The Power of Talk

Topics: Female, Male, Woman Pages: 5 (2023 words) Published: January 29, 2011
Running head: The Power of Talk

“The Power of Talk (Harvey #20)”

The Power of Talk Observation
What evidence have you seen to support or refute Tannen’s article in either students’ behavior in class or at work? In my current classes I have found more evidence to refute Tannen’s article rather than support her article. I think that part of the reason is because there are fewer males in most of my classes than there are females, so the opinions, credit and vocals are more women focused. The other reason is because most of my classmates are in Human Resource classes and know the importance of respect and understanding of one another. However, when I was in my undergrad classes I did notice some things that help support Tannen’s article by both students and instructors. The difference in my undergrad classes is that there were more males than females in my classes because not many women were taking engineering majors at the time. I had one male instructor who told use in day one that not all the females would make it through because it was just not the work for women and that females are not wired to handle that kind of work and many of my male classmates agreed. I feel that statements such as that fit with Tannen’s article because it shows that the way males and females grow up to think that men have one place in the work force and women have another. This in turn has the domino effect and leads to beliefs that women are not confident or women who are confident are seen differently. At work I have had several different experiences that support Tannen’s article. I have been around several women who have apologized for things that they have no control over and thinking back I have found that I too have done this. Once when I apologized in front of one of my managers she said to me, “I don’t understand why we as women feel the need to always say sorry for everything, I don’t want to hear you say it again even if you have done something wrong (S. Stuckey, UPS Manager).” She said that in the instance that I have done something (meaning reports) wrong try saying something like “Okay, how would you change it or what exactly would you like done (S. Stuckey).” As stated by Tannen, “Apologies tend to be regarded differently by men, who are more likely to focus on the status implications of exchanges. Many men avoid apologies because they see them as putting the speaker in a one-down position (Harvey & Allard, p.138).” I have been in several different positions at my current employer and I have to say until this year when I was placed in a new position I have not had seen so much of the “good old boys club.” The office which I work is where I have mostly seen it; there are three full-time male supervisors and two female full-time supervisors. Two of the three male supervisors make the female supervisors feel alienated and ignorant. It has gotten to a point where the female two female supervisors have both said that they don’t try to make suggestions or tell these two male full-time supervisors anything anymore. The thing is that I know that the women both can produce very good ideas and I feel bad when I hear that the women have decided to give up rather than give a fight for what is right. Both of these two men have been my immediate supervisor at some point, one of them still is however, I have not had this bad of an experience with either of them. I have personally had more bad experiences with the two full-time female supervisors and I think that part of this is because of the way the men have been treating them. What is the relationship between American corporate culture and the idea that women’s learned conversation styles work against them in the workplace whereas men’s conversation styles are an advantage? According to Lindsey Smith, “American corporate culture is all about who is bigger, better, and confident. Women were brought up in small group of friends where “bragging” or emphasizing how great she is will not get...

References: Harvey, C. P. & Allard, M. J. (2009). Understanding and Managing Diversity, (4th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Smith, L (February 2008). Diversity and the Workplace: Unit 2. Retrieved from
United Parcel Service of America, Inc. (2010). WLD Overview: Learn about the business case and goals of Women 's Leadership Development. Retrieved from
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