THE BLOG

Walking the Gender Bridge

04/24/2015 10:59 am ET | Updated Jun 23, 2015
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"We are made wise not by the recollection of the past, but by the responsibility for our future." -- George Bernard Shaw (Irish Playwright 1856-1950)

Much is written, spoken and talked about the gender gap in income, in business, in behavior between the genders. Determined to make some changes, let's think about the possibilities and the road to solve some of these divisions. It does not take science, important as the findings are, to tell us that there is a difference between women and men, how they tackle problems, solve them and then move on. Of course much of it is based on education and experience. Education is like engaging a learner, a listener, motivate and implement what was learned; exposed to the diversity of the world today in all facets of an educated mind, it starts there! No matter how much we talk and write about if we don't walk the road to find solutions and take the initiative we will come up with nothing solved.

In a free civilized country as America, it is amazing, if not shameful that we have not created a Cabinet Minister post for women's issues. It would be a most essential part of the government to move issues like equal pay to the forefront and solve it. The many women's groups have a powerful stand on this issue, for far too many, many years it still remains an unsolved issue. Of course we have some dazzling success in what women have accomplished... but it is not about these great success stories but for the woman who works at two or three different jobs to keep her family afloat. In this time, in this century it is shameful.

Judith Glaser, Chairwoman of The Creating WE Institute and thought leader, writes in her book Conversational Intelligence:

"to get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of the culture, which depends on the quality of the relationship, which depends on the conversation. Everything happens through conversations! As an organizational anthropologist I have been a student of conversational rituals my whole life. Rituals are more than what to do to start a conversation; they are the architecture of conversations."

In one of the chapters Judith writes about the five blind spots, which we all have:

"1. Winning a point makes us feel good, it makes others feel bad; we often don't realize it. 2. In a state of fear, we release cortisol, which closes down the frontal cortex, we feel threatened, and move into a protective behavior. 3. Listening deeply turn off judgment mechanism, allow to connect with others, having empathy for others. 4. Researchers have concluded that we drop out of conversations every twelve to eighteen seconds. Our internal listening and dialogue trumps the other person's speech. 5. Memories of what to do and how to do it? The meaning is pulled from experiences and brought into a conversation to make sense what one hears. 'In my mind's eye' one sees a totally different picture, of what you are saying than what your mind sees."

Dialogues about these issues are essential. The reality gaps, learning to make these invisible spots visible, when women and men begin to notice that assumptions are made and are interpreting conversations correctly.

These thoughts will assist in walking the gender-bridge. Both genders are able to build the trust and interest to succeed in their life's experiences. Proper behavior between women and men is not just knowing what is right; it is the essence and motivation to do what is right and is deeply etched into our Psyche.

"Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you." -- Aldous Huxley (English writer 1894-1963)