How to STOP Mansplaining

Interview:Carol Barkes on Mansplaining.
Carol Barkes is a conflict resolution expert, mediator, national speaker, educator and bestselling author who uniquely applies neuroscience to the fields of conflict resolution and negotiations. Her expert perspective is always fresh and relevant.
Some Talking Points from Carol Barkes on 
How to Stop Mansplaining:
Mansplaining, while typically refers to when a man is talking down to a woman about topics she may actually know more about, can also be used to talk about this occurrence with any person or group who has perceived authority or power over another. Understand that much of this occurs from our brains unconscious process of labeling and filing information that is similar to other instances when this event has been previously experienced.
Consequently, if you have been mansplained to, you might get increasingly frustrated when it happens because you can have a build-up of frustrating memories that get reactivated when it occurs. Likewise, if you mansplain, it could very well be your brain’s natural way of making assumptions about past experiences and projecting them onto the current situation. The trick is to be observant of your actions so you can notice what is happening under the hood. In short, our brains like to conserve cognitive resources and will make lazy correlations.
Here are some tips if you are on the receiving end of being mansplained to:
  1. The goal is to not take offense nor to shame the other person, but use grace and kindness to gently redirect or inform the person mansplaining. 
  2. Avoid getting defensive. This can make the situation worse and put you in a less effective position to education others. 
  3. Know these comments are typically rooted in insecurities. Consequently, if you can find a gentle way to correct the comment without making it an ego blow, you will be better received. 
  4. Try saying, “You might consider checking into that some more as I have a different understanding of the matter.  You could also suggest a content expert be consulted—likely to “verify what the person said, but just in case.” 
  5. If the person is just one of those annoying co-workers, laugh. Lighten up and laugh and treat the person like your best friend just made the statement. If you can inject humor into the situation, you can better accomplish change. You will be more effective in your response and it is likely to be better received. 
  6. After the meeting, send some evidence-based information that supports the correct information to all involved. This should again be with a friendly email that just adds to the information shared at the meeting. 
  7. Try Using AND instead of BUT. As in, I hear what you are saying AND you might also want to consider XYZ. 
  8. Choose not to be offended. You see the world as you are, not as it is.  If you are looking to be offended, you will find opportunities easily. If you are looking to connect with people and create opportunities for growth, mansplaining will simply become a tool to help people learn to manage their biases because you will approach as a learning opportunity for them. 
  9. Let it go.Not every mansplained comment needs to be addressed. If you noticed a statement is incorrect, chances are so has someone else. Let the natural course of things occur by taking the high road.

Available for Interviews:Carol Barkes

Carol Barkes, CPM, is a trend-setting mediator, business executive and educator specializing in the use of neuroscience to improve business performance, interpersonal communications, negotiation and conflict resolution processes for optimally successful results. She is also a speaker, educator, and author of the bestselling book: Success Breakthroughs.

Jo Allison
PR Managing Editor
Success In Media, Inc.

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