Men, Women and Personal Development

I recently had my first open training where all the participants were women. This made me realize that in general, my clients who are not sent and paid for by the companies they work for are at least 2/3 women.

My experience here doesn’t seem to be an exception. Other coaches and trainers tell me they have similar experiences. As a general rule, it seems that women invest visibly more in their personal development than men do: training, coaching, books and practice.

Now, I can’t help and wonder: why is this? Do women need more personal development than men? Do men have better people skills, career skills, attitudes which justify them not seeking as much self-growth?

As you probably guessed it, the answer is definitely ‘not’. Men need as much personal development as women do. They just don’t invest in it as much. Talking with people about their views on skills and success, I believe there are a couple causes:

  • Men are less willing to see their flaws and their potential for improvement;
  • Men are less willing to accept that someone else could be competent enough to help them grow;
  • Men are less willing to actually act for their personal development;
  • Men are more confident in their ability to learn on their own.

By the way: I was guilty of all of these at one point or another. The last one might be good or bad, depending on the context and the person. But the first three are definitely trouble. Simply said, they make men in general sabotage their personal development and improve their soft skills at a lower rate than women.

On top of this add the fact that trough our nature, we men are probably one step behind women in our fitness for this modern world we life in. Women are naturally more empathic, intuitive, good at reading body language, and have a wide range of better people skills; men are naturally more aggressive and good at lifting heavy stuff. Great!

Project this phenomena 25 years into the future, and if things evolve in the same way, we’re gonna be living in a world where the average woman is running circles around the average man. She is smarter, more confident, more effective, more successful and has far better people skills than her male counterpart.

The average man will be spinning his head and not understanding what the hell is going on with his life and his career, while a woman will be overtly or subtly running the show. Now that I think about it, a lot of this I already see happening around me. Maybe I just need to meet better men and worse women. Hmm…

Anyway, the good news is that in this hypothetical future, the few men who will be able to match women will be a very interesting and appreciated thing to have around. So, as long as you’re one of them, the future’s very bright.


  1. I wonder if it’s the word choices … I think how you word things or what you emphasize can have a dramatic impact on who it really speaks to.

    Maybe playing around with your USP or benefits might change your attendance.

    I think this is especially important when it comes to personal development since it’s a spectrum … from self-help to effectiveness or growth or excellence.
    .-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..The 8 Steps to Wealth =-.

  2. I was thinking about this lately. I think the words I use to communicate my messages do have a considerable impact on who uses my services. I also think there is a bigger preference for personal development in women than in men, and this is also part of the explanation.

  3. Hi Eduard,
    Just wanted to let you know, the average women is already running circles around the average man, we just haven’t told you yet 😉
    Interesting post, I’m going to send it to my husband!

  4. I was afraid of that 🙂

  5. LOL @ Topi

    That’s an interesting observation Eduard as whenever I’ve been to the big PD seminars there’s always been a relatively equal balance of say 55/45% of men/women respectively. (Not that I’ve done an exact count or anything!) LOL

    Saything that thought I’d like to end this comment on a thoroughly positive note by saying…’boys are better than girls!’ 😛
    .-= Amit Sodha – The Power Of Choice´s last blog ..500th Post Celebration – A Big Free Unique iPod Giveaway =-.

  6. Good for you Amit,

    I think big personal development seminars have a way of attracting a more balanced crowd, in terms of gender. Still, around me, I see more women into personal development than men.

  7. Hi Eduard,

    Personal Development is the basic building blocks that form all the success or failures that we have in life. Personal development skills become the foundation from which all our achievements in life flow from and it has a direct relationship with winning and life success.

    Well, oone key distinction between personal development skills and other skills that you might possess is that personal development skills are used 24 hours each day, whereas you may only be using your programming skills eight hours a day in the capacity of your employment. ^^
    .-= NLP Presupposition Explained´s last blog ..Hypnosis and Magic =-.

  8. I think that a lot of men are taught from an early age (both by society and their parents/guaridans/adult role models that if life is difficult they need to “tough it out.” Part of “toughing it out” means putting on an image that they are strong, even if inside they feel anything but confident.

    Women don’t get this message as much, so they don’t feel bad about asking for help (or directions!) and this in turn lends to more personal development. Men might just be more “image oriented” which is the antithesis of bettering oneself!
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Eating Out is a Great Way to Save Money =-.

    • That’s a nice explanation Mike. I know from my experience that man are less willing to talk about their troubles or fears than women are. So it makes sense that men are also less willing to invest in their personal development.

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