colligan discuss the some of the biggest challenges facing women in leadership positions. The pitfalls, identified through a survey of 2,000 women leaders, were based on two simple questions. What pitfalls they worked to avoid in their careers, and what pitfalls they may have fallen into. 7 Common Themes Were Identified Barbara says the results showed that, no matter where these women leaders lived, or what their career focus was, the same themes just kept popping up, again and again. Take the free Introductory Program here: courses.genderintelligence.com/courses/introduction-to-e-learning Sign up for the full 7 Pitfalls program here: courses.genderintelligence.com/courses/the-7-pitfalls-for-women-leaders Barbara and Paul discussed the themes and how they impact women in leadership positions. The top 7 pitfalls are: Making Bold Requests Self-Promotion Being Hard On Themselves The Loyalty Trap Assigned to Grunt Work Networking Negotiations Barbara shared a story about a group of male and female executives were all in the running for the CEO role at a company in Silicon Valley. She described a key gender difference that led to one of the male executives landing the position, in sharp contrast with the approach of his female counterparts. Barbara also reflected on the differences between men and women in terms of networking. Barbara says she’s convinced it all comes down to being strategic in one’s approach. Paul suggested that organizations could benefit by making sure male employees also understand these pitfalls for women. He believes this mutual insight into gender differences would allow men and women to worth together to overcome each of their pitfalls, allowing them to build on each other’s strengths. Barbara agreed and describing how some of her corporate clients came to that same conclusion. She believes this kind of acknowledgement and understanding of gender differences and the pitfalls of both men and women should begin in high school or earlier. Barbara told the story of a young female engineer who reached out to her after the engineer had hired a highly successful male career coach, only to discover that he constantly made her cry. In his mind, his confrontation style would motivate her, but instead it made her feel less confident. The female engineer later discovered that she was the first women he had ever coached. Barbara convinced her to fire the coach, and she recommended finding a new one who ‘had her back,’ and used a more positive approach in coaching. Next Week’s Topic: Giving and Receiving Feedback with Gender Intelligence
Covid’s Impact On Women
37:15Marcella Allison is an entrepreneur and top direct advertising copywriter. She founded the (not so secret) Order of the Titanides, a community to empower women freelancers and solopreneurs in the advertising and direct response industries. On this podcast, Marcella explains to Barbara that she knew it was time to take action on behalf of women in her industry when she began witnessing the effects of the pandemic on their businesses. She says it is essential that women in leadership positions make an effort to support others at this time, in an effort to prevent losing an entire generation of women entrepreneurs. Marcella is convinced we’re at a breaking point. Barbara reflected on how she is also finding through surveys that women are affected deeply in terms of morale, stress and overwork. She’s convinced that women at all levels – in the workplace and in the home – are working harder than they ever had. Marcella referred to a series of articles the New York Times ran on the impact of the pandemic on women. Find some of the articles here: Pandemic Will ‘Take Our Women 10 Years Back’ in the Workplace: www.nytimes.com/2020/09/26/world/covid-women-childcare-equality.html Could the Pandemic Prompt an ‘Epidemic of Loss’ of Women in the Sciences? www.nytimes.com/2021/04/13/health/women-stem-pandemic.html Why is this happening? Marcella says it’s because women have always carried much of the burden at home, and that has become an exponentially larger challenge during this pandemic. She says it’s hard to imagine how women who are copywriters and creatives are managing to work from home, with young children who may be homeschooling and without access to daycare. Marcella described a recent survey that showed the pandemic has added as many as 30 hours of extra work for the average family in terms of education and extra tasks, and women are carrying 70% of that. See the Boston Consulting Group study Marcella referred to here: www.bcg.com/en-ca/publications/2020/helping-working-parents-ease-the-burden-of-covid-19 Barbara reflected on the neuroscience of gender differences, and how that plays out in this situation. She says many CEOs have told her they recognize the extra burden placed on women right now, but they don’t know what to do about it. Marcella also reflected on another disconcerting study by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and McKinsey & Company, which suggested that 1 in 4 women are thinking about downgrading their role in the workplace. Read the ‘Women in the Workplace 2020’ report here: womenintheworkplace.com Marcella says there’s no question this is also turning back the clock in terms of pay equity. She points to a recent study by the World Economic Forum showing that because of the pandemic, the gender pay gap won’t be closed for another 135 years. Equal Gender Pay Set Back a Generation by Pandemic, WEF Says: www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-31/equal-gender-pay-set-back-a-generation-by-pandemic-wef-says Barbara explained the importance of self-care for women. She says employers should be focused on creating work-life harmony in the workplace vs. work-life balance, which is really a myth. Marcella described a session the Titanides held recently with Dr. Peter Pearson, founder of the Couples Institute. He worked with the women to help make them better negotiators for themselves in relation to household tasks. Dr. Pearson also coached the women through a series of conversations to have with their partner’s and children. Find a link to the Couples Institute here: couplesinstitute.com Paul and Barbara reflected on the challenges in many workplaces during the Covid-19 pandemic. Barbara says the key is to embed Gender Intelligence in everything a company does. She says it’s incredibly validating for women and incredibly freeing for men to learn about and apply the knowledge gained from understanding the science of gender differences. Barbara says it really is about everyone coming together to solve the problem. Paul suggested that men can be proactive by asking their partners at home or in the workplace if there are any ‘unspoken requests,’ relating to ways they can contribute. Barbara praised the idea saying it addresses an important assumption that women often make – that because they notice things, men should notice them too. Barbara says women also have to exercise the muscle of “letting go.” ==== Read Marcella Allison’s professional profile here: marcellaallison.com/ Learn about the Titanides here: titanides.com/
Gender Intelligence and Conflict
20:32Barbara Annis begins the program by sharing some of the fundamental differences between men and women when it comes to conflict. She says the sexes really do react to conflict differently. Women tend to internalize conflicts and ruminate about it. Men tend to externalize it. They will often make a decision to either resolve it or move on, which as Barbara explains, links to the fight or flight response. What is S.A.R.A.? Shock, Anger, Rejection, Acceptance Barbara describes SARA as the path that men and women take as they go through situations of conflict. Her advice is not to get stuck in Shock, Anger or Rejections, but to commit to a period of ‘short-term’ suffering where you truly ‘feel’ those moments, but have a genuine intention to get to Acceptance. While men tend to get stuck in being angry and women often get stuck in rejection, Barbara believes we are ineffective in communicators when we are in either state. Blame-Frame and Outcome-Frame These are the two frames of reference that Barbara refers to in her books and workshops. She says blame is really about creating a win-lose. I’m right and you’re wrong. On the other hand, Outcome Frame is really about asking ‘what’s ’the win-win here?’ How can we get to understanding? Using Triangulation Barbara’s described the theory of ‘triangulation’ where people in the workplace choose to complain to others rather than taking on conflict in a direct way with an individual. Barbara explains why ‘triangulated behavior’ only complicates things, but it’s a pattern people fall into. She believes that rather than involving other people, it’s better to go directly to the individual you are having a conflict with to resolve it. The key is having ‘zero commitment’ to triangulation. What Can We Do About It? A Gender Intelligence Worksheet: The next time you’re in a conflict situation, take a few moments to review and apply each of these 6 ways to reach a positive resolution. Ten Techniques for Resolving Conflict: Regardless of gender, these techniques will help you when you find yourself in a conflict with a colleague: 1. Stay calm. One big thing that can intensify conflict is anger. To keep the conflict from escalating, take a mental step back and remain calm. Chances are if you can remain calm, those around you will calm down as well. 2. Listen to understand. Once the anger sets in, we tend to stop listening to understand and we start listening to argue back. It will be difficult, but you need to practice your active listening skills and listen to understand. 3. Own what is yours. Are you part of the problem? Take ownership of your mistakes and apologize for them. This will usually surprise people—in a good way—and make them more open to resolving the conflict. 4. Leave a little room for doubt. Rather than insisting that you are right and the other party is wrong, leave a little room for doubt. Take the opportunity to check your sources and confirm what you know. While you still may be right, you are gathering more information. 5. Use an “I” message. “I” messages describe the experience from your point of view without blaming the other party. Using an “I” message is a way to express your needs, expectations, and problems to your listener in a non-‐confrontational way. Some examples: •I expect...•I understood you to say...•It was my understanding that...•I guess I misheard. Please...•I would appreciate it if...•I need... 6. Attack the problem, not the person. If you want your point to be heard, depersonalize your comments and talk only to the issue. Rather than accusing the other party, frame your statements towards finding a solution. For example, instead of “You’re always getting that wrong,” frame the statement as “Let’s look at why this keeps happening.” 7. Avoid finger pointing. In conflict resolution, assigning blame is only helpful in one situation—if you assign it to yourself. When trying to resolve a conflict, figuring out whose fault something is does nothing to solve the problem. Instead, focus on problem solving, not finger pointing. 8. Pick your battles. Do you need to be right, or do you need to resolve the conflict? It’s human nature to want to be right. Unfortunately, this gets in the way of conflict resolution. Right or wrong, if the issue means a lot less to you than it does the other party, it’s best to concede. 9. Focus on now. Stay out of the past — it doesn’t belong in conflict resolution. Bringing up old arguments or problems will do nothing to help solve the existing conflict. Instead of focusing on what went wrong, or who didn’t do what (both in the past), shift the focus to finding a solution. 10. Be willing to let it go. Don’t hold on to past conflict. This only gets in the way of your ability to resolve conflict in the future.
A Look Back at Barbara’s Path to Becoming an Expert in Gender Intelligence
20:59After a busy life raising a family and building a career in sales at Sony, Barbara Annis turned her interest in gender differences into a lifelong mission to bring Gender Intelligence into the workplace. In today’s episode, Barbara shares the story of her journey with Paul, and explains why there’s so much more to accomplish. One of the biggest ‘a-ha’ moments for Barbara was when she realized she wasn’t being fully authentic in her life. She describes how her persona at work, where she took on ‘alpha’ male behaviors to fit in and compete with her male colleagues, clashed with who she really was. Paul shared how when he first met Barbara, he instantly understood what she meant using the term “Gender Intelligence.” He says the title of Barbara’s first book, “Same Words, Different Language,” also rang true to him. Barbara described the process of writing, then editing her first book. She says it was well received, and a common reaction from people was “why didn’t I know this 20 years ago?” She says it was always her goal to create balanced learning for both men and women, without blame. She says men find it very freeing, and women find it incredibly validating. Find Barbara’s first book “Same Words, Different Language” here: https://www.amazon.ca/Same-Words-Different-Language-Intelligence/dp/0134513274 Barbara and Paul discussed some of the books Barbara co-authored. She described how her work with author Michael Gurian led to their partnership to write “Leadership and the Sexes. Find “Leadership and the Sexes” by Barbara Annis and Michael Gurian here: https://www.amazon.ca/Leadership-Sexes-Science-Business-2008-08-25/dp/B01FKWTYO0/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=annis+gurian&qid=1618508935&s=books&sr=1-1 Paul and Barbara also discussed Barbara’s book with John Gray entitled “Work With Me,” and how the two authors collaborated on ways to be authentically Gender Intelligent at home and at work. Find “Work With Me” by Barbara Annis and John Gray here: https://www.amazon.ca/Work-Me-Intelligence-Succeed-Barbara/dp/B00QAU26YC/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=barbara+annis+john+gray&qid=1618509058&s=books&sr=1-2 Today, Barbara describes her life as being much different than it was before the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the success of her books and consulting work, Barbara spent many years ‘living out of a suitcase,’ and traveling from one keynote address to another. Today she does most of her work virtually. She says she’s finally convinced that workshops can be delivered virtually, and it’s an extremely useful platform for learning. That’s a big advantage for companies that wanted her to be able to scale her corporate learning programs globally. Barbara says the pandemic hasn’t changed her mission to bring the value of Gender Intelligence to thousands of organizations. She says a key to that is her “Be Gender Intelligent” online learning platform. It’s a 15-hour program where learners can earn their Gender Intelligence Ambassador certification. To learn more about the “Be Gender Intelligent” learning platform here: https://www.genderintelligence.com/digital-learning/
Safety and Gender Intelligence
19:56"Over the last 40 years, studies have shown that female officers are less authoritarian in their approach to policing, less reliant on physical force and are more effective communicators. Most importantly, female officers are better at defusing potentially violent confrontations before those encounters turn deadly." Hiring & Retaining More Women: The Advantages to Law Enforcement Agencies Kimberly A. Lonsway Link to study: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED473183 In this podcast, Barbara explains that she first began to consider the connection between Gender Intelligence and safety in the early 90s when some of her clients shared stories with her about how teams with women tended to outscore all-male teams on the implementation of safety practices in the workplace. Since then, many research studies have confirmed it. Barbara says that would reflect the brain differences between the genders. Because women think more contextually, they tend to be more detail oriented, and also tend to employ consequential thinking to a higher degree. In contrast men tend to be more transactional in their thinking and focused on accomplishing the task at hand. Barbara and Paul reflect on the research that demonstrates the benefits of having women in policing. Barbara explains the differences in the Amygdala, and how testosterone affects men and women differently. She shared the story of Vale, the global mining company that pivoted to embrace all forms of diversity including gender, after a tragedy in Brazil. Additional Material: Link to Barbara’s interview with Vale’s Chief Operating Officer, Dino Otranto: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GXRAe2qFJA Gender Disparities in Injury Mortality: Consistent, Persistent and Larger Than You’d Think https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222499/ How Covid-19 is Changing Women’s Lives https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200630-how-covid-19-is-changing-womens-lives A Simple Solution to Policing Problems: Women! Mindy E. Bergman, Jessica M. Walker, Vanessa A. Jean, Texas A&M University https://www.icos.umich.edu/sites/default/files/lecturereadinglists/bergman_walker_jean%20(2016)%20IOP%20women%20policing.pdf
Gender and Wealth Management
22:01We know that today, women influence 80% of purchases. They often manage the day-to-day expenses of the family but aren’t generally managing the family wealth or investments. Barbara Annis interviews Jo Ousterhout, a financial coach who has been described as a champion of women’s political and economic leadership. Ousterhout acknowledged the latest data that show women will control 60 to 70% of the world’s wealth by 2030. She says we shouldn’t be all that surprised by the number considering that in many marriages, the husband is older, and men don’t live as long as women generally. Watch the full interview with Jo Ousterhout here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT6lXaBiCNw Barbara reflected on research showing that 72% of women fire their financial advisor within a year of their spouse passing away. She discusses how gender differences are at the core of that. She says it’s important to hire a Gender Intelligent financial advisor. That’s someone who recognizes that women often bring a different approach and perspective in the way they interact with a financial advisor. Paul and Barbara discuss what approach to take in dealing with a financial advisor who is not Gender Intelligent in their approach to male and female clients. Barbara recommends intervening in a non-blame way. She describes a recent situation with her husband where he was able to do this effectively. Barbara discussed the adage “be interested, not interesting.” She says the solution to creating a more Gender Intelligent experience for women customers isn’t to replace male salespeople or financial advisors with women, but rather to train staff of both genders to be more Gender Intelligent. Barbara and Paul discuss the neuroscience underlying the way in which men and women think and view the world. Barbara explains male convergent thinking and female divergent thinking, and how they are both important, and a real strength, especially when combined. Paul reflected on his experience at the Gender Intelligent Deep Dive, a 3-day workshop and learning event Barbara holds annually. He says that for he and his wife, one of his biggest ‘take-homes’ was that women aren’t generally great negotiators for themselves, but they are often incredibly good at negotiating for others. Paul and Barbara ended the discussion with some thoughts on Barbara’s favorite quote by Lily Tomlin. “I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific” To learn about Barbara’s innovative microlearning program called “Learning Nudges”, visit the website here: www.learningnudges.com
Gender Intelligence in Mining
24:36The Gender Intelligence community is growing. Early adopters in finance and technology are now being joined by manufacturing and mining companies, as they too recognize the benefits of building inclusive cultures through an understanding of the value of gender differences. On today’s show, Barbara and Paul discuss the progress of Vale, one of the world’s largest mining companies, with more than 76,000 employees at operations in 30 countries. The firm, founded in Brazil in 1942, has declared that its mission is to transform natural resources into prosperity and sustainable development. Part of that is a recognition that diversity is at the core of its people and the people it serves. Barbara Annis describes the challenges that Vale faced, and the catalyst that moves the company to further define and declare its goals around building a diverse, and more gender-balanced workforce. Gender Intelligence can benefit companies in several ways: “difference thinking” better leadership improved communications greater safety help individuals to feel valued empower women in the workplace Recommended Reading: For individuals interested in learning the concepts and principles of Gender Intelligence, read Barbara’s book, “Same Words, Different Language.” - https://amzn.to/38M9SHY For organizations and teams interesting in implementing Gender Intelligence within your company, read Barbara’s book, “Gender Intelligence.” - https://amzn.to/2OH3ieR Interview with Dino Otranto, COO, Vale Base Metals As part of an interview series for International Women’s Day, Barbara spoke with Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer, Vale Base Metals. Barbara described his authentic commitment to Gender Intelligence and inclusion, and how it connects to Vale’s mission. See the full interview with Dino Otranto here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GXRAe2qFJA For more information, contact the Gender Intelligence Group: [email protected] or 1-877-922-2462 ext. 120