Working Together to Deal with People

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Let's Work Together

Dealing with people at work is perhaps one of the most difficult challenges a person will ever face due to the many differences in culture, gender, and personalities. The same applies to life outside work because our society is so much integrated and diversified compared to, say 50 years ago. Neighborhoods have changed and we see the obvious cultural and gender integration, such as the opposite gender taking a line of work that once used to be strictly for the other gender (e.g., a woman auto mechanic or a male nurse). Not unless someone decides to live on an island all by himself, each morning we wake up we have to face the fact that we have to deal with different types of people, whether at work or in our social lives. The deciding factor whether we can work with them harmoniously depends on our attitudes and built-in perceptions towards their culture, gender, and social background.

The first difference I have to face at work is the gender difference. I work in a healthcare organization where the female employees outnumber the male employees by a wide margin. Even though I personally work in the corporate office and not in a clinical facility, the difference is quite obvious just by observing the gender mix throughout different departments. Communicating with women, as the text implies, requires rapport talk (Eisenberg, Goodall Jr., & Tretheway, 2007). After observing some of my conversations with female co-workers, I noticed that they tend to emphasize on feelings and the importance of being "in sync", meaning they want you to feel what they're feeling and develop a sense of connection with their situation. The men, however, "treat conversations as a hierarchically ordered space in which they can demonstrate and vie for status." (Eisenberg, Goodall Jr., & Tretheway, 2007, p. 204). For example, men use their communication style to negotiate their status within the group and also to keep people from pushing them around. I notice this...
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