Relationships are a
challenge in ordinary situations, but it
gets even more interesting in the studio (or on the road). There are
some basic complimentary differences with men and women (recognising
that there are always exceptions) that you may find helpful.
it helps if we know that men and women's actual brain chemicals
are based differently. Men's motivation, focus and energy is more
dopamine-based - and women's responses, motivation and energy is more
seratonin-based. These differences has much to do with why we think and
respond differently. (Dr. John Gray's Diet & Exercise
reveals the whole story.)
our brains are physically different: Women have more Corpus
Collosum than men (this is a tissue that connects the left and right
sides of the brain). Women are able to use more parts of the brain
simultaneously than men are, simply because there is a better
connection from left to right. This is commonly why women can
multi-task more than men, and men are more focused than women.
doesn't make anyone smarter or better than the other, in fact,
it's nature's way of delegating talents more evenly between us so we
don't blow a fuse! It's an advantage that men can focus on something
and be single-minded at times, and it's good that women can do six or
seven things at once! And I'll mention it just once more, yes.... men
can do six things at once and women can be focused to, so don't think
I'm trying to pin anyone down to a particular behaviour. We just tend
to lean in these directions most of the time, and we switch styles when
differences with men and women are:
Men tend to
Men tend to
focus on results
Men open up more
get acceptance, trust and appreciation
Women tend to
Women tend to
Women open up
more when the
get caring, understanding and respect
an example is where men objectify,
and women personalize:
a singer finishes recording a great lead vocal, the men will often
comment about the vocal performance itself - "That's a great track." -
"I love the energy of that take." "Those high notes are perfect."
however, will often comment in a more personal way - "You sang
that so well." "I loved that take, you're awesome." "Your high notes
are perfect." The difference is men are speaking about the track
itself, women are speaking about the person who sang the track.
early childhood and up, males are often complimented about what
they do, what they've done, what their results are, and women are
complimented on who they are, how they are being, and of course how
they look. So it's no wonder that men like knowing they've done a good job
- created a good result - women like knowing they've done a
good job and the result compliments who they are.
Trap: Sometimes we
think that the other person has a really big ego around something, when
they just really resonate to a different style of love. For instance
some guys have told me that their female singer has such an ego because
all she thinks about is what people are going to think of her
when they perform... and some women have said that all guys think about
is if their gear is going to sound
right and how did the band
Male awareness is focused and directed.
go from point A to point B. They are focused on getting from here
to there as efficiently as possible, and making a difference along the
way. You see this in sports, as they get the ball from here to there,
make the point, score the goal. A man instinctively focuses on his goal
and what's right in front of him, so it's easy for him to switch his
attitude by getting off problem A and looking at situation B.
tendency to focus can tend to create problems and misunderstandings
with the opposite sex. For example, when under stress, a man will tend
to be more focused than usual. At such times, he tends to exclude other
things that are important, if they are not in his immediate view. Let's
say his wife has asked him to take out the garbage an hour ago. If he's
focused on fixing a passage in a musical sequence, he may forget that
she's asked him to take out the trash! He's not forgetful on purpose,
it's just his style of thinking.
Female awareness is open and expansive.
have a complimentary difference in their awareness. They walk in
a room and they notice everything - they'll see the console, the
furniture, who's in the room, and they'll look to discover who else is
in the room so they can start up a conversation or connect in some way.
tend to take care of, and keep track of, and consider all the
things that are going on around her more than a man would. Ever notice
how some women seem to be more concerned about more things than men?
This is just the difference in our styles of looking at problems. What
she brings forth is a balance to men's style with her ability to take
in a larger perspective. If men were able to have the same perspective
as a woman, they would worry just as much!
rather than judge her as if something is wrong, we can appreciate
this difference. Women are already masters at something men have to be
trained to do! If it ever seems like she's overwhelmed with concerns,
the secret is to hear and validate her feelings. It's about being with
her instead of opposing her - then her mood can return to being very
positive. Her expanded awareness is a gift, just as a man's ability to
focus is a gift.
The primary needs of men and women are
Men's Needs and Styles
Let go and...
Don't try to change me
Need to be right, noble
Women's Needs and Styles
Being there, including
Going the extra mile
Not complaining, but...
Primary needs are the
foundation of our different
emotional styles. Caring is the first primary need of a woman. For
someone to care about her or the situation she cares about, to care
about her feelings. If a woman is upset about something, and a man is
unwilling to listen to how she feels, she'll feel invalidated. "You
don't know how I feel. If you cared, you'd listen to how I feel." is
what she might say.
she was in a situation where her professional reputation was on the
line, she'd need a lot of caring in order to feel centered and handle
the situation easily. Let's say her microphone has gone out on stage,
and she's got to deal with a lot of changes on stage in order to work
around it. She'll probably handle it quickly, but underneath, her
concerns are expanding out and thinking of many more possible outcomes
or consequences to a situation.
don't generally think the same way, so they can't always comprehend
where she's going with all her feelings. Guys may unknowingly say
things like, "It's no problem, you can just use the bass players mic"
or "Stop worrying!" or "What are you so upset about, nobody cares!"
These kinds of comments come when men don't know her good reasons for
the guys think they are doing is supporting her by telling her to
trust that everything will work out all right. To them she is
overreacting because if it were them, they would just focus on a
solution, or blow it off because they can't do anything about it! This
is their way of trusting things will work out.
Men need to be trusted.
is just as important for a man to be trusted as it is for a woman to
be cared about. Guys, you can relate to this, right, to be trusted just
feels good. When someone says "I know I can trust you" or "I can always
trust so-and-so to do the best job."
need for trust comes from their instinctive drive toward being
noble. When a man records a song or sets up the stage or does a gig,
there's a part of him that wants to be (ok so it's corny) the knight in
shinning armour. This is just in our genes, so to speak. We've been
doing it for centuries - trying to make a difference, even at great
cost. When a man is on any kind of a mission, it gives him strength to
know he's trusted - he'll get the job done. That's the motivation
behind the oh-so-common phrase, "Don't worry about it." He's asking for
trust - asking for his competency to be empowered.
men need primarily need to feel trusted, one of the biggest
mistakes a woman can make is to give unsolicited advice, even though
this is an aspect of her caring style. Offering help, without being
asked may say to him that you don't trust him to have the answer. Men
want you to wait till he asks for advice, before giving it. Many women
become frustrated when they hear this. They say, "If I cant' give
advice, how do I get what I want?" The secret is to ask for what you
want in a positive way. By learning to ask for more, in a non-demanding
way, most women are surprised at how much more support they will
Strategy: Ask men questions
of giving advice. Asking a question lets him "stay in charge" and "save
face." What my wife does at times like this, is she'll hold on to what
she'd really like to say, caring and all that, and instead, she'll ask
me a question - "Did you see the policeman back there?" She knows that
this supports my need to do a good job. And she'll avoid my defensive
grumbles that may come out if she tells me what to do when I'm on some
kind of mission. A man always wants to be the knight in shinning
armour, even if he is just simply driving to the theater!
Women need to be understood, and
validated by others. This makes her feel emotionally supported. This is
why communication is so important to women. A key point is that women
talk to be understood. What men can do to support women is to listen to
them when they talk. I've seen men roll their eyes when women start to
talk, but resisting a woman's need to talk is almost like resisting a
man's need for focusing.
when a woman is in the studio, and she's upset about a part change,
it doesn't help if a guy engineer tells her to just accept that this
part is better! She needs for her opinion to be heard, and for others
to understand her point of view. Once she feels she's been heard and
not invalidated, then her ability to accept will then naturally come
internal priority is to understand first, then accept. We can say
to her "I can see you aren't feeling good about this idea yet. Tell me
more about why - let's discuss what's best." With a man, we could say
"I see your different viewpoint on this part. That could be right, so
let's check it out and let's see if it makes the most sense to
you ask a woman a question, ask her how she feels. If you ask a
man a question, ask him what he thinks! By understanding our
complimentary differences, we can avoid tension when our creativity is
Men need appreciation and women need
how many times have you ever felt like no one's appreciated what
you've done for them? And women, how many times have you ever felt like
you were not getting the respect that you deserved? These two needs are
noticed that in almost every conversation with a man where
gratitude is being expressed, the man will usually say, "....I
appreciate you doing this thing." Or, I'd appreciate it if you'd do
...(whatever.)" Whereas with a woman, she'll say, "You're so easy to
work with." or "...it would be wonderful if you would...(do whatever.)"
Check out the two styles at work, here. She's expressing a kind of
respect for how the other person is being, and he's expressing
appreciation for the other person's result.
let's say you're trying to get a better price on cassette
duplication, and the sales rep. for the company is a guy. Tell him how
much you'll appreciate him helping you out with a better price. Tell
him about the difference his actions will make for you. If, on the
other hand, the sales rep is a lady, tell her how wonderful she is to
care about your budget needs. Tell her that you understand she can't
guarantee what the boss will say, but that it's really nice of her to
try for you.
Appealing to a persons gender-appropriate
needs is empowering.
this technique out and notice that people genuinely like a
gender-appropriate compliment! It really makes them feel good when they
work with you! Your reputation will always be tops because you are
speaking to what people need at a deeper level. After a bit of practice
with this, it will become automatic to switch styles when you are
working with each sex.
why in the world would John Vestman share this kind of info on a
mastering site??? I think we only keep what we share, so I'm
sharing. I also grew up in an era when musicians had a lot to say
about what was going on in the world. They spoke up about the
conditions of others and they made a positive difference in many
cases. Silence and caring less is only a sure way to make it
harder to find the high road. I'm simply opening up part of my
map. So here's my Message to
about making a difference. We have much to learn from
each other, and
the more we know, the easier it is to succeed!
Date created: 02/10/03
Positive Acceptance Level
Success for Musicians