Navigating Gender Miscommunication With Kimi Avary

by | Oct 8, 2020 | Podcasts

SWGR 544 | Gender Miscommunication


Men and women communicate very differently from each other. Whatever your gender is, this clash between the masculine and feminine energies is responsible for many of our miscommunication issues, whether in our personal relationships or in the workplace. How can we reconcile these radically opposing communication styles and talk more effectively with one another? In this conversation with Elizabeth Bachman, speaker, author, coach and gender communication expert, Kimi Avary gives us some mental exercises to navigate our way around gender communication and miscommunication. From speaking and listening styles to the importance of the respect factor, this episode is a deep dive into the articulate human mind. What is your communication style? Are you more masculine or feminine? How can you make the most of it to enhance your personal and  business relationships? Join in and find out!

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Navigating Gender Miscommunication With Kimi Avary

Helping Men & Women Talk To Each Other

This is a show where we talk about leadership visibility and how to use presentation skills to be heard and to move your readers to take action. I don’t care whether you’re standing on a stage in front of a group, in a meeting on a video call, or in a one-on-one conversation, presentation skills are crucial. Before we begin, I want to invite you to see how you’re doing with presentation skills by taking our free assessment at It’s only four minutes long. You can see where you are strong with your presentation skills and where you might need a little support. I am happy to have one of the people I wanted to interview from the beginning, Kimi Avary. Welcome, Kimi.

I’m thrilled to be here with you, Elizabeth. You’ve done such great work in the world and I love being able to collaborate with you.

Thank you. Kimi and I collaborate often because she is an expert in gender communication and gender miscommunication, which is a big thing in our world. The official bio is that Kimi Avary is a speaker, author, and coach who works with men and women who have challenges relating to each other both personally and professionally. She’s been coaching for years and working with men and women to help them save their business and personal relationships since 2006. As a certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming Master Practitioner, Kimi helps her clients bridge the gap between our thoughts, language and behavior to achieve greater success.

She has a Master’s in coaching, a Bachelor’s in Family Studies and Human Development, which provide her with a foundation to help men and women navigate and create the harmony that they want professionally. She is the creator of the Super Genius Teams program, which is why she’s here. She also has the voraciously curious two-day workshop, which I have gone to and learned so much. Kimi is a best-selling author, featured in The Grandmother Legacies book. Her upcoming book, Relationship Navigation, has been endorsed by John Gray of the Mars Venus book series. Kimi Avary, welcome to the show.

It is wonderful to be here with you, Elizabeth.

I am glad we have managed to make this work. We’ve been talking about this for a while. Before we dive into the gender communication part, I ask all my guests who their dream interview would be. If you were to interview somebody from history, who would it be? What would you ask them? Who should be listening?

For me, it’s Mariano Fortuny. He inspired me so much early on. I was in my early twenties when I discovered him. I had never heard of somebody immensely creative.

Explain who he is, please.

Mariano Fortuny created the dome lighting system for opera and theater in Europe. He created silk pleated gowns that were the rage in the 1920s. He did block printing on silk velvet that is still being used and hung in palaces in Spain. The man was an incredible genius. He had rooms all over his house that were set up for his projects.

A workshop in every room.

Have you ever started a project and you have to put it away before you pull it out again? He could walk into a room and do his block printing and then say, “I want to tweak my photography. I want to tweak this gown.” He’ll walk into the next room and work on that. It’s this amazing way to be inspired and use your creativity.

Men and women would be better off if they spoke different languages, because then they wouldn’t they were communicating. Click To Tweet

He was from Venice. The Fortuny Museum in Venice is one of my favorite places to go when I was working there. It wasn’t far from the Teatro La Fenice. I could go by on a lunch hour and go in and feast my eyes on those amazing fabrics.

When I was in Venice, I got to see it also. It used to be the whole palace. By the time I was there, it was down to two big rooms. My dream would be to have a big house where I could do all kinds of amazing projects.

I am a huge fan of Fortuny as well. I used to dream that if I were slim and a movie star, I would have a Fortuny gown. It was always the thing to have, especially in the ‘20s and ‘30s.

The thing about those gowns, they were made out of 5 yards of fabric. They were crush pleated. His way of doing it died with him. Nobody can do it the same way. It molds to anybody’s style. It was one of those things that looked fabulous on any woman.

I’ve invited you here to talk about Super Genius Teams. I have seen you do this presentation.

I’m passionate about this because men and women are different in that we’d be better off if we spoke different languages, because then we wouldn’t think we were communicating. There are many regular frustrations that can be solved simply by understanding each other. That’s what this workshop is all about, to help you to understand the people around you, as well as yourself so you can have better communication, more fun, more happiness, more joy, and all that good stuff.

The people who aren’t speaking the way they’re supposed to be thinking or speaking, I wish they would all speak like I do but they’re not going to. Help us.

It’s like, “Why not? How come they’re strange?”

Help us with this.

The learning objectives for what we’re going to be covering are, number one, to identify your communication style. Number two, to understand how to navigate different communication styles. That’s critical. Number three is how to use the respect factor. Before I even start, I invite you to take all your preconceived notions because believe it or not, you have them, about men and women and how they should or shouldn’t be or how they are or shouldn’t be. I want you to allow yourself to be open and try on the things that you’re going to learn and see how it fits for you. What if no one is misbehaving? That’s an amazing question, isn’t it? Everybody is working perfectly to get the results they get in their lives. They’re not trying to upset you, trying to ignore you, trying to hurt your feelings. What if nobody is misbehaving?

SWGR 544 | Gender Miscommunication

Gender Miscommunication: When communication goes awry or when we’re frustrated by something, the masculine externalizes the problem while the feminine internalizes it.


What’s beautiful about that is we all have objections that come up. One thing, when you’re speaking, is to point out the objections and handle them during the talk. You know that. What if behind every behavior is a positive intention? It may not necessarily be positive for you, but what if it’s positive for them? You could look for that instead of seeing them as wrong or misbehaving or deserving of punishment or deserving of being ignored or corrected. What if? Think about that. There is no right way to communicate. Everybody has their own communication styles, and that’s okay. In fact, it would be weird if we were all the same.

What we tend to do if communication goes awry or we’re frustrated by something, we either externalize the problem, “That person, that situation, that organization, something’s wrong with them.” We say, “Something is wrong with me.” We internalize it. The way this works with the masculine and feminine is that the masculine energy sees things as wrong with people outside of them. For instance, a work situation is not going the way you wanted, “The organization is messed up. This is going wrong.” Often, the feminine internalizes it. We take it personally. If somebody is doing something the way we don’t like it or we do something wrong, “Something’s wrong with me.” We tend to internalize it. This is not across the board. That challenge that we have with internalizing things and externalizing things can get us into big trouble.

We all make assumptions. Ask yourself, what unconscious assumptions are you making about the people around you, your partner, your manager, your co-workers, your subordinates, the government? We can make all kinds of assumptions about everything. The thing about assumptions is we’re making it from our point of view. We’re judging the situation based on what we know to be true. Here’s the deal. Everybody is doing that about you too. The people around you are making assumptions about you, based on how you show up, about how you interact. Assumptions get us into big trouble. I’m a big fan of making one assumption and that is that we don’t know what somebody else is thinking. We don’t know what their motivation is. We don’t know what’s happening to them. We want to be curious instead. Here’s the deal. Your viewpoint is yours. Reality can be complex that equally valid observations from differing perspectives can appear to be contradictory.

We have a slide where they’re pointing to some bars. It could be four of them. It could be three of them. One person says four and the other person says three, but it could be either.

Depending on where you are in a room, where you are in a situation, things will look different to you. That’s okay. It doesn’t make one person right and the other person wrong. Neither viewpoint is right or wrong. That’s important to know because then you can choose how to interact instead of defaulting into frustration or anger or upset. What impacts your communication style?

What impacts my communication style has a lot to do with who I’m with. If I’m with a group of women, that’s one thing. If I’m in a business situation, it’s different. If I’m with a group of men, it’s different. If I’m with my sisters, it’s something else entirely.

I’ve got two strong men in my life, my father and my husband. When they have disagreements, I call myself the monkey in the middle because they go through me and I’m like, “I need you two to work it out between yourselves.” Our environment and the people around us will impact how we communicate. As a foundation, I want to talk about the difference between stereotypes and archetypes. A stereotype pigeonholes somebody into one idea. An archetype is a universal concept that people understand around the world, like a mother or father. We understand that. Man, woman are varied. We can put them into a stereotype. That can be uncomfortable. People don’t like being stereotyped.

Sex and gender are not the same. This is important because our biological sex can be the same or different than the gender we feel. With that said, there are women who are in masculine mode. There are men who are in feminine mode. There are all kinds of variations, probably as many variations on the planet as there are stars in the sky. Instead of making the assumption that, “This person is in this body. They must be like this. This person dresses like that so they must be like that.” We want to understand that assumptions get us into trouble. We want to make that one assumption, what is it?

There is no right way to communicate.

We don’t know what anybody is thinking. We all suffer from stuck in your own head syndrome. That’s because, through our eyes, we’re looking at the world through our beliefs, our values, our cultural experience, our identities. We’re looking at the world through that. Because we’re looking through that lens, we’re seeing and assuming that everybody is like us. Of course, that gets us into big trouble. I call it SIYOHS for short, Stuck In Your Own Head Syndrome. We sort through our experience to make sense of it through having our perspective, which helps us navigate the world. It doesn’t help us have deeper connected relationships, sometimes. It helps destroy them if we’re not careful. The antidote to SIYOHS or Stuck In Your Own Head Syndrome is curiosity. If we add the word curiosity in front of a sentence, it changes our physiology to be open.

As in, “I’m curious, what did you mean by that?”

Challenge yourself to make only one assumption in life: that you do not know what somebody else is thinking. Click To Tweet

Instead of saying, “What do you mean by that?” our tone of voice can be a little abrupt. It can be a little challenging for the other person. Softening it by saying, “You said this. I’m curious what you mean by that.” It changes your physiology. I love the word ‘curious.’ That’s why I have a workshop called Voraciously Curious. I’m going to go into the models of being. There’s the relational, which is the traditional feminine model. You’ve got the individualist that is the traditional male model. We’re going to go into detail in this.

Imagine there’s a yin-yang symbol. On the one side, you’ve got the feminine who is the supporter, adapter, enhancer of the world. On the other side, you’ve got the masculine, which is the provider protector, producer, energy. They are two sides of the same coin. If you don’t know what a yin-yang symbol is, imagine a circle that has two semicolons together and they complement each other. Within each one, there’s a little bit of the other one. Every person has masculine and feminine within them. Every relationship dynamic has masculine and feminine within that. Those dynamics can change depending on the context. I know a couple. She’s in charge of the kitchen and he’s in charge of the garden. Each one of them is in masculine protector mode for that particular space. Every couple is different and this goes for same-sex couples or heterosexual couples and at the workplace. It does apply to every relationship experience. Individualists and relationals, together, combine to make Super Genius Teams.

A lot of the work I do is with women who are at high levels in their careers but still aren’t being listened to. Sometimes it’s because they’re too pushy, too much in masculine mode, and people don’t want to accept that or maybe they’re more in feminine mode and the people in masculine mode have a hard time dealing with it. I like to think of it as single-focused versus multi-focused. There are many times that if I’m focused on getting a project done, “Please, do not interrupt me. Let me focus.” Whereas other times, I can be in the supporter and helper mode on and off during the day.

One of the things that I noticed when I’m speaking, I go out into the world and I am single focused on my audience, what I’m doing, presenting, connecting, all of that. When I get home, I need to transition into being feminine at home instead of producing a result by being at a workshop. Whoever is in the masculine or individualistic mode, will need to transition into new spaces, whether from work to home, working on a project to being in a meeting. They’ll take the transition throughout their day wherever they need it to get to the next single focus result.

It occurs to me that the other side of that is when you’ve been in relational mode. You’re getting everything ready in the morning and you’re organizing this and then you have to go to work and focus. It’s harder nowadays that we’re working from home. You have to move from the multi-focused person who’s making breakfast to the single-focused person who needs to sit at the computer and turn out that report.

I worked in a work situation where I was expected to be single-focused. However, I had many tasks and experiences that I needed to complete that single focus was about impossible. Part of that had to do with my placement in the office. I was at the front door. People would knock on the door, interrupting any attempt that I had at focus. We can have all kinds of challenges to that single focus, whether it’s working from home or it can have to do with maybe your natural tendency to multitask. You get distracted easily. You get called by the people around you whether they’re knocking on your door, ringing you on the phone, texting you. There are interruptions happening that disturbs the single focus.

For that matter, do you have one project open on your computer or do you have multiple windows and LinkedIn pops in and Facebook pops in and back and forth? I have to work to keep myself focused when I have many windows open on the computer.

My husband, he’ll look at my computer and he’ll say, “Why don’t you close all those windows?” I’m like, “If I close those windows, I would get nothing done because I wouldn’t remember what I needed to work on.” For me, I’m saying, “Why can’t you do more than one thing at once?” Because we know this stuff, we can talk ourselves down from being upset. Have you been in situations where those types of things have frustrated you or irritated you?


You’re not on your best game.

Tell us some of the qualities and how to tell.

SWGR 544 | Gender Miscommunication

Gender Miscommunication: The antidote to Stuck In Your Own Head Syndrome is curiosity.


We’re going to dive into that. What’s your predominant style? I’m going to go through some examples. I want you, as a reader, to think, “Do I do that? Do I not do that?” Listen to it and get a sense of where you fit with each one of these.

At this point, beloved readers, I’m going to invite you to get a piece of paper.

This is important. It will make such a difference in your life. Do you emphasize connection and interdependence? Do you emphasize status? I know my place. They should know their place. Independence, do you share information easily and effortlessly? You want to connect with people. You share. Do you give information only as you need it, only as somebody else needs it, only as what you think somebody else needs? Do you do many things at once? Do you like to do one thing at a time? Do one thing and then another thing. Do you have a web thinking, this organic system that integrates ideas? One of my favorite teachers likes to say, “Connecting the dots.”

Are you somebody who connects dots? Are you sequential, linear, single-focused, and compartmentalizing things? Are you somebody who strives for perfection? Are you results-oriented? Are you relationship-oriented, meaning you relate to the people around you? Do you do your part and let others do theirs? You don’t want to step on any toes. You do the thing you’re supposed to do. Do you do whatever needs to be done? Are you into competition and winning? Do you need to feel included? Does that not matter to you at all? Inclusion is something that doesn’t even enter your radar.

Now that you’ve got the list and you’ve listened to those ideas, let’s look at where you fall in that. A relational person, this is more feminine style, emphasizes connection and interdependence. We share information. We share with the world unless we don’t trust somebody. Often, we will share things that people don’t want us to share because we like to share information. My husband divorced his first wife because she told everybody everything. He couldn’t protect the family because she was revealing everything. Are you somebody who shares information or do you conceal more?

Remember, neither is right and wrong. Do you have that web thinking? You’re connecting dots, this organic system, integrating ideas. Do you strive for perfection, relationship-oriented? You do whatever needs to be done. I had a job where I was supposed to focus on one thing and I kept being told to stay in my lane. I’m used to doing everything for my business. I’ve had to learn to delegate. Staying in my lane was not an innate trait. It was something I had to learn. Have you been told to stay in your lane? Have you been told to focus on your job and not somebody else’s? Do you need to feel included?

If you answered yes to some of those or all of them, you might be or likely are more relational in nature. I would put you in the feminine category. That may be in a particular situation and then in another situation. You’re more individualistic. Let’s go over those traits. It emphasizes status and independence. What’s interesting about this is if you’re a woman working in a man’s organization, you might find that the people around you value your independence. They think that you’ve got it under control. They’re not going to offer help necessarily right away because they think you’ve got it under control. They won’t offer it unless you ask. They’re valuing their independence and yours. They’ll give information as needed. They’re not going to tell you everything that’s going through their head. They’re not going to tell you what color a dress that somebody wore as they’re doing the business meeting. It’s irrelevant. They do one thing at a time, single focus.

Most women have a hard time getting what single focus means to a man. I used to walk through my husband’s store in the back office where they were repairing computers. I would say something like, “Hi, guys.” Not a single head would turn. I was watching for the little ears to move or something. They were all focused on doing their repair work. That’s how the masculine operates. They may hear you but they’re not going to respond because they’re focused on something. That can make a woman, somebody in relational mode, feel like that person doesn’t care, doesn’t like them, doesn’t value them, thinks they’re intruding.

That’s the, “Something is wrong with me,” assumption.

The masculine is also the individualistic. Masculine is sequential, linear thinker, compartmentalizing, one thing after another. When a man is walking around the office, between one project and the next, he looks like he’s available. Let’s have a conversation. Have you ever had the experience of him not remembering a single word you said?


There is a reason why programs integrating women into the workplace are called diversity and inclusion. It’s a term that women need. Click To Tweet

That’s because he’s transitioning into the next single focus, and then we get upset. We as women, relationals, we start to take ourselves out because we don’t feel included. We feel ignored.

Men who are walking through the office or through the house, for that matter, from one task to another, if you’re individualistic, if you’re single-focused, is it possible to remind yourself to acknowledge the multi-focused people?

Yes, it is possible. The multi-focused person probably will need to say, let’s say it’s at work, “I value working here and there’s something that I need that I don’t think you know about. When I say hi to you, it makes me feel happy and like I belong here if you say hi back to me. It would make my day if you did that. I would relax and be able to focus on what I need to get done. Is there anything you need for me to make that happen?” He might say, “Be gentle with me. I’ve got to learn how to do that.”

Think how much better the working relationship is going to be if you knew that about each other.

One of the challenges with women in the workplace, especially in the STEM fields, which is where I focus, is that they need all these things. They don’t know how to ask for them. The men in their environment don’t know what the women need. They don’t know how to help the women to feel welcome. Saying, “It would make me happy if he said hi to me when I say hi to you. It would make me feel included.” They’ll be like, “If inclusion is important to you, awesome.” There is a reason why a lot of programs integrating women into the workplace are called diversity and inclusion. It’s a word that we need as women. Men, not so much.

The relational types need that acknowledgment and inclusion. If you’re not getting it, it’s not necessarily personal. It might be that the people around you are focused on the task.

I’m going to tell you a funny little story. I like to come home at night time and have the front door light on. It took me ten years before I asked my husband to start turning on the light because it didn’t occur to me. I was irritated, but I didn’t even think about it. I teach this stuff, which is amusing. I said, “Honey, I need this to happen. Is there anything you need for me to make that happen?” He said, “Let me know when you’re coming home.” I did that. He found a better solution. He installed a motion sensor light. Anytime I walk up to the front door, if it’s dark, the light comes on. He wouldn’t have done it if he didn’t know that it was something I needed, and that happens all the time. We need things that we don’t express clearly and the people in our lives don’t know what those are and then we take ourselves out of the game.

We’re unhappy.

Done is better than perfect. One of my coaches says, “Ready, fire, aim.” Not, “Ready, aim, fire.” Why? Because once you go the first round, you can refine it. If you never get the first round done, nothing is going to happen.

What’s going to get you the results?

Done is better than perfect. Results-oriented, get that result. Do your part and let others do theirs. It’s a sign of respect. When you’re moving through your world and you need help carrying a box, the person who’s standing there who’s watching you struggle with the door thinks, “I don’t want to intrude. I want her to feel she can do what she needs to do. She’s sitting there feeling because he hasn’t opened the door for her, because she’s got her hands full. If she said, “Can you help me?” He would show up and help out. We don’t get quality information. Competition and winning, the masculine individualistic, they want their points. You have to look at sports games, the points, winning. Women often will go, “We can play to have fun.” It’s like, “What’s the point in that?”

SWGR 544 | Gender Miscommunication

Gender Miscommunication: Individualists and relationals combine to make Super Genius Teams.


I get that about the competition and the winning thing. My father and I are both people who would prefer to exercise in a way that doesn’t involve beating somebody. Whereas my mother and both my sisters, they like to win. It matters to them. It took me years to learn to be okay with my way of dance or walking rather than playing a game.

What’s great about the story you told is that it’s the women in your life who are into competition and winning. It’s not the men. That’s a great example of how it can go either way. Your gender, your sex does not equate with you necessarily being relational or individualistic.

Give us an example.

One of my clients at Shell Oil, she was working as an engineer and helping everybody. She was such a wonderful helper. In that, she never was getting her own work done. She was overextended. She wanted to date outside of work, she couldn’t even do that. She wasn’t taking care of herself. She was exhausted. With a little guidance, we focused her on becoming the referral helper, which meant somebody would come to ask her for something and she’d say, “So-and-so is the key person you should talk to about that.” She would redirect people. She could be helpful, which is so much fun if you’re a helper. You like to help other people. She could direct people to people who could help them better without taking her time away from her work, which meant she was getting more of her work done. Her evaluations came back much higher than they were before. They were much more respectful toward her and nobody was upset. Isn’t that amazing? It’s easy to start redirecting people in a way that makes you feel good and makes the people around you feel good so that you can get your own work done.

Let’s talk about speaking. Are you more relational or individualistic in your speaking style? Here are some examples of speaking styles. Do you speak in connections, connecting the dots everywhere? Do you always do a one-up status with people? Do you talk to build connections, report talk? Do you report the facts? Are you indirect or are you direct? Are you detail-oriented or do you speak in bullet points? Do you have to give the background story to everything or the background story is irrelevant to you? Do you prefer talking face-to-face with people or do you prefer side by side? Are you the kind of person who cheers somebody on? You’re the angel’s advocate. Do you like to pick things apart and be the devil’s advocate? When we look at those speaking styles, they break into the different departments, more relational versus individualistic.

The individualistic, those are the ones who report and are direct.

They love bullet points. I remember when I was a teenager, my cousin would come over to the boarding school I was at. He was at the boy’s school. I was at the girl’s school. He would come over and I’d be talking about my day and he’d say, “Your point is? What you’re telling me is?” I didn’t even know any of this, but I was speaking in the relational style. I was building rapport. I was being indirect. I was giving all the details, all the background story. Donald could care less about that. He wanted that report.

This is something that I hear a lot where men will say, “I’m frustrated with my colleague because she never gets to the point.” The women I know will say, “He never wants to hear the details.” It’s the styles and the reason why it matters is because in business, time is money. Indeed, the individualistic bullet points direct thing does get you through the information faster.

There’s an instinctual need for relational people to build that rapport. If you imagine a group of women back in the caveman days walking through a meadow, they chatter and tell stories. If somebody is upset, they want to know that. They work with the people around them. If you’re not part of that group, you could be tiger food. The details are important to us. If I’m picking berries, I want to know that I’m not going to pick the poisonous one. We think that when we’re giving information, we want to give all the details, everything. The background story matters to us, but it doesn’t necessarily matter to him.

It took me years to learn that one.

Whoever is in provider, protector, producer mode.

Wait until talk time comes. Men won't trust you if you ask for that time to talk and then dive into it. Click To Tweet

This would be a good point for me to mention. I have a client, Nancy, who had to give a report. A new C-level person had come in, a woman. The other women around her were mostly female teams, speaking to this new female chief of sales. They expected the chief of sales to want to know details and be chatty. The chief of sales kept saying, “Give me the numbers. What’s it about?” She was very much in masculine mode. My client, Nancy and I, went through and we recreated her presentation to appeal to someone who is in masculine mode or individualistic mode. Also, why she was not being friendly and chatty and whatever.

She was brand new. She was the first female chief of sales that this company ever had. They’re infamous for being male-dominated. She had to get up to speed fast. She had to put on the masculine “mode” in order to deliver the results that she was being required to deliver. When Nancy realized that and realized that it wasn’t personal, the chief of sales thinks that Nancy is the best department head she’s ever worked with because Nancy is the person who gave her what she needed, didn’t waste her time, and was there to be supportive. That is part of what I learned from Kimi. Thank you very much for this.

It’s my pleasure. Once we tweak these details, the epiphany comes out and you have this sense of peace. It’s like, “She doesn’t hate me. She’s not mad at me. He’s not upset with me.” We can relate. It’s powerful.

What about listening?

Let’s dive into listening. Are you more relationally individualistic and listening? What do you need for me? What does this have to do with me? Do you prefer face-to-face? Are you an angel’s advocate? Are you looking for, “What’s the point? What’s the problem and how can I fix it?” Do you prefer side by side? Are you a devil’s advocate? You’re trying to pick apart that problem so that person can succeed. Let’s say you’re doing that to a woman who has a brand-new baby idea and she brings it to you for your guidance and you pick it apart and then you never hear about it again. You’re wondering, “What happened? Why isn’t she talking about that?” You might find that you deflated her creative idea accidentally by trying to help her.

The opposite of what could happen with an angel’s advocate. A man talks to a woman about an idea and she says, “That’s great. I love it. She’s building you up.” He’s like, “I didn’t get any quality information in that. Where’s the juice? Where are the actionable items?” He might have preferred to have somebody help him pick it apart to find out what needs to be fine-tuned. If we know what we’re doing in those situations, we can plan for them.

The difference between the relational and the individualistic is clear to what you’re saying. Talk a little bit about the difference between face-to-face and side by side.

When they’ve studied little boys and little girls, about five years old, little boys play side by side. They talk to each other. They chatted with each other. It’s about things. It’s not about the relationship. I was on the phone with a coaching client, a man, who said, “My wife and I have the best conversations when I’m driving.” They’re side by side. Little girls sit face-to-face. We make eye contact. We love it. It makes us feel loved. It feels great. We expect the men in our life to make eye contact with us. When they don’t, we’re like, “Come on, eye contact.” I’ve never done that, of course. That’s natural.

Kimi, what is the respect factor? How can we use all this information? This is the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much that you know. I encourage everybody to learn more about Kimi Avary and her Super Genius Teams. Talk to us about the respect factor and how we can use this.

The respect factor is critical. This is when you ask for a time to talk knowing that you’re always interrupting the individualistic masculine person because they’re single-focused. If you’re talking to a relational person who has multitasking, if you ask them for a time to talk, they can focus on you if you need it. Sometimes, men will get upset because their partner is doing all these things while she’s talking to them or while she’s listening to him and he’s like, “She’s not paying attention. She’s not single-focused on me.” You can ask for that. Respect factors asking for that time to talk. Ask for time to meet or talk. You might say something like, “Excuse me for interrupting. I need your attention regarding this topic or about this particular thing. I need five minutes. I need one minute. I need a minute to unpack because I’m pissed, upset. I have a problem I need help with.” Whatever it is, you want to let them know upfront and then say, “When would be a good time to talk?”

Here’s the critical piece. This is important. If the ladies could get this, wait until talk time comes. Men won’t trust you if you ask for that time to talk and then dive into it. They may say, “Sure, I can talk right now. I’ll drop everything and focus on you.” A lot of times that doesn’t happen. The wife who texts her husband all day long, wanting to have conversations and he’s focused on something. She’s upset because he’s not paying attention to her. If she understands that she’s always interrupting the masculine energy, she can ask for that time to talk and then a single focused human being is focused on you and it’s awesome.

SWGR 544 | Gender Miscommunication

Gender Miscommunication: Your gender, your sex does not equate with you necessarily being relational or individualistic.


If you are a relational person and you’re trying to respond to every single interruption, at your office where you were at the front desk, at the front door, how could you possibly be focused on what you’re trying to do if you are indeed trying to answer everybody?

It’s impossible. We need the people in our lives to understand that we’re focused on a project. Even at home when I’m doing my videos or I’m doing work with my clients, I work from home, my husband knows that I’m in single focus mode because I’m present. I’m here. He can’t interrupt me during that time. If I’m making dinner, no big deal. It depends on the context. You wait until talk time comes.

This is important and useful. You told me some story about a woman asking for a raise.

I’ll put the respect factor into context with the story. It’s powerful. She’s been working with Shell for fifteen years and she has had to fight for every raise she got. If you think about it, she was in Africa at first and then I met her in New Orleans when she was at that office there. There’s more of a male-dominated world over there. Can you imagine, even fighting even harder to get those raises? She’s in this course with me and she wants to ask her boss for a raise. She got clear on what she wanted. She wanted to work with the younger engineers because she had that skillset. She loves empowering people. In fact, adorable. She would walk through the office and say good morning to everybody first thing and check in with people. That’s how relations operate. It’s nice. I suppose the masculine might not think that’s nice, but I did.

She got clear on what she needed, “I’ve got the skillset. I need a raise.” She set a time to talk with her manager. She waited until talk time came. She didn’t have the conversation in the hallway. She didn’t do it when he was doing something else. She waited until the meeting came. She said, “I appreciate who you are and what you do. I love the way you manage the team. I love how you pay attention to me when I ask for your time. It makes me feel happy.” She expressed some appreciation to him. She then said, “There is something that I need that I don’t think you know about. I need to be expanding my working experience. I love to cultivate young engineers. I’ve been at Shell for fifteen years and I’d like to raise at the same time. What that would provide me as a sense of feeling like I’m a part of the company, I’m contributing to Shell, it would be a win-win for us. What do you need from me to make that happen?”

Her manager was shocked. He dropped his jaw. He was floored because nobody had ever come in to ask for a raise in that way. He set all of his energy in motion to make that happen for her and she had the raise and the new position within two weeks. That’s what happens. He was floored because everybody comes in, they’re fighting, “I need the raise. I deserve it.” She made him her partner in the experience. She expressed her trust in him and that helped him to feel like, “How can I elevate this woman?” It’s a win-win.

Kimi Avary, how can we find out more? Clearly, this is the tiniest tip of the iceberg.

You can find out more by emailing me at or you can go to my website If you want to speak with me about your situation, whether it’s personally or professionally, you can go to for Super Genius Team.

Kimi Avary, thank you so much for being on the show. This is important. I’ve learned so much from Kimi. I wanted to be able to share this with you. It’s incredibly important in work, in life, anytime you have individualistic people and relational people together, which is most of the time. Thank you so much for being part of Super Genius Teams. I’ll see you on the next one.


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About Kimi Avary

SWGR 544 | Gender MiscommunicationKimi Avary, International Relationship Navigation Specialist and the Creator of Super Genius Teams. She is a speaker, author and coach. She works with men and women who suffer from conversational collisions at work that gets in the way of activating their genius. She has a Masters in Counseling, is an NLP Master practitioner and trainer, and a certified relationship coach. She’s worked with Multinational corporations such as Shell Oil, Chevron, and Tesla helping their teams collaborate more effectively. She is a Best-Selling co-author of The Grandmother Legacies. Her upcoming book Relationship Navigation is endorsed by Dr. John Gray of the Mars/Venus Series. She’s also President of the Heart2Heart Toastmasters club