Male/Female Communication Styles


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August 19, 2011

 

Interview with Michael Gurian, author of the book Leadership and the Sexes: Using Gender Science to Create Success in Business (J-B US non-Franchise Leadership)

 

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Mike Carruthers:
You communicate differently than members of the opposite sex. That just is. However, in the workplace it can become a problem if you're not aware of some of these differences.

 

Michael Gurian:
A big difference between men and women is that men tend to aggressively self-promote more than women do and it helps them climb ladders. And a lot of this is based in brain chemistry differences.
 


Michael Gurian


Michael Gurian, author of the book Leadership and the Sexes…

 

Men will not tend as much to say, "What do you think of that?" They'll tend to cut to the chase and say what they think and push it forward. Women will tend to try to make the relational system work so they'll say, "Well, I think this. But what do you think of that?" - and it doesn't lead to as much self-promotion.

 

When women understand this they can begin to promote their efforts and accomplishments more to compete with men. Women also tend to communicate more with facial expressions than men do.

 

So one of the things they do is they'll also nod more. And they'll have sort of filler words like "yes" and they're nodding. And it doesn't necessarily mean that they agree, they're basically just saying, "OK, I'm listening." Women also tend to hold more eye contact in their conversations. This is true all over the world - it's a fascinating difference and it can often make men uncomfortable.

 

When women listen to others they tend to smile more.

 

Men tend to squint and frown more. Really what they're doing is thinking a lot of the time, but in that particular case it can seem aggressive to a woman.
 

  
 

 

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