The Truth About Cats and Dogs

So I was binge watching Fauda with my friends, like you do. If you have not heard about this show it is a very intense story of an Israeli military unit that gathers intelligence by impersonating Arab members of a town in Ramallah. As expected there are some intense torture scenes. So, why would I bring this up?

Well, I believe it gives us a great example of the difference between the male approach and the female approach to tough missions.

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The scene that caught my attention is in episode seven, deep into a subplot that sees Doron (the main character) and his team going rogue and kidnapping a Palestinian sheikh to save one of their own soldiers. Nurit, the unit’s only female member, starts to question if all of extreme actions they are taking are worth it. With a face slowing streaming with tears, she turns to Avichai, (an older team member) for advice.

Nurit: I don’t know how you guys do it. How?

Avichai: Did you ever see a fight dog get an order to attack? Did you, Nurit?

Nurit: Yes … he gets the command and immediately attacks.

Avichai: Exactly. He does it immediately. Nothing else matters to him. He pounces with the aim to kill. He doesn’t care if his head gets chopped off doing it. We, Nurit, are just like those attack dogs. That’s how we were trained… We were trained not to think. You know why? Because if I stop to think about [my son] for just a split second, I’ll become petrified with fear. I won’t be able to move.

Nurit: I don’t want that to happen to me. It’s like being dead.

Avichai: Then you don’t belong here. You’re putting us at risk.

Men are single focused – meaning when there is a target or mission in front of them, the only thing in focus is the target, nothing else matters. Their own personal life, family, emotions, etc., are placed aside until the task is complete. Once the job is done, then there is time to look at the damage and begin to plan the next mission.

Women do not separate, well, anything really. So we tend to balance the mission at hand while taking care of our families, co-workers, clients, and making sure every part of the big picture is tended to. If someone’s needs aren’t met they could become a potential obstacle to completing the mission. 

Fauda is an extreme example of this dichotomy. In modern day corporations, projects are often attacked full force without stopping to think that people might get burned out as a result. They do not always take the time to plan and keep an ongoing eye out for potential market shifts or the temperament of the client until it’s too late.

A woman is naturally concerned about every little detail, because she feels they are crucial to moving the project forward, but a man might find this perfectionism strange and unnecessary. 

At the same time, a woman might be confused by a man’s bullheadedness in forging straight ahead without stopping to take all of the available information into account.

There is no right or wrong approach. It takes a delicate balance to achieve optimal results. Leaders must choose when to use the feminine approach to avoid unnecessary damage and nurture the team, and when it is best to use the masculine approach and charge ahead so as not to miss a crucial opportunity. 

Have you experienced any confusion due to your co-workers’ approach to a project? Share your stories below. 

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