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Understand These Biological Differences To Communicate Better With The Opposite Sex

Understand These Biological Differences To Communicate Better With The Opposite Sex

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus. This popular saying goes back to Roman times. Mars represented the god of war; Venus the god of love. It was a statement to reflect the different gender identities in society.

Though men and women are not from separate planets, it can feel like it when it comes to communicating. If you can understand these biological differences, then you will be able to better communicate with the opposite sex.

Women are far better communicators than men

Women excel in verbal and nonverbal communication. The average woman speaks three times as much as a man. There is a “language protein” found in women that is not present in men which helps them start off with better social and communication skills. Years of communicating and an effective language gene allow women to be effective communicators.

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This is the reason women have the innate ability to send men metamessages. Women send indirect messages with the expectation that men will decode them. Men often miss these hidden messages because men are not on the same communication level as women.

So when men need to communicate with a woman, they need to watch her body language, listen to the tone of her voice, and, for the most part, ignore her words. She is sending you a codex seraphinianus. Pay attention or you might miss the meaning.

Women, when communicating with men, need to be specific about what they want or need. Men are not able to pick-up on the frustration in a woman’s voice when they say things are “fine”.

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Men speak to the point; women include every detail

Men do not enjoy small talk. They want to get to the facts and straight to the point. When they communicate, feelings are removed because they are seen as irrelevant. Women enjoy small talk and include every last detail of the story because they think it is all relevant.

This difference in thinking is caused by the way our brains are wired. Men have a majority of brain connections within a single hemisphere. Women have the most connections between hemispheres. This allows women to recall and remember every detail from the story, including the emotions.

When communicating with women, men should understand that women think every part of their story is important. Even if you disagree. Learn to communicate and tell a story that includes more than the facts. She will appreciate you for it.

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When communicating with men, women should try to cut out the fluff that men think is irrelevant. Get to the point of the story quicker.

Men communicate to dominate; women communicate to connect

Humans are one of the only species to have a paradox where they pair up, and yet desire polygamy. History and evolution has caused males to compete for mates. When life was a constant challenge, men tried to produce as many offspring as possible for survival.

Men would compete for women. A woman’s ability to produce more kids would not change. She is limited by the gestation and recovery period. As a result, men tend to communicate to dominate. They have learned through years of evolution that they will need to dominate for survival. This might be the reason men form shallow connections with multiple women.

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Women could not have as many partners as men, so they tend to form a deeper connection. This might be the reason women communicate in an effort to connect. They want to talk about their feelings and emotions.

Men need to work on connecting with women through communication. Do not make it about impressing her. Women can talk to men in a more dominant form without men feeling threatened.

Featured photo credit: Couple/mrhayata via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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