Sex disparities exist between men and women. The main distinctions are how men and women interact, which leads to the belief that they are distinct and vary among people. According to the authors, humans produced vocabulary thousands of years ago. As a result, men and women interact differently because their minds evolved differently over the years of language production. Men and women communicate, listen, connect, and propose answers to problems in various ways. What are the real gender disparities, and how can people learn to strengthen their relationships? 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 workplace.
Listening between Men and Women
People at the workplace need to develop listening and speaking skills as important tools of communication. Communication helps employees and manager to work in collaboration. However, the listening and speaking skills vary between male and female employees. The male natural aptitude is directed towards solving problems and being attentive when taking in information. The men listen, think and decide how to address the problems at the work station. Consequently, men will always make quick deliberations, come up with decisions and work forward because they are result oriented. In contrast, the women make points and notes during the absorption of information. The collection of notes becomes the point of reference in forming several solutions to a problem. It is also important to note that women listen carefully without interruptions compared to the men (Baslow & Rubenfield, 2003). Research hypothesizes that politeness is a result of the lower status perception of women. The societal norms play an essential role in enforcing the gender status hierarchy. Women usually take some time before elaborating the next appropriate course of actions. As a result of time consumption, the women are therefore slower while thinking and in decision-making compared to men. Men are interested in finding the quickest solution versus women who are more methodological in their search for a solution.
Conversations between Men and Women
Scientifically, the imaging technology indicates differences in the brains of women and men. The men use the left hemisphere of the brain only while listening and talking. Conversely, the research shows that when women speak, they utilize both the right and left brain hemispheres. The scientific evidence explains why women compared to men, more complex language processing skills. Teachers in schools concur with this argument, saying that from the early age girls have stronger language skills compared to the boys. According to Tannen (2013), for the girls talking becomes the essence of creating relationships and intimacy. Language becomes a rapport when girls establish and negotiate relationships. It is not surprising that children learn and ingrain stereotypes until the age of four years old. The children clearly understand the gender attributes and try to follow the stereotype rules (Eddleston, Veiga & Powell, 2003).
Women hold detailed information during conversations, employ their emotions, memories or encourage others to follow suit. Women possess layers of information depth in the topic compared to men. For women, communication is important in exploring and organizing thoughts. There is no consideration whether it is excessive or necessary until the words spill out. The female conversation is not necessarily aimed at the solution finding, but rather at looking for attention and someone to understand their inner feelings (Tannen, 2013). A conversation itself is a productive end, and if sufficiently heard, the women don’t need to take any further actions 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 after talking to someone who loves and understand their emotions. Love equips women with necessary emotional tools to handle the world’s trials and tribulations.
The men prioritize efficiency and productivity in daily activities, and conversation is not an exception. Male conversations are simple, clear and easily understood compared to women. Also, conversations among men focus on a particular issue without variations and details (Schneider, 2005). While sharing stories, males 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 and dialogue creates the biggest difference between women and men. 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. Men use conversation to achieve tangible results and exert dominance (Riggio, 2008). Overall, women tend to express themselves more and use polite conversations. Conversely, men tend to be assertive and eager for power (Basow & Rubenfield, 2003). Additionally, males and females relate to other people in the society in different ways. Women are good in socializing and integrations, while men value independence. Theories suggest that gender difference in styles of communication causes some disadvantages for women in the contact with others. Women communicate tentatively, while men speak assertively and create the impression of being confident and good leaders. The Riggio (2008), argument suggests that women are subordinate or second-class to men.
Leadership and Influence Tactics
Women and men differ in communication and the way they try to affect the other gender at the workplace. Influence may be explained as the capability of a leading person to direct and motivate followers as well as to amend their beliefs, demeanor 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 tends to use assertiveness, personal and inspirational appeals for leadership. The female leaders consult, inspire and use ingratiation with other female employees. Also, the female leader uses exchange tactics with the female employees (Yukl & Chavez, 2002). The female managers build and encourage closer understanding 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, men use soft tactics and rely on interpersonal relationships and emotions in influencing other male employees. However, they resort to intimidation tactics to affects the colleagues of the opposite gender. Contrarily, female managers use soft tactics for both men and women, which indicate women’s intimate style of communication. The psychological gender differences have 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 some minor differences 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.
Dealing With Stress and Conflict Resolution
Women and men use different ways to cope with stressful situations. Males tend to withdraw from conversations, while women reach out and speak about the stress and its causes (Cole, 2004). According to Cole, men hide in caves, while women talk for coping with stress. During stressful events, men need admiration, appreciation and sense of belonging. Women need to feel respected, devoted and cherished (Cole, 2004). In stressful situations, both men and women communicate differently while resolving the crisis. They both make frequent mistakes in conflict resolutions. The male behavior depends on their initial ability to elaborate solutions, while females require understanding, empathy and advice. The natural tendencies create great rift when men communicate with opposite sex.
Women and men have different communication approaches, which sometimes looks like they 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 unnecessary interpersonal problems. Men are assertive, and their conversation offers tangible outcomes, including dominance and power. Understanding the differences is essential to maintain good relationships and make necessary adjustments where necessary.
Basow, S. A., &Rubenfeld, K. (2003).Troubles talk: Effects of gender and gender typing.Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 48, 183-187.
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
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