Guest article by Ing. Enrico Banchi, COO of Scuola di Palo Alto in Milan, Italy
It is a beautiful Saturday, spring is coming up fast and the sun is out and it's warm for the first time in weeks. Families are ready to go out and gather with their friends and kids to enjoy a good time together at some leisure venue.
When they get to the chosen venue, an entertainment center or the just-opened new mall, mothers will talk with mothers, boys will play with boys and dads will enjoy talking simple stuff over a beer or watching a game on some sports bar's TV screens.
So it looks like they all enjoy the day, but they do it... DIFFERENTLY!
And that's the reason why owners of entertainment centers all around the world are starting to get interested in HOW female and male brains enjoy being together and how they react differently to experiences.
The race is on. Neuroscience is advancing fast, allowing us to better understand our king organ, our brain. This knowledge is fundamental to enhance our lives, our relationships and our businesses.
Back to our friends on a Saturday trip with their families. Statistically speaking, mothers will have a female brain and the males a male brain.
The major differences within the structures of the two brains are concentrated in two regions of our brains. The corpus callosum of the female brains is statistically more densely populated with almost 30% more connections between the two hemispheres. The immediate result of this overpopulation of connections is what I call a Round Brain, a brain much more sensitive to every single stimulus that reaches their senses.
The famous Sixth Sense women enjoy is actually the capability of putting together and making sense of many sensory inputs almost all at the same time, adding to each of them an “emotional touch.”
Translation for males: they will notice every single detail in the service being provided, adding to it their own emotional interpretation, (according to the hormones they are producing at that moment).
The hostess is trying to find the right table for your party? If she addresses a male brain, the more precise she is in terms of the waiting time the better. For a female brain, the “how” she tells the party (inflection of the voice, volume and any other incoherent movement) how long they will have to wait and the attention she has to the kids, the better she will be perceived.
And that's only the beginning.
The second part of the brain structure that differs statistically is one inside the limbic system, the controlling system of the memory, the hippocampus.
All entertainment facility managers hope their customer will return. For this to happen, the experience must be, “emotionally perfect” for the female brain. This is because the female hippocampus can retrieve the former visit to the place with a solid emotional memory, capable of re-living the experience the moment they enter the facility for the second time.
And what about the male brain? Aren't they equally important?
Yes they are. But the reduced connectivity of the male brains makes things a little easier. We (yes I have a male brain) tend to relax during our days off and our attention span is drastically reduced. We are trying to save our testosterone levels for “more important stuff” and are statistically easier to please than our beloved female companions.
A little description on the influence testosterone has on a male brain. The 24 hour cycle nature gave to our testosterone, topping it at 8am and depleting it to its lowest at 8pm give men a very good reason to try to save our king hormone in any possible way. We, men, make use of this hormone for pretty much all the stuff we have to DO during the day. We use our testosterone levels to communicate important things to others, to make and take difficult decisions and to develop relationships from scratch.
A day out with our family should and will be an easy day on our testosterone circuits. When men are in this state, they tend to simplify things at their lowest level, especially when the problems are of the “emotional” type. That's why many of us men don't want to argue for little inconveniences, the waiter wasn't very kind, the line was a little too long, some products are out of stock, these kind of things are nothing compared to their perception in a women's brain.
Urban Neuroscience is the name I have given of a special training I offer, which applies basic to everyday business, created with the intention of helping business owners to improve their relationships with their staff and customers. It is based on the latest discoveries on the effects of hormones on behaviors and decision-making. (also see article in this issue: Short introduction to Urban Neuroscience)
One-minute video on Urban Neuroscience
1.5-minute video on physiology of stress
If staff is properly trained in gender-related problem solving and customer service, repeat visits and positive feedback will greatly increase.
Playing, listening, dancing, drinking and eating should all be dopamine producers and cortisol minimizers. These are two of the hormones and neurotransmitters responsible for having a good time out or having a nightmare experience in some facility.
Dopamine is the hormone of anticipation and pleasure. Every time we go to a facility, restaurant or movie theater our limbic (emotional brain) makes up an expectation of the experience to come. As we can easily imagine the expected experience is one of fun, relaxation and good times. The thinking of the experience instructs the brain to produce this addictive hormone and in the meantime produces the pleasure of the anticipation. If our expectations are not met, another part of our brain, The anterior cingulate instructs our stress control tower to produce cortisol and transform the magic moment (as Disney used to call it) into a tragic moment. Actually the modern era of customer service should closely follow the discoveries of neuroscience and the effect of hormones to our behaviors.
We need to know how to boost or reduce their production to assure we have the best quality leisure experiences.
Our table is ready, just in time, as the hostess said, the women are happily talking in the waiting area, kids are playing and we, the males, are happy because at the end: Happy Wife, Happy Life.
© 2018 Enrico Banchi
Enrico Banchi is an expert on the functioning of the brain, the neuroscience differences between the female and male brains and how it affects relationships in business and private life. He is an executive coach, a strategic consultant and a keynote speaker using his expertise in neuroscience to teach people how to improve their relationships in their professional and private lives and how to improve customer experiences. Enrico can be found on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and at paloaltoscuola.it and www.enricobanchi.com. You can contact Enrico at email@example.com.