Communication Differences between the Sexes: How to Navigate the Workplace

For years, women have been fighting for equality in the workplace.  While we have defiantly made advances, there is still a lot of work to be done.

Some of the most memorable issues of women’s equality have resulted in big advantages for the fairer sex.  However, there are some improvements that can be made with much less drama.  Perhaps some of the struggles over equality are simply a result of communication differences.

There is a great divide when it comes to communication tactics of men and women.  Both sexes fail to understand their opponent.  Here are some tips for reducing friction, tension and gender communication struggles.

Completing a Task

While it is safe to say that no one fits perfectly into a mold, there are certain similarities between all males and females.

In general, women ask a lot of questions before they start working on a given task.  They want to fully understand the project and what is expected of them.

Men, on the other hand, dive right in.  They start working right away and will ask questions (if they absolutely need to) later.  Anyone who has watched a man drive lost around the same neighborhood knows they see questions as a sign of weakness and uncertainty.

Conflict Management

Women like to form relationships.  When there is a problem, they impose authority within the framework of those relationships. This can make for memorable conversation!

Men would rather take control by attacking the leadership.  In general, men need to learn to be more collaborative and women need to be more aggressive.

Settling Disputes

Women analyze every situation and have a full understanding of all the details.  Therefore, when there is a dispute, they want to know all the particulars.

Alternately, men are more worried about the big picture.  They want to get to the main idea quickly with as little detail as possible.

Expressing Feelings

It is a well formed stereotype that women are very comfortable expressing their emotions and feelings.  Likewise, they expect men to operate the same way.

However, it has equally been established that men famously steer clear of such interactions.  Males would much rather focus on facts and leave feelings by the way side.

If you’ve been struggling for equality in the workplace, maybe you need to take a look at the communication style you’ve been implementing with your male coworkers.  Is there a way to bridge the communication gap?  By making a conscious effort to understand where your coworker is coming from, you can make great strides in workplace equality.