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Communication Crisis: Men Vs. Women Essay

966 words - 4 pages

Why does a woman receive little response to an idea she introduces at a meeting while minutes later a man with virtually the same idea is hailed as brilliant? Why does a man who tells a joke to a group gathered at the coffee machine receive glares from his female colleagues instead of laughter? Perhaps observing the way women and men communicate is to take a close look at the way they interact in the workplace. Personally, I believe that if all of us can start looking at men and women and acknowledge the differences and working with the differences in our communication styles, we'll all work a lot better together in the future. Communication between men and women in the workplace often breaks down or has an effect that is not intended.Girls are taught that they must relate to others in order to survive, while boys are taught that they must compete with others to survive. That basic difference in our orientation to others, colors all aspects of communication, from the purpose of conversation, to one's body language, to the kind of humor people think is funny. I've always thought that women and men are very different when it comes to communication styles. I would say that my communication style agrees more with the men's style, since I usually find myself having brief, focused conversations with few details. I tend to listen silently, usually avoid eye contact and don't really like talking about something that doesn't interest me.Some people say that men are preoccupied with always being on top and they'll do everything it takes to avoid failure. Whenever I ask for directions, it's like admitting that I have to depend on someone else to succeed. Status means giving directions, not taking them. When a woman asks for directions, she is sharing with another human being and connecting.Tannen suggests that men tell more stories and jokes than women. She suggests that they are not doing this to be funny but instead to negotiate status. They often tell stories in which they are the heroes and act alone to overcome obstacles. While women use storytelling to gain support from her personal networks. They use their stories that, if they are the subject of, contain her doing something foolish to put her at the same level as the listener. In this way women are not concerned with status as with relating and gaining support.Men and women also differ when they are listening. While women tend to use eye contact and head nods to let the speaker know that she is listening. Men often do not use these techniques because they suggest agreement with the speaker. Women also a technique which Tannen calls cooperative overlap. This happens sometimes when women start to speak before the other person finishes speaking. They usually do this to agree and show support for what the speaker is saying. Women see cooperative overlap as a way to continue the conversation while men see it as a competitive ploy to gain...

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