Communication differences between men and women
Historical events set the stage to analyze gender differences between women and men. The major differences include the way males and females communicate leading to perceptions that they are a unique and different set of people. On the other hand, scientist indicates that human being species developed language thousands of years ago. Men and women, therefore, communicate differently as their brains developed differently over the years of language development. The men and women speak, listen, interact and offer solutions to issues in different ways. What are the actual differences between the genders and how can people learn to improve their relationship? Understanding communication between people assists people in various situations including workplaces, family life, and friendship. The paper seeks to identify communication differences between men and women in the society.
The men and women listening skills vary in different ways. The men natural aptitude is directed towards solving problems and would be attentive when taking in information. the men listen, think and decide on how to address the problems at hand. Consequently, men will always make quick deliberations and comes up with a decision and work forward because they are result oriented. By contrast, the women during absorption of information make points and notes. The collection of notes becomes the point of reference in forming several solutions to a problem. It is also important to note that women intercept less compared to the men (Baslow & Rubenfield, 2003). Research hypothesize that politeness is a result of women lower status perception. The societal norms play an essential role in enforcing the gender status hierarchy. The women take some time before settling on appropriate next courses of actions. As a result of time consumption, while thinking, the women are therefore slower compared to men in decision making. Where the men have interests in finding solutions, the women have interests in the path followed towards solution finding.
Scientifically, the imaging technology indicates differences in the brains of women and men. The mens’ listening and talking uses the left hemisphere of the brain only. Conversely, the research shows that when women speak, they utilize the right and left brain hemisphere. The scientific evidence explains why women have a complex and capacity to deal with language. The teacher in schools concurs with this argument that from an early age girls have stronger language skills compared to the boys. Moreover, the differences between genders start early as boys tend to work as a group. The girls create the relationship with others through talking. According to Tannen (2013), talking becomes the essence of intimacy. Language becomes a rapport where girls establish and negotiate relationships. It is not surprising that children learn and ingrain stereotype by the age of four years old. The children clearly understand the gender attributes and strive to abide by these rules (Eddleston, Veiga, & Powell, 2003).
The women have detailed information during conversations and include their emotions, memories or encourage other to follow suit. Women have layers and information depth to a topic compared to men. Communication is important in exploring and organizing thoughts in women. There is no consideration as to what that is excess or necessary until the words spill out. The women conversation is not necessarily for solution finding but rather looking for attention and someone to understand their inner feelings (Tannen, 2013). A conversation itself is a productive end, and if sufficiently heard, the woman need not take any further action towards resolving issues or improving the situation. According to Schneider (2005), being heard assuages women’s anxieties and cools down the pangs of negative feelings. Women have their soul healed healing after talking to someone who loves and understand their emotions. The love equips women with necessary emotional tools to handle outside world’s trials and tribulations.
The man prioritizes efficiency and productivity in daily activities and conversation is not an exception. Men conversations are simple, clear and easily understood compared to women. Also, conversations among the men focus on a particular issue without variations and detail (Schneider, 2005). The males sharing stories sort information in their heads and deliver the features deemed crucial to the point of the story. Therefore, the conversations are short and precise displaying intellectual capabilities.
The purpose of communication or dialogue creates the biggest difference between women and men. The women use the communication as a tool to create relationships and enhance connections. Apparently, their communication fosters and creates intimate bonds with others while talking about issues and challenges they face as a community. The men use the conversations to achieve tangible results and exert dominance (Riggio, 2008). Overall, women tend to express themselves more, use polite conversations. Conversely, the men are assertive and hungry for power (Basow & Rubenfield, 2003). Additionally, males and females differ in how they relate to other people in the society. The women are good in socializing in their integrations while the men value independence. Theories suggest that gender difference in styles of communication put women at a disadvantage position while interacting with others. Women communicated tentatively compared to men who speak assertively and create the impression that men are confident and good leaders. The argument suggests that women are subordinates of men or second-class to men.
The women and men differ in communication and the way they try to influence one another. Influence is the capability of a leader to direct and motivate followers to change their beliefs, behavior, and attitudes (Yukl & Chavez, 2002). Influential tactics are standard measures used to determine the effectiveness of a leader. Influential tactics and effectiveness differ from one individual to another and across gender. Influential tactics include pressure, coalition tactics, exchange, personal appeal, legitimating tactics, persuasion, ingratiation and inspirational appeal. The male in leadership tends to use assertiveness, personal appeal, and inspirational appeals. The female leaders consult, inspire and use ingratiation with other female employs. Also, the female leader uses exchange tactics with the female employees (Yukl & Chavez, 2002). The female managers create and foster closer bonds with female employees due to similar styles of communication. Consequently, the differing styles of communication create a poor bonding with the male employees.
At the workplace, the men use soft tactics and rely on interpersonal relationships and emotions in influencing the other male employees. However, they rely on intimidation tactics to influence colleagues of the opposite sex. On the other hand, female managers use soft tactics with both male and female employees indicating women’s intimate style of communication. The psychological gender differences led to the creation of stereotype that dictates the expectations from women and men in organizations. Although the gender communication style may differ, there may be quite minor difference in given situations (Yukl & Chavez, 2002). Different situations require leaders to be aggressive, nurturing, task-focused or sentimental. Women and men may offer quick solutions without studying the situation in its entirety.
Women and men have different ways to cope with stressful situations. The men tend to withdraw from conversations while the women reach out and speak of the stress and its causes (Cole, 2004). According to Cole, the men hide in caves while the women talk while coping with stress. During stressful events, the men need admiration, appreciation and sense of belonging. The women need to feel respected, devoted and cherished (Cole, 2004). In stressful situations, both men and women communicate differently while deliberating on resolving the crisis. They both make frequent mistakes in conflict resolutions. The men follow depends on their natural ability to offer solutions while women seek understanding and empathy thus seek advice. The natural tendencies create great rift when men communicate with opposite sex.
The women and men have different communication approaches, and it is like come from different planets. The two genders have different needs, values, and goals in their communication style. Women use the language to create and maintain relationships and connections. Women use formal, tentative and expressive language especially in conflict situations (Bradac & Gibson 2001). Men are likely to offer solutions and avoid further and unnecessary interpersonal problems. The men are assertive, and their conversation offers tangible outcomes that include dominance and power. Understanding the differences is essential to maintaining good relationships and making necessary adjustments where necessary.
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Cole, N. D. (May 01, 2004). Gender Differences in Perceived Disciplinary Fairness. Gender, Work & Organization, 11, 3, 254-279.
Eddleston, K., Veiga, J.F. and Powell, G. (2006). “Expanding the Traditional View of Managerial Career Satisfiers: Beyond Sex Differences,” Journal of Applied Psychology, 91, 2, 437-44
Gray, J. (1992). Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus: a Practical Guide for Improving Communication and Getting What You Want in a Relationship. HarperCollins, New York
Riggio, R. E. (2008). Leadership development: The current state and future expectations. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 60, 383–392.
Schneider, D., (2005). The Psychology of Stereotyping, New York: Guilford Press.
Tannen, D. (2013). You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation. Ballantine Books, New York
Yukl, G., & Chavez, C. (2002). Influence tactics and leader effectiveness. In L. Neider, & C. Schriesheim (Eds.), Leadership: Research in management. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing, 2, 139-165