That's really hard!! This is a random attempt at the thought lines around the subject of how diverse population can make their contribution to a decision in an organization or any focus group for that matter.
When we think about any situation or circumstance at work or anywhere for that matter, the decisions will fall into one of the following categories or will be based on one of these categories:
- Rational : Unbiased and reasonable enough to not cause damage
- Logical : Has enough parameters to help arrive at a conclusive decision
- Factual : What you see is all that it is. Cannot be expected to have rational and logical thinking to be the only drivers. There may be external known or unknown parameters that drive these decisions.
Decisions have a direct dependency on the Mind which thinks based on:
- Feeling/Intuition from a Past Experience
- Motivation to make the decision
- Emotional need of the hour - One of these may be the wants - Peace, Success, Importance, Achievement, Self-appraisal, Control, Proof of Knowledge, Acknowledgement
- Inherent Strength - Creative, Analytical, Logical, Random
The personality traits that we have all gathered over time based on different experiences at varied points in time can have a big influence on the way we decide, besides altering our thinking pattern too:
- Go-getter - Goes that extra mile and finds it out.
- Self-starter - Does the bit of work needed to make it happen without being instructed.
- Manager - Has the command and balance of mind to see things through and get it done as appropriate.
- Implementer - Can make things work with just in time fixes, however hard it may seem at the outset.
- Follower - Can follow your instructions to the last full stop.
- Instructor - Can teach people to the greatest detail of what must be done.
- Designer - Can imagine things through based on the details available.
- Critic - Can find what is missing in what seems a complete and correct piece of solved problem.
Now that we have understood this much, we also know that a lot of studies have shown that men and women are wired to think differently.
Men are good at keeping focus better than women.
The compartmentalized brains of a man makes it easy for him to just focus on the task at hand more meticulously than a woman’s heavily inter-networked brain which is able to quickly connect dots between the task at hand and a similar/related thing from yesterday’s newspaper.
Men say 'I don’t know' easily than women.
Men must know the details to make a decision unlike a woman who will try to go that extra mile to get the information before making the decision. Saying 'I don’t know' to her is much harder than actually taking the effort to find out.
Men say ‘I can’t’ more easily than women.
Men have a clear picture of the implication of a said word and done deed than women do. When they say, they can’t, that is exactly what they mean. They are not worried about what the opponent will think of them when they say No, because they have already figured it out and know that this No in front of this audience will not mean much harm.
Men are not great at multi-tasking. Women are. Give a man five assignments and be sure only one will progress and will progress very well. Give a woman five tasks and be sure that all of them will move forward albeit slowly but steadily to see them all Green.
The traits, the minds, the decisions that were discussed earlier in this article also are largely dependent on how differently a man and woman thinks and what mean the most to each gender by and large. Also, in general, we all tend to feed the feel-good quotient wherever/whenever we need it.
Given this complexity, and the complexity of any given situation, we will need a mix of both men and women in any focus group to see success:
Men are for : Focus, Assertiveness, Execution, Facts, Rationale, Delegation, Learner, Comprehension.
Women are for : Advocating, Multi-tasking, Managing, Researching, Instructing, Listening, Forgetting.