Sexes in meetings: How gender science creates successful outcomes

Most men will not even remember reading this blog. Don’t take my word for it, read Leadership and the Sexes: Using Gender Science to Create Success in Business by Michael Gurian and Barbara Annis. Their findings are helping business communities and leadership improve communication, team development and general gender concerns.

Book Cover

Here are some of their findings and my solutions:
1. Men are more apt to zone out in a meeting since their brains are designed to enter a “rest state” more easily than women. My solution: Change the energy in the meeting every 6 – 8 minutes by telling a story, asking the group to write something down, share a thought with the person sitting next to them, or ask for feedback round robin style. Be creative.
2. Women will have a tendency to run off topic because their personal development has encouraged them to multitask. My solution: in the ground rules of the meeting, focus on sticking to the agenda. Any participant can bring the group back to task. Have a “parking lot” so if something is brought up off the agenda, it can be posted and considered for another meeting.

These are just two ideas of many covered. You can preorder the book on This book could be used to expand negotiating skills, solve communication problems and create an expanded professional component. It is all about self-awareness and understanding gender issue, and is certainly big in corporate setting and any business environment.

I do discuss gender differences in conflict in the Toxic People book and also on the audio version of the book. I should mention too that if you sign up for my monthly newsletter on you would receive a download of a very cool Toxic People podcast for your iPod or MP3.
Your comments are always appreciated and I love receiving emails from you and especially the blog posts. Thanks!!


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One Comment

  1. Noel Posus says:

    What a great book recommendation Marsha, and I’ll pre-order today.

    Here’s my contribution to the discussion…

    I have found in my coaching that men typically approach life with two different sets of values, one which is a personal set, and one more professionally focused which they use at work. I have heard this referred to as a phenomenon of the 20th century male (and therefore less evident in 21st century men).

    Women on the other hand evaluate life and make decisions on one set of values, this driven from their own personal development, which they apply to both personal and professional settings. I’ve heard this referred to as a more holistic approach because of the 20th century (and earlier) role of women in the home and how they bring what they’ve learned their to business.

    Regardless of the “century of origin” of the person I’m working with, I do find that their culture also plays a part.

    For example, I worked with a male from a particular country who when I suggested we explore his values, said that “values are my wife’s job to teach our children, I’m only here to talk about success.”

    So without missing a beat I said, “sure, let’s talk about success” (which is a value) and we talked about other leadership qualities, some of which are also values. The difference is that I never again used the “V-Word” with him and we still achieved what we set out to.

    I find this area very interesting and I’m grateful you have shared another valuable resource with us.


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