Gender in business – Men and women communicating at work
Millions of Indian women are entering the workplace, making it important for both men & women to gain a better understanding of their unique styles of communication, creating a win-win for all, says Shital Kakkar Mehra, Leadership Executive Presence Coach, Business Etiquette Speaker & Best-selling Author.
Connie Glaser, American gender diversity expert says “The problem between men and women in the workplace is not the fact that they play a by a different set of rules, the problem is that they don’t know the rules”. In her book “Swimming with the Dolphins”, she highlights how women in the workplace should focus on their own gender-specific strengths and talents: intuition, emotions and social graces.
Today, millions of Indian women are entering the workplace, making it important for both men & women to gain a better understanding of their unique styles of communication, creating a win-win for all. Research shows that differences in communication styles lead to conflict, create communication barriers between colleagues and hamper productivity, creating workplaces ridden with incivility and finally reduced profits.
How men communicate:
1. Men like to talk about facts and logical explanations; they like topics like sports, politics and business scenario. Also, they use communication as a tool to gather information and to resolve problems.
2. Men use powerful body language signals to create impact but fewer gestures.
3. Men tend to be more direct in their communication style and use precise words, which at times may sound rude/ blunt.
4. Men are at more at ease with assertive communication and are less fearful of rejection. Also, they use less of emotion and appear more confident of their opinion at a debate/ discussion.
5. Men are more comfortable with conflict/ difficult conversations and can use it to gain status or talk about their achievements.
How women communicate:
1. Women like to focus more on the feelings and are comfortable speaking about their emotions and relationships
2. Women like to stand in close proximity to each other when they are at ease in a group. Also, they reduce the personal space once they reach their comfort zone in a group.
3. Women use a lot more gestures and use nonverbal communication to pick up other’s body language signals quickly.
4. Women use communication as a tool to gain a better understanding of the situation. Also, they like to ask a lot more questions using words associated with feelings.
5. Women are less at ease with conflict / difficult conversations and like to focus more on relationship-building to connect better.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house