6 Actionable Principles to Harness Gender Intelligence in Negotiations
by Guy Djopmo
Leadership, Diversity, Gender Intelligence
To begin, we must first agree that gender and gender roles are not similar. Gender represents our human nature and it’s chromosomally locked in our brain, meaning it cannot be changed because it is “hard wired”. Gender roles define the behaviors that the society and we ourselves decide we should fulfill as men and women. Thus gender roles are “soft-wired”.
However our sense of gender roles can often limit men and women, increase stereotypes and misrepresent who we are as individuals. Furthermore as brain science continues to evolve, the results of various studies have consistently pinpointed that although men and women produce equivalent intellectual performance, their brains do so differently. This raises the question of how we can harness gender intelligence in situational and institutional negotiations.
Indeed men and women bring different brain assets to the negotiating table. Here are three practical takeaways you can use as woman in the next negotiations:
Schedule with men your brainstorming meetings early in the morning and decisionmaking sessions later in the afternoon. Especially because men secrete more testosterone and vasopressin, which are hormones relating to aggression and territoriality, than women do. In order words men are more creative in the morning due to their high level of testosterone and vasopressin, while likely influenceable in the afternoon due to the low level of these hormones in their bodies.
Consider that men tend to communicate with few words, they are direct and focused, and the man brain produces few words to deal with anger so that men try to expel anger physically. In particular because the amygdala as brain structure is larger in men than women, and stimulate more activity downward toward the brain stem and thus more quickly in the body.
Be aware that men can take impulsive decision and thus jeopardize the economics in a transaction. This is understandable because the male brain naturally goes into a rest state more often than the female brain.
From a man perspective here are three actionable principles you can apply in the next negotiations:
Assume women are the best ambassadors to build trust and smoothly resolve conflicts. Especially because women secrete more estrogen, serotonin and oxytocin; serotonin helps to calm impulses and oxytocin is a bonding Hormone.
Take for granted women can often remember interactions and details for later use. First because they take in more through their five senses than men do and second because the hippocampus as a significant memory center in the brain plays a key function in women.
Unleash women’s capability to process more words while speaking and writing as well as asking more open-ended questions. Especially because the female mind relies more on blood flow also called neural activity, through the verbal-emotive centers in both hemispheres of the brain.Help your company harness these gender intelligence insights as you will work with your mixed team in the next negotiations.