To watch Part 1 of the John Gray Podcast, please click Play above. To listen to it on your personal device, please download from iTunes. (If you received this post via email, you can go to the online blog to watch.)
A little while ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with John Gray, author of the famous relationship advice book Men are from Mars, Women are From Venus. John has unmatched insights into gender and communication, and, with his new book Work with Me, he has set his focus on how the sexes co-exist in the workplace. Joined by my friend Jamie Haro, who provided us with some female perspective, I chatted with John about gender dynamics in the office, relationships, and sex in general. I hope you find these discussions as useful as I have. And this is only Part 1!
Here are some highlights:
John Gray on the root of gender issues at work:
"At work, men and women are different, but we try to be the same. When men don't realize how women are different in the workplace, and women are trying to be men to get ahead, the outcome of that is that women's stress levels are twice as high. When there's greater equality in the workplace, women's stress levels double because of gender blindness. There's equality, but there's a lack of understanding of where women are coming from. So they feel unappreciated, excluded, and like men are walking on eggshells around them. We underplay those differences. I've tried to put a positive spin on them...women bring different strengths to the workplace."
"Harvard did a study on intention. If you stepped on my foot, I'd think, 'No big deal.' But if I thought you did it intentionally, my stress level would shoot way up. It's ten times worse. Men unknowingly step on women's feet in the workplace, and women start to build up resentment and to feel unappreciated. But men don't notice this because they have blind spots."
On feeling appreciated:
On inherent workplace conditions:
"The workplace was designed by men for men. It's suitable for men. But it wasn't designed against women. We're not stepping on their feet intentionally."
On bridging the gender gap:
"We have to create a blend. We have to learn how to appreciate the value women bring, and women have to appreciate why men do what they do. When you get both of those things in balance, productivity goes up and stress levels go down."
On "having it all":
"Men 'have it all' because we're not trying to do it all. We have a partnership that helps us do it all. I can't do it all myself, but my wife helps me to have it all. That's the secret for women, too. You can have it all, but you can't do it all. It's a partnership."
On men pitching in at home:
"The more money women make, the more men are willing to help out with the work in the home. 'Okay, I need to pitch in and do more here.''"
On "leaning in":
"There's no prescription. It's what makes you feel good. Listen to yourself. Guilt tells us when we're doing something that doesn't feel good to us."
Part 2 coming soon!
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