EDITIONS

The Social Network

The science behind male and female bonding techniques explained

Bhavna Singh
6th Mar 2017
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Boys keenly sport a look of shock at the sight of girls hugging, crying, screaming and kissing each other on the school playgrounds. They tend to think of this as abnormal, while girls are perfectly fine with this kind of bonding. In fact, this can be stamped as an example of the perfect ‘girl’ bonding technique. Women, on the other hand, scorn at golf sessions; drinking sessions; smoking sessions as formal and well-accepted and recognised bonding platforms for men!

Gender & Society

Social science research (Gender & Society by Walker K) has suggested that men and women friendships and behaviours correspond to the cultural notions of who they are. Men focus on shared activities, and women focus on shared feelings. It is a well documented fact that early men and women had distinct occupations - while the men went hunting; women stayed home (raised children; cooked food and took care of home). This defined the need and ways of ‘bonding’ of males and females, to some extent. Male hunters had to work as a team while the women folk had no such pressures and therefore did not indulge in formal group bonding. Interestingly enough, while males therefore developed formal platforms for bonding (extending it to networking); women did not have the opportunity of being part of clubs; groups or other such platforms. However, women bonded through shared intimacy and conversations.

Staying in Touch

In one of the papers titled ‘Girl talk’ by the Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC), women friendships are best described like a good film or CD - you go to meet them and they take you away from your misery and woes; you can watch the film or play the CD many years later and they're still as good & you can leave them for a while and you are sure that they are always going to be there.

The SIRC paper brought out another insight: women of younger age groups caught up with friends more often than men, over the phone. Men, on average, talk with their friends by phone 1.75 times per week as compared to 2.23 times per week for women.

Talk the Talk

Tannen (You Just Don’t Understand: Women and men in conversation) suggests that there are two distinct cultural dialects in play which are the masculine and feminine ways of speaking, as opposed to inferior or superior ways of speaking the same language. This stems from the women's desire for connection as opposed to men's for status. Women spoke a 'secret language' - A raised eyebrow, a knowing look, an affectionate hug - while the Men's talk centred on factual statements with far more ‘transparent’ conversations than those of women.

Woman in a Man’s World

In today’s corporate world, women recognise the need for effective social communication skills. There is a latent need for women to possess a degree of toughness in the established ‘man’s world.’ Women leaders are constantly under pressure to not be categorized or perceived as being too soft or emotional. In fact, what women have in their favour is the ability to multi-task, juggling work and family, while staying competitive.

Further, while men remain men and women are who we are and while we have distinct methods of making friends, we must understand that we form a part of the same career world. It is as imperative for women to stay ‘networked’. As more and more of this realization seeps in, the corporate ecosystem is also witnessing this dramatic change. The good news is that the change has begun. Social communication is now transforming into social networking. This is the new corporate success mantra.

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Authors
Bhavna Singh

Bhavna Singh is Director Communications, Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), which represents research based pharmaceutical companies in India. Bhavna spearheads the OPPI’s communications function and works on multi- stakeholder advocacy & communications programmes including Government, regulatory authorities, the pharma industry and the media. Her online campaigns; patient communication and comprehensive industry led publications have won recognitions both in India and globally. Her professional experience of 18 years across diverse businesses including services, entertainment, FMCG, engineering and pharmaceuticals stands her in good stead when it comes to design and implementation of targeted communication campaigns, both digital and traditional. Her work in corporate communications, financial PR, investor relations, marketing and research across the country has resulted in award-winning campaigns with impactful outcomes. Her work has been won several recognitions. OPPI’s 50 years commemorative publication – The Colour of White- received global recognition and was a winner of the Asia Pacific Communications Awards 2017, under the publication category. Bhavna has recently been named among the 40 Under 40 – Class of 2017, by the Reputation Today magazine, which recognises the emerging leaders in public relations and corporate communications. Bhavna also received the ‘Women In Leadership Award 2016’ for her work on gender diversity in the pharma industry with the ‘The Colour of White’. Bhavna has been recognised by World Global Diversity & Inclusion Congress and World HRD Congress as Global Diversity & Inclusion Leader -2017 and is a winner of BAM Award for using Innovative Media Vehicles in healthcare Communications- 2017 Bhavna believes that ‘lots can happen over conversations and coffee.’ Writing makes her express herself and she has written on several subjects. Most of her writing has been published in many leading online and digital portals. Bhavna has always loved theatre and drama. Bhavna’s love for the stage and her acting abilities come to the forte, even at work. There is never a dull moment when she is around. Her sense of humour and quick wit holds her in good stead in building her communications repertoire. Bhavna is a TEDx speaker.

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Authors
Bhavna Singh

Bhavna Singh is Director Communications, Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), which represents research based pharmaceutical companies in India. Bhavna spearheads the OPPI’s communications function and works on multi- stakeholder advocacy & communications programmes including Government, regulatory authorities, the pharma industry and the media. Her online campaigns; patient communication and comprehensive industry led publications have won recognitions both in India and globally. Her professional experience of 18 years across diverse businesses including services, entertainment, FMCG, engineering and pharmaceuticals stands her in good stead when it comes to design and implementation of targeted communication campaigns, both digital and traditional. Her work in corporate communications, financial PR, investor relations, marketing and research across the country has resulted in award-winning campaigns with impactful outcomes. Her work has been won several recognitions. OPPI’s 50 years commemorative publication – The Colour of White- received global recognition and was a winner of the Asia Pacific Communications Awards 2017, under the publication category. Bhavna has recently been named among the 40 Under 40 – Class of 2017, by the Reputation Today magazine, which recognises the emerging leaders in public relations and corporate communications. Bhavna also received the ‘Women In Leadership Award 2016’ for her work on gender diversity in the pharma industry with the ‘The Colour of White’. Bhavna has been recognised by World Global Diversity & Inclusion Congress and World HRD Congress as Global Diversity & Inclusion Leader -2017 and is a winner of BAM Award for using Innovative Media Vehicles in healthcare Communications- 2017 Bhavna believes that ‘lots can happen over conversations and coffee.’ Writing makes her express herself and she has written on several subjects. Most of her writing has been published in many leading online and digital portals. Bhavna has always loved theatre and drama. Bhavna’s love for the stage and her acting abilities come to the forte, even at work. There is never a dull moment when she is around. Her sense of humour and quick wit holds her in good stead in building her communications repertoire. Bhavna is a TEDx speaker.

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