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Focused vs. global attention

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If you work with someone of the opposite sex, you’ll have a more productive relationship if you understand how you both process information. Men think in facts. They excel at doing one thing at a time due to their focused attention. Men’s thoughts are compartmentalized, like a waffle. Women, on the other hand, are aware of everything going on in their environment. They have global attention and are all over the plate … think syrup!

How a person thinks affects the way he or she manages time, solves problems, organizes tasks, resolves conflict, manages people, makes decisions and manages change.

So how does a woman get a man’s attention when he’s focused on something else?  Simply precede a request by saying, “May I ask you a question?” and wait for his focused attention. You’ll increase your odds of being heard.

Women who communicate with men by bringing up one subject at a time will see better results. You may have more than one topic to discuss, but stick to one item through  to completion before moving forward. You’ll appear more focused.

And guys? When communicating with a woman, recognize her ability to listen and multitask at the same time. She is not slighting you when she doesn’t stop everything to give you her undivided attention.

A woman has global attention, meaning she can converse with you while noticing the stack of mail behind you reminding her that she needs to send a report to the marketing department and run over to accounting to drop off the expense reports before the deadline. She may overhear your colleagues talking about lunch, which makes her think of calling the caterer for the event she is responsible for planning.

The good news is that even though the thinking patterns of men and women are very different, they complement each other, making the whole greater than the sum of both parts! Just remember … waffles and syrup are great together!


Author: A former admin, Colette Carlson is a motivational speaker who specializes in assertive communication and is founder of

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