Amongst your students and the staff you work with reflect on who is “Hunting” and who is a “Gathering.” This awareness will give you a better understanding of how to differentiate instruction, how to teach certain students, see where a parent is coming from, and have empathy for others. This awareness will create better relationships!
Purpose of hunting and gathering
o For Both is Survival. That means there is a lot of intensity and energy around it.
o Hunting is the masculine. While both men and women can both do this, it’s fueled by testosterone. On average, men have 16x more testosterone than women. Without the same amount of “jet fuel”, women can become exhausted with hunting.
o Gathering is the feminine. Because it’s Survival driven, don’t think of the softer, gentler spiritual aspects of femininity here.
o Hunter is Single Focused. He or she is paying attention to one thing at a time. It could be a complex thing but it’s one ultimate result, like “Win the Game, Pass the Test, Score the Highest on This Exam, Increase API.”
o Gatherer has NO focus. Diffuse Awareness – meaning it pours out in every direction. Men will often try to translate this into “multi-focus” because “focus” is what they understand. It’s not. Consciousness is intentionally dispersed to be available for all stimuli.
o One way to help men understand this: – imagine a women or girl’s attention being pulled by every pencil on the floor, every crooked chair or desk, piles of disorganized papers, things that are messy or dirty, or someone who is upset of frustrated.
o Hunter is committed. This is both a way of being and thinking.
o Gatherer is keeping options opened; again a way of being and thinking.
o Hunter is for a specific result or Mission.
o Gatherer is for anything edible, useful or beautiful
o Hunter has Track Vision. Perfect for throwing a spear or catching a baseball.
• In general, the faster and object is moving, the greater the difference between a man and a woman’s ability to track it.
• Think of following a hockey puck or the way men move through traffic.
o Gatherer has Scan Vision. Perfect for quickly assessing the possibilities on the playground.
• Scan Vision allows Gatherers to find things more easily. Unconsciously, many men know this and assume we know where things are. They ask, “Where are my keys?” not “Do you know where my keys are?”
o Hunter Screens Out Everything Irrelevant to the result they are committed to producing at that moment. This includes vision and hearing.
o Gatherer Includes Everything. They notice the physical, emotional and mental states of everything in the school environment.
o Hunter becomes Frustrated when they don’t have what they need to produce the result. The gatherer will try to soothe them and it’s very irritating.
o Gatherer gets Overwhelmed by all the input and all the things there are to do. A Hunter will usually advise the Gatherer to “prioritize” or “do one thing at a time” – both good advice for someone who focuses!
o Hunter experiences support when others Get behind the plan, Provide Resources and Maintain/Respect Tools. They also experience support when they are Appreciated for the results they produce. A good question to ask a Hunter: “How can I support your plan?”
o Gatherer experiences support when others DO something (their way, otherwise it makes more work), provide Pleasant Company, or provide Space (this is a better term than “leave alone” which may be misinterpreted). A good question to ask a Gatherer: “How can I provide space for you to do what you have to do?”
o Hunter must have a positive return on everything they invested in the result
• This includes the time, money, resources, connections, mental or emotional energy
o Gatherer thinks most things are worth it because then they are Done and therefore Quiet! What we get from things being done is peace.
A special thank you to Alison Armstrong creator of Celebrating Men and Satisfying Women, for sharing this with me.