What Is Gender Intelligence?
Barbara Annis, author of Results At The Top, Work With Me, and Same Words, Different Language discusses the origin of the concept of Gender Intelligence, the neuroscience behind it, and where she hopes to go with the show.
Gender intelligence is transforming the way we think about communication, relationships, and conflict between the genders by revealing the differences that make each gender unique. Learn how Barbara Annis coined the term of gender intelligence decades ago and has since made it her mission to take the idea of gender intelligence mainstream.
- The idea of gender intelligence came from Barbara’s struggle with the concept of gender equality. People tend to think gender equality means treating the genders the same and don’t take the differences between the genders into account. When you stand for gender intelligence, you are actually looking at the differences between men and women and how to appreciate them as competitive advantages.
- Women tend to solve problems in a way that’s more contextual with a focus on seeking to understand the issue. For men, they are more focused on getting the facts and taking action. When men and women work together to solve problems, we get the best of both approaches.
- The idea of gender intelligence is finding its way into more industries including engineering, mining, and space exploration.
- In neuroscience, we assume that men and women are mostly the same, but recent developments in the 1990s led us to looking more at the differences between male and female brains. The biggest blindspot in neuroscience has been the fact that the whole body of knowledge was based on testing the male brain exclusively up until that point.
- Autoimmune diseases and Covid-19 are examples of how men and women are affected differently by the same disease.
- Great minds think unalike. As companies learn to understand gender intelligence and appreciate the diversity of thought, they are producing better results.
- Brain scans of a resting male brain compared to a resting female brain reveal one of the fundamental differences between men and women. A woman’s resting brain state is still full of neural activity, and understanding this can help both genders understand what the other needs to destress and relax.
- The challenge in relationships between the genders is when we begin resisting the differences. A common myth that women share is that men don’t listen, when they in fact listen differently. Honoring the differences instead of resisting them is vital.
- Barbara started the podcast to make the knowledge of gender intelligence more accessible to people, and one of the big goals of the show is to test assumptions. Gender intelligence isn’t about making broad stereotypes and more about having the ability to adapt to the way people around you think and communicate. Barbara began her career as the first woman in sales at Sony and found herself taking on the predominant male paradigm and behaviour. She realized that today we don’t need to do that anymore and that the science of gender intelligence is revealing a better, more effective way.
- Future episodes of the podcast will be focused on gender differences and the challenges that each gender faces in the workplace, as well as tools and strategies to navigate those challenges. We’ll also explore the differences in health between the genders and what we need to do to understand what men and women need to stay healthy.
- Cross-gender communication and relationships is complex for all people and all generations. Gender intelligence is ultimately about providing understanding. When we understand each other, we improve our morale and our engagement, but also our effectiveness with one another.