Expert Author Beverly Keyes Taylor
In our original story, you read about Frank and Ann. They both worked at a movie theater. In the story, Frank was working on his first day on the 'opening' shift for the theater. He busied himself doing the tasks his boss told him to do. As Frank finished his shift, Ann, a co-worker, decided to help him finish up the tasks the opening shift worker typically did. Ann's closing shift overlapped the opening shift a little bit.
Frank was just finishing his tasks and then Ann asked Frank to do a job he thought was assigned to the closing shift. Ann felt upset because Frank initially refused to help her clean the popcorn popper at the theater. She expected him to reciprocate with help for a task typically done on the closing shift. She told Frank she would just do it, though she threw a fit about it. Frank felt confused about who was responsible for doing the task.
In this article, read what was really happening from a brain chemistry viewpoint. Understanding that men and women act according to neurochemicals, greater job satisfaction and compatible workplace communication can contribute to improved company profits, increased employee retention rates and better work productivity.
1. From Ann's View
In our story, Ann believes she is helping Frank. When Ann speaks she uses inclusive terms such as 'we' and 'us'. By using inclusive terms she believes she is bonding with all involved. As women bond, their brains increase a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin boosts feelings of love and bonding in both men and women, but high levels put a man to sleep. Increased oxytocin prompts her to act nurturing and giving. Thus, Ann thinks like an oxytocin-driven woman. Our story's conflict occurs when she expects Frank to respond like a woman. But, men don't naturally reciprocate. Men can learn to reciprocate, especially when they see the reward.
When women help and act as part of a team, they feel fulfilled. It is their nature to reach out and cooperate with others. When they feel like they are helping someone who genuinely cares for them, their brains naturally increase oxytocin and serotonin levels. When Frank initially refused to satisfy Ann's request to clean the popcorn popper, she felt rejected: like she had to do everything by herself. Her belief that Frank cared nothing about satisfying her request raised her testosterone and depleted her oxytocin levels.
2. Too Much Testosterone In a Woman's Brain Depletes Her Oxytocin
Oxytocin makes women feel cared for and calm. Sufficient oxytocin levels in her brain balance her brain chemistry. Additionally, when a woman's brain creates sufficient amounts of serotonin, a woman feels calm and secure: like everything is all right. When a woman feels genuinely supported, her brain increases her serotonin. Women typically expect unconsciously that if they give, the other people will give. Because women are oxytocin-driven, they will typically cooperate and give to each other.
Ann expected Frank to naturally help her because she helped him. But, men don't think that way. They like to please women, but need to be told what makes a woman happy. Ann expected Frank to think like a woman. When he didn't, her unmet expectation created stress resulting in conflict between Ann and Frank.
3. From Frank's View
A man is naturally testosterone-driven. Men neither produce nor respond to oxytocin like women. The programming instructions found in testosterone directs a man to complete a task efficiently. When a man receives something, he doesn't think about giving something back. He simply accepts what's given to him. If he's given something, his reaction is, "Well, I guess I deserved it."
Frank was simply following his programming. He thought that following his specific task list would be all he had to do. That's what testosterone and dopamine do for men - drives them to stay focused on the assigned tasks. If Frank understood about brain chemistry, he could have said something genuinely caring that valued Ann for who she is. Saying something like, "I respect you for taking on the workload you do here at the theater. You're very smart and care a lot for the customers." would activate her oxytocin-brain creating part. The more oxytocin present in her system, the more Ann would feel calm and content about her work.
4. Summary
Now that you've read the description of this working situation, you can see how this type of interaction might occur at your place of business. Increased job satisfaction increases productivity, reduces sick time, and ensures that employees stay at the company longer. Increased job satisfaction may come from understanding how to use Gender Brain Chemistry technology for greater workplace harmony.
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