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Colin Farrell: I have not dated in four years

Colin Farrell Wallpaper @ go4celebrity.com

Colin Farrell Wallpaper @ go4celebrity.com

Colin Farrell is not looking for love — the Irish actor is placing all of his attention on raising his kids.

“I have not dated for, ooh, four years now,” he told The Sunday Times of his love life. “It’s just not happening, what with the work, the kids and my life. I know it’s not what people expect to hear, but that’s the honest truth.”

Farrell, 38, is the father of two boys, James 11, and Henry, 5.

Although he’s still working, starring alongside Vince Vaughn in the new season of “True Detective,” his life doesn’t revolve around himself anymore.

“It’s not all about you anymore, which is a relief,” Farrell said of fatherhood. “It’s about a bigger world, and helping them find their place in it.”

He also relishes in having unnecessary pressures removed from his life.

“It’s not about ‘me, me, me the loudmouth’ any more — and that takes the pressure off me to live up to those expectations,” he added.

10 Ways to Make Sex Sexier

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You’re not quite sure how — or when — it happened. You used to have so much fun in bed, but suddenly your sex life just isn’t what it used to be. You’re more interested in The Daily Show than in a steamy session with your guy. Even when you do work up the energy, sex feels so…predictable. The excitement, even the passion, are MIA.

The thing is, you like sex — a lot. And you love your partner. So what gives? “There are all kinds of emotional barriers to having good sex, from poor body image to boredom,” says sex therapist Laura Berman. “The good news is that you can get beyond them and reconnect with your sensuality.”

Ready to light your fire? These moves will make sex hotter, happier, and just plain sexier.

 

1. Like yourself naked.

Women who have the best sex lives feel good about their bodies. They see themselves as strong and sexy. Unfortunately, according to statistics, up to 80 percent of women  suffer from a negative body image. Typically, when a woman looks at herself, her eyes go straight to her problem areas. She carries that feeling into the bedroom, and when her partner’s kissing her thighs, she’s busy thinking, ‘God, I’m so fat! To boost your body confidence, give yourself a reality check. The next time you’re at the store or in the gym, take a look around you at all the attractive women who are a variety of shapes and sizes. Remind yourself: There is no one ideal. Then ask your partner what he loves about your body, and write it down. Read the list every morning. Finally, compliment yourself. At least once a week, stand in front of the mirror naked and focus on your favorite features — your toned arms, your firm butt, your gorgeous breasts. Touch each part and say aloud what you like about it — this will help to reinforce your feelings.

 

2. Make the mind-body connection.

Think about those moments in your life when you feel completely in tune with your body. Maybe it’s after you finish a long run — your blood is pumping and you’re relaxed and exhilarated. Or perhaps it’s when you do yoga and achieve a mind-body meld. Chances are, this doesn’t happen often enough. When a woman has a negative self-image, she tends to disconnect from how her body feels. To reestablish the bond, do something that makes you feel good in your skin at least once a day — treat yourself to a massage, go apple picking with your kids, wear the jeans that give you an ego boost the minute you slide them on. Whenever you’re tuned in to your body and what it’s capable of, you’re naturally more sensual.

3. Swear off sex.

It’s extreme, yes, but highly effective. That’s because when you tell yourself you can’t have something, you want it even more. The same is true in the bedroom — especially if you and your partner have been together for a while and sex has become automatic. Instead of focusing on the end game, learn to enjoy the sensuality of sex. Tease yourself — and him. Get undressed, dim the lights and take turns exploring each other’s bodies. When you’re the one doing the touching, concentrate on communicating love and sensuality to your partner. When you’re on the receiving end, let yourself feel the sensations of each and every stroke. This will help you reconnect with each other on a whole new level. Not only that but by the time you’re done, you’ll be so excited you’ll barely be able to stand it. Hold off (if you can!) for a night or two, to let the anticipation build.

4. Add a few thrills.

After a few years together, it’s easy to get lazy in bed. But you both deserve better. If you don’t put energy into your relationship, you won’t get energy out of it.

Research shows that new and adventurous activities may stimulate the brain to produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in sexual desire. Do something daring outside the bedroom and dopamine levels may skyrocket — along with your sex drive. Challenge your guy to a heart-pounding activity like rock climbing or white-water rafting. Experiencing something new and exhilarating together helps replicate that feeling you had in the beginning of your relationship when you couldn’t get enough of each other.

5. Tell him how to turn you on.

Men want to be your knight in shining armor when it comes to sex — they’re eager for you to tell them what feels good. The problem is, so many women are out of touch with their bodies they have no idea what to say. Help him, and yourself, by showing him what turns you on. Put your hand on top of his and guide him in how you want to be touched — including how much pressure to use. When you’re ready to move on to oral sex, or to bring in a few sex toys, speak up. This is the only way he’s going to know what works for you.

6. Change your routine.

When you’re stressed out, it’s impossible to feel sexy. That’s because when a woman experiences chronic tension, her body produces higher levels of oxytocin, a chemical that cancels out the effects of the sex hormone testosterone. As a result, your libido takes a nosedive. Recharge your sexual batteries by doing things that let you break free from your hectic everyday life. Play a CD that reminds you of your college days and sing along. Splurge on something you’d normally never buy — like platform pumps — and wear them for a girls’ night out. When you’re relaxed and feeling good about yourself, sex will start to seem within the realm of possibility again.

7. Make the first move.

A recent study found that the leading predictor of a woman’s marital happiness was the level of her husband’s emotional engagement. If you two are spending quality time together, you’re happy. But when you’re feeling disconnected, your relationship and your sex life suffer. Here’s why: You need to feel close to him to be inspired to make love, and he often needs sex to feel close to you. How to break the stalemate? Make the first move, says Berman. Do something simple like thanking him for taking out the trash. When you give him a little gratitude, it’s a huge bonding moment for him. In response, he’ll start tuning back in to what you need, and you’ll be much more likely to want him in return.

8. Turn chores into foreplay.

Even in this enlightened age, women still spend about an hour more each day than men on household chores and childcare. No wonder we’re not in the mood — we’re tired! Research shows that when men pitch in around the house, their wives are much more likely to be satisfied with the relationship and to want more sex. All he needs to hear is that helping out is a form of foreplay. The next thing you know, he’ll be pushing past you to wipe the counter, change the kitty litter, and unload the dishwasher.

9. Leave your house.

You know it’s good to escape — from work, studies — and concentrate on each other. If you can’t head off for the weekend, go out to dinner instead. But mix it up a little: Pick a place you’ve never been and order a dish you’ve never had. Better yet, visit him at work. Seeing him in a place that doesn’t have anything to do with you will reveal a different side of him and reconnect you with the person you fell in love with. You might see or learn something surprising that makes you view him in a sexier way.

10. The secret to the best sex ever…

If you need another reason to exercise, consider this: Working out is a great way to boost your sex life. It stimulates not only the body but the nervous system and the brain. So you’re more physiologically excited and more receptive to sex. Exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system, improves circulation, and gets blood flowing to all the right places. It also gets you in the mood by reducing stress and boosting your self-esteem. Working out gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment. When you do it consistently, it makes you feel good about yourself.

Just as important, exercise helps you tune in to your body — and tune out the world. Weight training and Pilates, which force you to focus on your muscles and your form, are especially good for this. Your attention is fully on you. You really feel every move, and that puts you in a more sensual state.

The top STREET STYLE TRENDS: SPRING 2015

 

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11 signs he’s not the “one” and you’re better off moving on …

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If you’re dating someone and you’re wondering whether or not it is worth investing your time, energy and emotion, take notice of any signs he’s not the one. If the guy you are dating is showing any signs he’s not the one, it’s best to pack it up and move on; chances are that he’s not going to suddenly start changing his feelings and become your one and only.

 

1. YOU FEEL JUDGED

One of the biggest signs he’s not the one is that you feel like you are being judged. If you feel like you can’t be yourself or if you feel like he’s judging you when you are being yourself, it’s a safe bet that he’s not the one. The right guy won’t ever judge you.

 

2. NO EMOTION

Well, this one is pretty obvious. If he isn’t showing any emotion, or any real emotion, after dating for several weeks – or even months – chances are pretty good that he isn’t the one. If the guy you are dating is actually into you, he will certainly have some sort of emotion. He may not say “I love you” right away, but he will surely let you know he has strong feelings for you with some sort of emotion.

 

3. YOU’RE NOT A PRIORITY

If he is always going out without checking in with you, or if he constantly makes plans with you and then breaks them to do something else, you are not his priority. If you aren’t his priority, it’s a safe bet that he isn’t the one.

 

4. YOU CAN’T COMMUNICATE WITH HIM

Communication is one of the basic foundations of a successful relationship. If you find it difficult to communicate with him, regarding issues, your feelings, or even just everyday events, then you can probably safely say that he isn’t the one.

 

5. YOU DON’T TRUST HIM

Trust is the number one essential ingredient for a successful relationship. If you don’t trust what the guy you are dating tells you, you don’t trust where he has been and you just don’t trust anything he does, then you shouldn’t be considering packing your bags; you should be doing so while you are reading this.

 

6. HE LIES

Have you ever caught your guy in a lie? I’m not talking about a little white lie regarding an outfit you’re wearing so that you can actually get somewhere at home either; I’m talking about a real, true hurtful and harmful lie. If your guy has lied about where he has been, where he is going and who has been hanging out with – or anything else as serious as this – you need to ditch him because he isn’t the one.

 

7. HE ISN’T INVESTING

You can’t be the only one making an effort in your relationship; and you can’t be giving more than he is. If you feel like it’s a 60-40, a 70-30 or a 90-10 investment (your investment being the higher number), you need to walk away. A successful relationship requires a 50-50 investment, and the right guy will want to make that kind of investment.

 

8. NOT AFFECTIONATE

Being affectionate in a relationship is something that you need to have. Closeness is so important in a relationship and you lose that when you aren’t affectionate with each other, especially in private.

 

9. HUGE DISTANCE

When you can feel the chill in the room when your partner walks into it, that’s a problem. When you keep things in the surface instead of digging deeper, it’s time for you to pack because there has to be a reason for the distance.

 

10. NO FUTURE TALK

When you’ve been with your partner for a while, you always talk about the next step. Maybe your partner is not thinking you are his next step — have you thought of that? If there is no future talk on his end, no matter how many times you’ve tried, it’s time to go!

 

11. LACK OF SEX

Finally, the lack of sex can be something that can really cause a lot of problems in a relationship. A relationship that is filled with passion — should also be filled with sex. If you are seeing a huge dip or even a lack of sex all together, it might be because he isn’t into having it with you.

Dating can be tough. However, just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean that you should stick it out because you are afraid of being alone; if the guy you are seeing is showing any of these signs, it’s best to pack up and move on. What’s your stance on this?

 

 

What Your Sleep Position Says About Your Relationship

The way you sleep can be a passive-aggressive way to say, “I don’t trust you,” “I’m pissed,” or, “I can’t get enough of you.”

Because your subconscious mind controls the way you sleep with your partner, sleep body language can be an amazingly accurate way to assess what’s going on in your relationship — even if you can’t or don’t articulate those things while you’re awake, says Patti Wood, a body language expert with more than 30 years of experience and author of Success Signals, A Guide to Reading Body Language.

Of course, there are always exceptions — if you are and always have been a sleep kicker, you can’t blame your partner for sleeping far away from you. But when your or your partner’s sleep position suddenly changes, use these clues to decode what it means:

 You’re the little spoon.

In this position, your partner envelops you in a way that feels simultaneously intimate and secure. Because it involves some serious butt-to-penis contact, “it’s a very vulnerable position that’s sexual, but says, ‘I trust you,'” Wood says.

You’re the big spoon.

This says you’re protective of your partner and maybe even a bit possessive.

 You spoon a few inches apart. 

New couples tend to have the most physical contact in bed, but when the novelty of bed-sharing wears off, it’s common to revert to the positions that make you feel most comfortable and produce the best quality sleep, says Paul Rosenblatt, author of Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing. Sometimes, that means spooning a few inches apart. It’s like the big spoon saying, “I’ve got your back, you can count on me,” but it’s not as sexual as spooning closer, Woods says.

 Your partner cradles your head on his chest. 

A face-up sleeping position indicates confidence and self-assurance. When your partner sleeps on his back with your head in his arms, it says, “I have the power and I’m using it to protect you,” Wood says. When you, in turn, face your partner in a fetal position, it shows you depend on him. If you sleep with your head on his chest and the rest of your body sprawled out, it sends the message that you want to make decisions for yourself, Wood says.

 You face each other.

When you sleep face-to-face, it’s an unconscious attempt to look your partner in the eye throughout the night. If your partner suddenly starts facing you, there’s a good chance he feels distant and wants to connect, or is hungry for more intimacy — especially if he presses his pelvis against yours.

You sleep on your stomachs.

Because sleeping on your stomach protects the front of your body, the position could be a sign of anxiety, vulnerability, and lack of sexual trust, Wood says. Unless there are back or neck issues, people tend to face the bed because they don’t want to or are afraid to face their emotions, Wood says. If your partner suddenly starts sleeping face down, you can cozy up to make him feel more protected.

You sleep on opposite sides of the bed.

This says you’re independent or have a desire to be more separate. If you’re typically snuggly sleepers though, this position could be a red flag that something isn’t right, whether that means stress at work or an untold secret.

That said, many people start out snuggling to warm up or show affection, then gravitate toward opposite sides of the bed for a random reason — it could be because your partner has sharp toenails, kicks in his sleep, or moves around too much, or because you get hot when you sleep skin to skin, Rosenblatt says.

Also worth noting: Some couples actually get along better when they stop trying so hard to snuggle all night — probably because it can enable you to sleep more soundly and without interruption, which improves your interactions the next day.

If you don’t like to touch while you sleep, schedule 15 minutes in the morning or at night to snuggle up and in turn strengthen your relationship, suggests Wood.

You sleep facing away from each other with your butts touching.

This position suggests you’re a confident couple that appreciates your own space: The facing away from each other hints at the ability and desire to be independent, while the butt touch shows you still want to stay sexually connected, Wood says.

For what it’s worth, lots of people prefer to sleep facing the outside of the bed to avoid breathing face-to-face, Rosenblatt says. So this position could mean you’re sick and tired of your partner’s snoring (not your partner himself).

 You sleep with nothing touching but your feet or legs.

Being far from the brain and the first part of your body to react in the case or a flight or flight response, the feet are the most honest portion of the body, under the least conscious control, Wood says. If your partner plays footsie with you in bed, it means he craves an emotional or sexual connection.

 You sleep with your legs and arms totally entwined.

When you sleep with arms and legs tangled, it’s a sign that you can’t get enough of each other — even while you sleep. “It means your lives are intertwined, that you function as a pair. You probably finish each other’s sentences and take care of each other,” Wood says.

 You sleep different distances from the headboard. 

People who sleep closer to the headboard tend to feel more dominant and confident, while those who place their heads further away from it could be more subservient and have lower self-esteem, Wood says. Couples who sleep with their heads at the same level are on the same page. Heads that touch are even better: It’s a sign that you have like minds and know what’s going on in each other’s heads.sexy-couple-sleeping happy-couple-in-bed

Why Are Women So Strange and Men So Weird?

Yes, it’s true: men and women do speak different languages!

Psychologist, Bruce Christopher:

As a psychologist, I can assure you that the greatest commodity you possess is your ability to communicate. People who are excellent communicators have better relationships, better marriages, raise more functional children – and they tend to be more successful in their careers. In fact, many years ago a classic survey was done to graduates of the Stanford University engineering department; they wanted to find out what made a great engineer. The results were significant; the respondents indicated that only 20% of their success was due to their technical expertise, while the other 80% was due to their people skills.

Think about what makes your company great. It is not your organization’s fine technology or its spiffy offices; it’s you! It is the people that make a corporation a phenomenal one. Communication is also the greatest commodity of your organization; your ability to communicate with your teammates, your customers and clientele is what makes you successful. That’s why companies are called “organizations” – it is an organism, a living entity made up of real people who give it energy with their interpersonal interactions. Communication runs your company.

About 4 years ago in San Diego, a woman introduced me to the audience and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I think about Bruce Christopher every single day.” Wow, I thought, what a nice thing to say. She continued, “The reason I think about him everyday is because three years ago in a seminar, he taught me how men think and speak differently from women. I still apply those concepts and strategies whenever I talk to my male colleagues at work and my husband at home.” Another “Wow” – three years of retention and application after a training seminar is fantastic!

But what happens whenever we try to communicate with someone of the opposite sex? A whole new dynamic takes over and it often feels like we are talking to someone from another planet!

In my seminar on “Voice Mail/Voice Female”, I ask the audience to understand these three very important points:

  • Men and women THINK differently
  • Men and women SPEAK differently
  • Men and women DECIDE differently

    If you are not aware of these differences, you will not be an effective communicator when dealing with your opposite sex colleagues, customers, and teammates.

    For example, after attending a half day workshop, Tim Thoele of Principal Financial Group – Minneapolis (MDRT Court of The Table Qualifier), wrote us and said:
    “Your three hour session was one of the most informative workshops I have attended and found so many principles that I could apply in my own life. I walked away from your session and immediately applied what I had learned.”

    My first experience involved a very good client, who happens to be a woman. Upon arriving for a very important meeting with her I kept in mind your comment that women hold eye contact for an average of 12 seconds, and men hold eye contact an average of 3 seconds, leading women to believe that men don’t hear them. I decided to test your theory and apply your “12 second” technique. As she talked to me, I kept eye contact with her for 12 seconds. . .believe me, they seemed like very long 12 seconds. However, because of my attention to eye contact, she felt I really understood her needs and it ended up being one of the most successful meetings I ever had with her. . . .

    Before testing your theories, I never understood how soft skills, such as gender difference communication, could directly impact my bottom line.

    How do men and women think differently?
    Men and women are equally intelligent but men and women tend to view the world through differing frameworks. To put it succinctly, men think COMPARTMENTALLY and women think GLOBALLY: it all has to do with how men and women store information and file away data in their cognitive memory banks.

    Men, who think compartmentally, tend to separate out details and store them in distinct “compartments” which I liken to a file-cabinet-drawer system. A man, in his mind, has a file drawer for work, one for wife, for hobbies, etc, Because of this cognitive framework, men tend to open and close the “drawers” which they need in the immediate moment and they tend to stay exclusively in that compartment. The result is that when a man is in one compartment, nothing else exists except that one compartment.

    Women, on the other hand, tend to see life from a more global perspective. Whereas men separate things out, women tend to do the opposite and connect things up. Women see the underlying connections and the interrelated detail and data more clearly than men do. It is interesting to sit in a staff meeting and observe how the men see the end objective clearly, but they may have a more difficult time perceiving how one underlying piece of information could swing around and impact the end result later on. Yet the women in the group see this possibility more readily. Both ways of thinking, compartmental and global, are great ways to think, they both have their own inherent strengths and weaknesses; but put us together on the same team, or in the same relationship, and the mysteries start.

    An example, which most people in corporate America can relate to, is being in conflict with someone of the opposite sex at work. For example, Joe and Sally are having an important business discussion on Friday afternoon in the office. They have different views on an issue and are both emotionally invested in their respective positions. Then, five o’clock comes and it’s time to go home and enjoy the weekend, but the discussion was never finished and a resolution was not achieved. What does the man in our story do? He goes home, closes his work file-drawer-compartment, opens up the weekend compartment and stays in that drawer all weekend long. I generally ask my audience what happens for the female in this example; all the women in the group answer immediately, “She stews about that conflict all weekend!” She ruminates and thinks about the unresolved issue with her teammate, and come Monday morning wants to find some closure to the problem.

    Then the most amazing thing happens on Monday. Joe, arrives at work and closes his weekend-file-drawer-compartment and opens up the Monday-morning-at-work-file-drawer-compartment. Sally approaches him and wants to revisit the discussion from last week. She says, “Joe, could we talk a little more about the issue from last week?” And guess what he says. “What issue? Oh that? That’s in the past. It’s water under the bridge. I can’t believe you are bringing that up again!” And he thinks that she is just trying to drag him through old issues just for the fun of it. He can’t understand why she can’t let go of the past.

    In actuality what is happening is the difference between compartmental and global thinking patterns. He perceives no connection between the fight from last week and working together this week – he has compartmentally separated them out. For her, she feels an underlying connection between conflict and a successful working relationship. Far from wanting to drag him through the past again, she is doing a reality-check; “we were in conflict last week, I just want to make sure things are resolved so that we can get on with the business at hand.”

    One of the great tensions that women feel in business is a sense of being left hanging and not finding closure in conflict. Men tend to close the drawer on conflict prematurely and may not see how unresolved issues can actually hinder performance and office morale. This is one small example of compartmental vs. global thinking. Can you think of other ways that these differing cognitive frameworks can create tension between men and women in business?

    How do men and women speak differently?

    Because of culture and differences in how little boys and girls are raised, adult men and women tend to have differing interpersonal styles which can create misunderstanding and communication mis-fires.

    Women tend to use an interpersonal style which is more historical and presented in a narrative fashion. Background and context are important pieces in the “Voice-Female. ” In my seminars, I tell the audience that women speak in paragraph form supported with lots of details, and most importantly, the bottom-line coming at the end of the story. Makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Where else would you put the bottom-line except at the end of the story. Women enjoy the suspense of working up to the bottom-line, for the joy is in the telling of the story.

    However, men experience this enjoyment as agitation. Because in the “Voice-Male,” men do not speak in paragraphs, they speak in phrases. Shorter, clipped, reporting statements without a lot of detail and surprisingly (or maybe not) the bottom-line comes not last, but first. And sometimes that’s all you get! Which of course, can lead to excessive frustration for the female.

    In the average day, it has been estimated that a man speaks 12,500 words and a woman speaks about 25,000 words. This leads to the old joke about a man going to work and using up 12,495 words and coming home with only five words left! So when he arrives at home he says, “What’s for dinner?” (that’s three) and “Good night” (that’s five!)

    Dr. Debra Tannen, a linguist and author on the subject, says that men and women use communication for different purposes. The purpose of communication for a man is to report a fact, while women use communication to build rapport. The mis-match of Report-Talk vs. Rapport-Talk can increase our interpersonal friction with the opposite sex at home and at work.

    For example, at the end of the day, wife may ask husband, “Hi honey, how was your day?” He answers the bottom-line: “Fine” – which is “Voice-Male” code for “nobody died and I still have a job; what else could you possibly want to know?”Of course what she is hoping for in her own language is more of a historical narrative with some details, which she does not get and thus may complain, “He never tells me anything. I have no idea what is going on in his life.”

    At work, men and women also can speak different languages. Remember Joe and Sally who work at the same company? One day, Joe approaches Sally and asks her a bad question, “Sally, I wasn’t at the staff meeting today, can you tell me what happened?” According to his “Voice-Male”, what Joe wants to hear is simply the bottom-line; really only about a six word answer which sounds like this: “Joe, we postponed the Johnson proposal.” That’s the bottom-line isn’t it. But Joe never asked for the bottom-line, so Sally speaks her own language to him and gives him “Voice-Female”.

    She speaks in historical narrative fashion, supported with lots of detail, and at the end she says the bottom-line last. . .”And Joe, we postponed the Johnson proposal.”

    I often ask the women in my audience, “As you speak to a male colleague in historical narrative, have you ever noticed their eyes glaze over?” This usually gets a round of applause. Women begin to believe that men are not listening to them, and of course the answer is that they are not. Not because men don’t care what women say, it’s all about how it is said. “Men cannot hear you women,” I say to them, “because you are speaking a foreign language to them. You are not giving them ‘Voice-Male’, you are giving them ‘Voice-Female’.”

    In order to fix this communication chasm, both men and women make strategic mistakes. Sally, who knows that she is being tuned out, does what we Americans often do when we are in another country and we do not speak the native tongue: we speak our own language louder and slower. Sally may actually increase her historical narrative, giving more details and background, and/or raise her voice to get his attention. This tends to not work with men and Joe falls into the habitual trait that men often employ with women; he interrupts her. Studies demonstrate that men interrupt women in conversation 75% to 90% of the time. He finishes her sentence for her, cuts her off, gets her to change subjects or hurry up – all because he is agitated and waiting for what he really wants, the bottom-line.

    Due to the fact that men and women are working together more closely than ever before, the opportunity for communication chasms to appear are far more probable.

    It has been approximated that in a single day, the average office person can waste up to 38% of their day dealing with communication mis-fires and interpersonal tensions in the office. Other studies have observed that up to 70% of what you say to the opposite sex is either misunderstood or not heard. It is apparent how readily you could increase effectiveness and performance on your job simply by being aware of the different male and female voices.

    Great communicators are people who change their approach based upon the person they are talking too.

    So what do we do about these cognitive and interpersonal differences? The answer is: we change our approach. The biggest mistake that men make with women is that they relate and communicate with women as if they were men. The biggest mistake that women make with men is that they do the same – they relate and communicate with men as if they were women. In short, we use our own specific “gender voices” on the other sex and we wonder why “they just don’t get it.” We need to be aware of our own “Voice-Male” and “Voice-Female” styles and be open to changing our “voice” when the need arises.

    For example, another way that men and women use different voices is in how we ask for things that we need. Learned from childhood, women often use a style which has been called “hint language.” This is when a woman expresses a need, wish, or desire framed in the form of a question, raising her shoulders as if she doesn’t know what the answer is. In reality, this is a culturally respectful way that women have learned about how to ask for what they want. Wife may turn to husband and say, “Wouldn’t it be nice to go see a movie today?” This is “Voice-Female” for “I want to go see a movie.”

    Unfortunately, men don’t often get the hint. The reason is that hint-language is not part of the “Voice-Male”; men tend to take language very literally, focusing in on the content of the message instead of the hidden meanings in the communication. Given the question, “Wouldn’t it be nice to see a movie today?” Men just give the answer – “No.” Women wonder, “Does he not hear me or care about what I want?”

    A client recently told me this story. One of their female supervisors gave a directive to her male staff member, but she said it in “Voice-Female”: “Say Larry, if you don’t mind and if you’ve got some time, would you please finish this project?” Now we all know that what she is really saying is, “Get it done!” But what does Larry actually hear? “Well, I’ve got a lot of options here,” he thinks to himself, “Frankly I do mind and I don’t have the time right now so I guess I’ll not do it.” Two weeks later the female supervisor approached Larry and asked why he hadn’t finished the project.

    What are the true stories of communication mis-fires in your business? Have you noticed that men and women speak a different language and have different “voices?” If you have, then try to change your approach when speaking with the other gender.

    Men Can
    Men need to use “Voice-Female” when speaking with women. For example

  • Increase historical details
  • Give more background and context
  • Remember that women use communication to build rapport-connections
  • Spend more time asking questions and listening, moving slowly to the bottom line
  • When you listen, be sure to maintain eye contact, nod your head, be attentive and give what I call “listening noises” (i.e.; “Uh-huh, umm, hmmm”). Why do you do this? Because this is the “Voice-Female”; women give off interpersonal signals to the speaker of the conversation which lets them know they are being heard. A woman feels heard by another woman because of her listening noises.
  • Increase non-verbal excellence in communication by trying to read between the lines when listening to women; work on picking up some of the hints that she may be dropping for you. Listening is the art of communicating.

    Women Can
    Women need to use “Voice-Male” when talking to men. For example:

  • Give the bottom-line first
  • Resist the thought that he needs the context and the background. A great technique to try is to simply give him the bottom-line and then ask him if he wants more detail. Most of the time you will be surprised because he actually will. “Sally, what happened at the staff meeting?” says Joe. “Well Joe,” says Sally, “We decided to postpone the Johnson proposal.” (pause and then continue) “Would you like to hear more details about that?” This is “Voice-Male.” Try it and you may find the men in your life hearing you and remembering what you say more effectively.
  • Avoid speaking in hint language. Remember that men tend not to hear the hints; they hear a question that needs an answer – so they answer it. Be direct. Instead of saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice to go see a movie today?” Speak in “I statements” such as “I want” or “I need” – try not to put men in the position of reading your mind or guessing what you are saying. Women, who have become excellent leaders, have learned the art of assertive and respectful communication that doesn’t sound pushy or aggressive.

    Remember that when it comes to communication, delivery is everything. It’s more of how you are saying it, than what you are saying.

    I worked with one client who was an outstanding female consultant, yet her business was not generating enough revenue to keep her busy. In reviewing some of her written proposals, I found she was speaking in “Voice Female”; the “bottom-line” in her proposals were on the last page of a 30 page document. Knowing that her potential clients were men, I suggested she place the bottom line on the first page and then follow it with the details of the proposal. Her sales increased immediately. It was necessary for her to change her approach to fit the interpersonal style of her customers, who were men.

    Take a piece of paper and outline ways that you can change your approach to more effectively communicate with members of the opposite sex in your profession. Imagine the opportunity to increase your success with your customers and colleagues just by speaking in a way so they can hear you. Remember, speak THEIR language, not yours.