Everyone knows that men and women communicate differently. We see it happening in business every day. If we all understood what the other gender required, wouldn’t that avoid unnecessary understanding?
Here is a simple aide-mémoire of our differences:
- Need to talk things through
- Often think out loud
- Will try to explain why
- Resolve problems by talking
- Offer sympathy and understanding with facial expression
- Talk to be sociable with no required outcome
- Talk about several things at once
- ENJOY TALKING
- Talk for a reason
- Usually think through problems alone (retiring to the ‘cave’)
- Do not need to know why
- Want clear, direct instructions
- Are not interested in your reasons for doing something
- Like to focus on one thing at a time
- May feel sympathy but may not show this on the face
- Will talk to other men about inherently interesting subjects i.e. cars, sport, the opposite sex.
Obviously this is, by its nature, very generalised, but scientific research is behind it. Although you may know someone who steps outside of these parameters, there is a lot which we can use here to help our communication be more effective.
ADVICE FOR WOMEN
- If managing men, remember to keep your instructions direct.
- If speaking to a male audience, do not expect to get much facial reaction. This does not mean they are not taking in and enjoying what you are saying.
- When networking, start with a comment which will interest them – sport, cars or the latest gadgets perhaps.
- Voice-wise, don’t pitch too high and control the pace of your delivery.
ADVICE FOR MEN
- If managing women, you might think about giving a reason for your request so as not to appear dogmatic.
- When networking, show interest in the woman’s business role first before launching into your ‘pitch’.
- Try to react facially to what is being said or you will appear disinterested.
- Your voice will be more engaging to a woman if it has more inflections, tone colour and pace.
I hope you will give this a little thought and perhaps try it out – Good Luck!
Speak Loud & Clear!