Navigating the diverse approaches to work can be a challenge, especially when differences arise between the male and female traditional models. In this brief blog series, we explore action steps to bridge the gap between these two perspectives.


Navigating Workplace Dynamics: Action Steps for Male & Female Traditional Models

Christina was the head of IT in a very well-known software company, and when I asked her why she quit her job. She said, “I can’t stand all the games playing”. Everyone on my team was scoring points and competing with each other, and I just got fed up in the end and I had to leave.

This is not the only kind of situation that women leave. I understand in law firms in Canada, a lot of women are leaving in droves because they can’t stand the game playing and lots of women don’t get into politics because they can’t stand the game.

So you can really hear that male metaphor and that female metaphor in confrontation at work. But what if you don’t wanna leave your job? What if you can’t afford to leave your job and you’re surrounded by people who seem to be playing a lot of games?

This video is about some action steps that you can take to bridge the gap between the male way of doing things and the female way of doing things. And you can make a difference in your work if you know how to deal with it.

Encouraging Lightness in the Earnest

Laugh a little bit more. Engage people use metaphors for a game. If you’ve got a colleague who you think is trying to outplay everybody else, go and talk to them. Have a seat in his office and say, Hey listen, let’s talk about how we strategize the next steps in our game plan. Use metaphors like that, they will get it.

So that’s one way to get them on board. And then you can say, listen, if we wanna play the game correctly, right? You’re using the game metaphor. You move it over to say, listen, this is really important for our clients, so we need to make sure we get it right.

That’s how you bring them over to somewhere else, go and get them at the game playing and bring them over. But let’s say you want a colleague of yours or an employee to lighten up a little bit because there’s so earnest again, go to the bus stop and say, I know this is really important to you and you wanna make sure that we do it right.

Initiating Action Steps: Navigating the “Bus Stop”

To initiate communication, adapting to the other person’s perspective, known as navigating the “bus stop,” is essential. Recognizing the model someone operates from is the first step in creating a shared understanding.

So let’s lighten up a little bit and find other ways to play with this. What do you think? Again, always go to the bus stop and then bring it over. That’s the easiest way to start to create a mutual understanding between these two very different ways of looking at life and looking at work. You know, there are lots of places where this shows up.

Observing Models in Various Settings

So when you’re talking to colleagues at work, notice who’s playing a game and fooling around with stuff and who is deadly earnest about something? Or when your teenage kids talk to each other, listen to how they talk. Each one of them embodies the male or the female, and it’s not always your male child and your female child.

Sometimes it all mixes up because these are just habits, as I said, and we change what we’re doing and then take a walk at the zoo and watch the primates doing exactly the same thing.

One is sort of strategically playing a sport to get what he or she wants. And the other one is being very earnest and caring and nurturing and loving because it’s so important.

Hey, the easiest way for you to get good at noticing which model people are operating from is to try it out for yourself.

You can do it right at your desk if there are no colleagues around. If someone’s around,

  • Head out to the bathroom when nobody’s in the bathroom;
  • Go to a cubicle and feel what it’s like to be in the mode.

Imagine we’re just playing a game here and we’re having fun and we need to get it right and it’s serious and there are real consequences and what we do is important.

So get a sense in your body what these two models are like.

Behavioral Dynamics in Review

First, let’s review the behaviors. When someone is operating from the male model, things are a game. They take it a little lightly, they can take risks,  after all, it’s just a game. And when someone’s operating from the female model, it’s not a game, it’s real.

There are real consequences. Just like in the traditional classroom, if you don’t do your work, you could fail and that would be horrific. So it’s real life is real with real consequences or you know, it’s just a game that we’re hanging around here and playing for a while. So let’s look at a situation where these two models are operating and see what you can do about it.

Interested in learning more about how men and women think and act differently?

I have developed a free training called the 10 Hidden Differences Between Men and Women and I’d love to have you join us.

And if a better understanding of strategic thinking intrigues you – visit

Watch this video and more on YouTube here.