There are many texts written on the ‘heart of a woman’, documenting on how women feel. Though severely typified, especially because most are written by men, the larger understanding remains skewed. The sheer complexity of a woman’s mind deters many from venturing any close. As a result, the stereotypes only gain ground.
In my career as a teacher and a student, I have come across a fair share of women colleagues, students, and leaders. And have always been moved by the way women ‘think’.
There are several instances where, with a lot of ease, women have unearthed blind spots in my rather linear thinking. They have nudged me into pondering and behaving differently.
I wouldn’t have been any close to making sound social decisions without the female colleagues making me think over my social thinking.
Here is a humble attempt to decipher my understanding on how different a woman is in their thinking as again a man, and why it’s increasingly important to appreciate her mind. Without sounding a feminist, which I am not, I would want to offer a clinical documentation.
Women think deep and for the long haul
Most men, or rather all men, are surface level thinkers. The primordial hunter-gatherer role doesn’t allow men to take a holistic stock of a situation, and they quickly resort to committing to an action.
This is a useful ploy when the time has a premium over the fallout of errors. Whereas women, mostly responsible for rearing a family and preparing for a rainy day, can’t afford to take snap decisions, and sacrifice the long run for immediate gains.
Casting this contrast to the present day, I reckon, women delve deeper into the fall outs of a wrong decision than merely getting excited about the positives, much like men do. This very pragmatic approach results into an optimal decision rather than a maximal one.
Women are infinitely resourceful in social life
Ever wonder how a woman deals with some uninvited guests turning up for dinner? She has the intuitive sense of making the most of scarce resources, and yet surviving another day.
Unlike a man, who quickly chooses between a good in the present versus a good into the future, the woman can somehow strive for both. This ‘both’ of women versus ‘either-or’ for men, is at the core of the former being resourceful.
I can’t think of a better managed setup that a household, though the manager there (read woman) remains grossly under-celebrated, let alone acknowledged.
Women define their success very differently
Continuing on the ‘both’ aspect of choice making, and ‘thinking deep’, if a woman was to define her social success. She would probably define it more holistically, and intangibly than a man would.
My recent interaction with one of India’s foremost architect, who happens to be a mother of two, only reinforces this notion.
Without making a trade off, allocate her scarce resources, and yet meet the ends, both personally and for the family. Men, I doubt, would come any closer.
I call these thinking patterns of women as the ‘Opposable Mind’. Much like the stoppable thumb that helps us hold, and has well resulted into our evolution.
Women can hold multiple demands, often contrasting ones, in their minds simultaneously, and yet strive to do it all. It’s the ‘all’ which makes them happy, and not the trade offs.
I have learnt infinitely from women around me, especially my wife. And I continue to draw inspirations on leading a more fulfilling social skills in life.
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