Women On The Collaborative Edge: Excerpts

Dawna Markova and Angie McArthur make some rather interesting points about why women may be better candidates when it comes to collaboration projects. Sharing an excerpt from the book as first made available on Feminist.

Your future depends less on your expertise than on your capacity to think collaboratively with those who think differently than you do. With the technological advances in imaging of the last decade, we’ve learned that this is easier for women to do than men. Researchers have found that due to differences in their brain structure, men and women often have dramatically different ways of communicating, solving problems, making decisions, managing stress, and dealing with conflict. Just as men in general have more upper body strength which enables particular capacities, we now know that women have easier access to their collaborative intelligence—thinking about the interactions between us– because of the following structural differences in their brains:

• A larger corpus callosum, on average, that enables them to engage logical and creative thinking at the same time. The difference in size and shape of this central structure of the brain also enables them to decode body language, tone of voice, and facial expression more easily, take in a more inclusive perspective of situations and typically view the different elements of a problem as interconnected.

• A larger anterior cortex that many scientists say results in a superior ability to integrate memories and emotions into more complex patterns of thought, consider more options, and imagine a wider array of solutions.

• A larger prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls judgment and decision-making as well as fosters a tendency toward win-win solutions, compromise, and ways to serve the needs of others.