Communication Differences between
Men and Women in the Work Place
Men and women will never be the same when it comes to both emotional and physical aspects. So, why is it that people are surprised when men and women have trouble communicating? God gave Eve to Adam for companionship. Their differences are what make them a complete pair. Most everyone in today's society is familiar with the book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. The author, John Gray, has written many books about the differences men and women face during everyday life. The book, Mars and Venus in the Workplace, is the ninth book in his Mars/Venus theme that he began writing in 1993. In this book, Grey informs his audience that men and women communicate with different styles. Grey also acknowledges that there is prejudice against women in the workplace; they have to work twice as hard because it is not a level playing field.
Women in the Workplace
Men have dominated the workforce for most of civilization up until their patriotic duties called away to war. All of a sudden, the women were responsible for providing for their family while the men were away. Women went to work all over America to earn an income to insure their family's survival. Women took all sorts of jobs including assembly line positions, office jobs, and even playing professional baseball. When the men returned home from war, the women were expected to resume their place as housewives. The women who had gotten a taste of the professional life decided that they wanted to continue working. Thus, the introduction to women in a man's working environment began. Women were not taken seriously at first, because they were stepping into a "man's world".
Since men and women work closely in the workplace today, there are many complaints addressing the differences in the genders. Simma Lieberman addresses these differences in her article, "Better Communication Between Men and Women in the Workplace: Some Useful Tips". Men tend to think that women take things too seriously, are slow in getting down to business, and try to be "one of the boys". A complaint that women give about men is that they are being labeled names such as: "girls", "honey", and "darlin". Other complaints are that men make women into objects, making decisions about work with other men and not including the women, and using expressions that only use sports, violence or sexual connotations such as "More bang for the buck".
When women and men work together to address these issues, they can each bring unique strengths to the team. The strengths that men possess are that they are goal oriented, good at problem solving, and are responsive to challenges. Women's strengths are that they are detail oriented, good at teamwork and collaboration, and they bring a balance of harmony and nurturance, serenity, creativity and vision to the team. When all these elements are combined, it makes the team stronger and more able to accomplish goals.
Women as Supervisors
In society today, women are taking on equal or higher ranking positions than men. Women tend to emphasize equality when communicating with coworkers and those that they supervise. When a female supervisor tries to befriend a male subordinate, she tends to lose valuable supervisory power. She may find that the men she supervises do not listen, listen to another male supervisor instead, or even give up on her orders. Another mistake that a female supervisor can make is by not establishing a "pecking order". By failing to do this, the man is likely to try and "take over" her position. A conflict will then occur as to whom is actually in charge. According to Gary Vikesland, author of "Communication 101", women who find their power in criticizing the man's work and not the man, who assumes the role as the expert, and accepts negative feedback and communication from the workers are following the "coaching style" to determine...
References: Gray, John. Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus. New York: Harper Collins, 1992.
Kelley, Rhonda H., "Communication between Men and Women in the Context of the Christian Community". Retrieved on October 4, 2004 from http://www.cbmw.org/resources/articles/gender_communication.php
Lieberman, Simma. "Better Communication between Men and Women in the Workplace: Some Useful Tips". Retrieved on October 4, 2004 from http://hodu.com/business-communication.4.shtml
Springs, Kathleen McGinn. "Gender Differences in Business Communications". Retrieved on October 10, 2004 from http://www.princetoninfo.com/200105/10523s01.html
USA Today, "How Men, Women are Different at the Office." Retrieved October 4, 2004 from http://www.usatoday.com/money/jobcenter/workplace/communication/2002-11-15-mars-venus
Vikesland, Gary. "Communication 101". Retrieved October 4, 2004 from http://www.employer-employee.com/comm101.htm
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