Joanne Lipman’s recent article in the WSJ provides a “guide” for men to women at work. She says that women get enough advice and provides some to men. Men should understand that women have a different way of speaking; they should not wait for women to raise their hands; they should not fear that a woman will cry and should give direct feedback. And they should recognize that women work hard for the credibility that comes automatically to them. Good advice!
I am interested in the roots of masculine-feminine differences in nature and nurture. I want experts to tell me if I have this right or wrong. Cultural influences on where a person operates along the masculine-feminine continuum include norms, expectations, and approval/disapproval. One tends to do what he or she is encouraged and rewarded for doing. Repeated behaviors create and deepen neuropaths, creating habits. Cultural influences seem to reinforce physiological differences. Nature and nurture collaborate. The good news is we are not hard wired. We – and our brains – can change. Both men and women can learn and use both masculine and feminine strengths to be more effective.