It’s no secret that women and men leaders differ, and research now shows that’s the case even at rest. My question is: How can we capitalize on brainpower differences between men and women to raise the leadership IQ of our sinking world? Did you know for instance, that while many boardrooms include men only – new research proves that teams with more women have higher IQ?
We now know that gender distinctives span both biologically and cognitively, awake and asleep. How then, can we benefit more from that difference?
Act and Facilitate
It takes deliberate action and keen facilitation skills to mesh male and female together for mutual dividends.
We gain riches from offerings each gender adds when we better balance male and female brainpower. When we leverage refreshing strengths together as leaders. Conversely, you’ll soon spot weaknesses that impacts an entire group, whenever one side is blatantly missing. Have you noticed the tone change when equal female representation comes to the boardroom table?
From boardrooms to halls of government, to higher education, blended gender brainpower trumps either side alone. Why ignore making leadership decisions jointly – when it’s obvious we’d win big with wisdom from brilliantly blended views?
Yet because we miss the magic and ignore differences that link brilliant brains together at work, both sides tend to dismiss grand gender contributions from the other side. Visualize men’s and women’s brains as capital at your next leadership meeting, and you’ll begin to spot nuances that polish pretty much any topic. How so?
25 Gender Brainpower Boosters to Reboot Innovation IQ from Both Sides:
1. Invent solutions to a stubborn workplace problem, together. Reality is that men often tend to be better at numbers and women tend to trump language and communication – a winning combination for joint initiatives.
2. Uplift your own gender as well as the opposite one. Men traditionally dominated fields of math, science, and engineering for instance, yet that imbalance changes for better balance when women and men who excel in these fields inspire growth in females.
3. Include mental differences as assets. Women hold the lion’s share of higher education degrees since 1982, yet women do less well on standardized tests used for college entrance and graduate school requirements. The best universities are attracting more men to fill their enrollment gaps and rethinking gender bias in some required tests.
4. Research and open mentally to new and different ideas daily. Hormones, for instance, play a larger part in cognitive operations than once realized. Research, for example, shows that when people change their genders, their cognitive patterns also change.
5. Inspire both genders to use stronger intelligences to shore up weaker areas. Women often outperform men on tasks that use language processing, and draw on more symmetric activation across brain hemispheres.
6. Propose brainpowered approaches to ease complex tasks. Men often outperform women in tasks that call upon activation of the visual cortex areas. Help women to hook even difficult facts onto one thing they already know, and learning increases in less time.
7. Welcome diversity and expect new solutions to old problems. Research shows, through brain imaging, that even when men and women perform the same tasks equally well, they draw on different parts of the brain to do so.
8. Thank a person of opposite gender for a personal accomplishment. New high-tech scientific study shows marked differences between men and women under stress. Well being comes partially from and is fueled and extended by serotonin chemical hormones, while venting is bad for the brain and creates new neuron pathways to much more of the same.
9. Celebrate those who differ mentally. In reality, both genders use logic, which is one of multiple intelligences people possess in varying degrees. However, men and women tend to apply and express logic differently.
10. Stir curiosity and engage others. Studies show that women learn logical nuances from men they respect. In similar ways, men learn mental dividends from observing women’s intrapersonal or emotional intelligence in action. New research shows hunches that power both men and women’s brains, mental triggers that save lives through fast decisions and skilled action.
11. Create rather than criticize. Cynical or critical mindsets literally block creativity, limit talent in you or others, and stomp out innovation. Can you envision both genders creating and navigating far bigger pictures together?
12. Act the person you want the other gender to see in you, and that you’ll become. Dendrite brain cells use the outside world and take shape, or grow based on what you do. Einstein said it best: Vision without execution is hallucination.
13. Integrate from ideas and people across many fields. It often takes an integration of hard and soft skills to solve problems with the brain in mind. Successful people craft insights with their emotional intelligence, and then add logical action plans for mind-bending results.
14. Communicate with care, openness and honesty to both genders. Meta messages destroy relationships through implications different from message spoken. Stress literally shrinks the brain, and tone in communication acts as a silent killer.
15. Encourage your own gender and the opposite gender -often. Encouragement literally changes the chemistry of a brain through raised serotonin, and ratchets up tone for profitability and appreciation of differences.
16. Give somebody the gift of forgiveness, and let go of any grudges from either gender. Anger, fear, and frustration are fueled and extended by cortisol chemical hormones, and keep the genders divided in areas where they could both grow through the generosity of forgiveness.
17. Change on regular basis, by interacting more meaningfully with both genders. Your brain’s basal ganglia stores old facts and creates ruts, while working memory holds few new facts and leads change. Try alternatives to an observed annoying habit. Facilitate people’s talents, for instance, rather than give lectures or talks that tend to work against listener brains.
18. List key similarities as guides and reminders to appreciate what genders hold in common. By the way, memory can be outsourced (through jotting down a few reminders on a list) to help you remember more reasons to value differences, and to free your mind for focus on the moment.
19. Risk innovation with the other gender, one step at a time. Inspire creativity and invention through teaching others at the same time you also learn and create yourself, so that differences become assets.
20. Capitalize on diverse approaches that people who differ can teach you Women’s and men’s brain differ biologically and intellectually, for instance, in ways that few optimize from either gender.
21. Collaborate to propose cross-gender solutions. Create new neuron pathways collectively across genders and cultures and add joint solutions to workplace problems encountered by both men and women.
22. Seek genuine and lasting relationships with both men and women. Greet colleagues through speaking people’s names, to offer spike in well being or awareness in person’s brain.
23. Vary your background sounds and add music for more motivation for men and women. Music changes brain wave speeds in ways that impact moods and alter productivity.
24. Survey and engage more unique strengths of both men and of women. Multiple intelligences are common to all, used by few, and can be cultivated daily with regular use as mental tools.
25, Shift up routines daily. Hebbian workers rewire their brains to kill incentives, limit focus or even shrink their brains with sameness. Plasticity enables people of all ages and backgrounds to rewire the human brain in ways that keep it younger and more agile.
Imagine the fine future we’d all enjoy, if we each tried one or two brain friendly tactics daily, to engage, listen to, and learn from the opposite gender.
Do any of the above and literally change your leadership DNA!
Did you know that research shows how you can also change your personal DNA so that it should be possible to change an organizations to benefit more from both genders. Let’s add more female voices in HSM best inspired ideas for 2011, rather than 19 men and one woman’s offering that made it into print – and more female views begin to emerge as dividends, for instance. It takes such an action to rewire for value in both genders. How so?
Dr. Norman Doidge (MD) shows in his 2007 book, The Brain that Changes Itself, how plastic change, caused by our experiences travels deep into the brain and ultimately enters your genes, molding them.
One of two gene functions can change. The first, or template function, allows your genes to replicate, making copies that you pass on to next generation, and that does not change.
The second, or transcription function, however, can change your DNA. You likely know how each cell in your body contains all your DNA. Doidge shows how genes make new protein when turned on or expressed, and that protein (kinase A) alters the structure and function of the cell.
This process also causes working memory where we create and test new practices – into long-term memory where new approaches become habits. The protein kinase A moves from the body of the neuron, into its nucleus which holds genes. Protein tackles a gene – turning it into a protein, that changes the nerve endings which helps it to grow new connections between neurons.
Simply put – neuroplastic changes can raise our IQ and can set us in more powerful directions, just by the actions we take that set plasticity into motion. Your amazing brain does the rest, to remap itself for specific changes reflected in your actions. See why we need to act more on what we hope to become as leaders? Yes, both genders can win, and collective we’ll win far bigger!
Key here is that to alter your leadership DNA, you have to first act to engage those genes that kinase A protein can tackle and reshape.
How could these few applications taken from facts about the human brain increase workplace brainpower across both genders and toss more innovation into 2010 because we grew together?