Men and women are different in many ways. They see the world through completely different perspectives. The key to understanding their differences is in the way that men and women communicate.
There is no “best” communication style for all workplace interactions. Women have the edge in collaborative environments (where listening skills, inclusive body language, and empathy are more highly valued), and men are seen to “take charge” more readily.
Here are six important communication differences that you should be aware of:
Not Giving Feedback
Women: Women think men don’t value their contributions, and are overly critical. They may even feel that men withhold positive feedback in order to avoid giving women promotions or good projects.
Men: Because men don’t solicit feedback, good or bad, they also don’t give feedback in return. Males don’t want to be criticized, feel that compliments make someone less effective, and think women who seek feedback are “needy” and “high maintenance.”
Women: Women have brains which are more geared to multitask. They can are hard-working and handle things under pressure.
Men: They like focusing on one thing at a time. Their major focus is power, rank and status.
Women: Tend to gather information by asking questions. Men need to understand this information- gathering process and listen to the questions. Women must be sure men have adequate information, because if they don’t understand, they may not ask for help.
Men: They view question-asking as a sign of weakness. They believe that communication should have a clear purpose. Behind every conversation is a problem that needs solving or a point that needs to be made.
Women: They try to maintain an appearance of equality amongst everyone. They are concerned with the effect of the exchange on the other person, and want to make sure everyone feels like a worthy contributor.
Men: Men tend to see this as a sign that women lack confidence and competence as leaders. They feel it makes women look weak.
Women: Women use these as a way of connecting with others. They usually give compliments to their colleagues like “nice haircut, where did you get it from.” Or “Oh I like your top!”
Men: are more likely to offer evaluations and advice.
Women: Women prefer discussion, their goal being agreement. Girls establish trust with one another by sharing secrets, revealing emotions one-on-one and by discussing opinions and problems. It’s easy for them to get through problems.
Men: They are more direct and want speedy results!
When it comes to communicating between genders in the workplace, the major rule is this: Don’t judge. Instead, try to look carefully at your coworker’s behavior, and try to gain insight on how this behavior serves or does not serve his or her objectives.
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