Communication with the opposite sex

The fact is men and women communicate differently.

Although men and women speak the same language, we have differences in priorities, internal processing and behavior patterns.

It's easy to misunderstand, misinterpret or simply not get where the other is coming from.

To increase your ability to persuade, motivate, influence and get along, you must understand the gender communication rules or gender codes for how men and women communicate. This in-turn will help you to build rapport, relationships and connect.

While gender differences may have been widely researched and certain behaviors observed and labeled, it's never , ever appropriate to stereotype. Every person is an individual and the characteristics for men and women will vary depending on the person.

Based on our research, observations in our training programs, here are some overall observations of differences between men and women. Understanding these differences can assist you in continuing to build and maintain relationships.

  • Men talk to negotiate and maintain their status and independence.

  • Women talk to create intimacy and build rapport.

  • Women tend to participate more in exercises and games during training sessions. Men tend to shy away.

  • Women enjoy sharing and relating and the quality of relationships whereas men place a high priority on tasks, getting results and solving problems. During a presentation men will be more interested in the bottom line vs. activities.

  • When speaking to men say, "I want to work with you today" vs. "I will help" you. Men tend to avoid seeking help and direction. Women are more likely to accept help, but ask for it indirectly

  • Women use more words to express themselves and communicate more what's on their minds through stream-of-consciousness delivery. Men tease and use more sarcasm, especially regarding sensitive issues, apologize less often, confront issues less frequently and disclose less personal information than women

  • Be cautious about having role playing exercises with men

  • Men and women give off different body language signals. Men don't share as many facial expressions or reactions as women. Men frown or squint more when listening and don't provide as much eye contact, while women have more face-to-face contact. Men sit further away, fidget, shift their bodies and lean back more when listening than women do. If a woman nods during a staff meeting everyone thinks she is agreeing with them. While this may be true, it may also mean that she is processing the information and is nodding to show understanding. Men on the other hand are nodding to show agreement.

  • Women are more in tune to the body language and tone of the other party.

  • Men don't share as much facial expressions. It's sometime hard to tell if they are agreeing with you or not.

  • Both men and women like power. Men tend to seek it at all costs, while women will assume it when granted.

  • Women are more empathetic to the problems of their co-workers. Men jump in and offer advice

  • Women (more than men) focus on personal issues when criticizing others

  • Women tend to seek advice, input and consensus from others. Men often like to make decisions independently.

  • Men make decisions quicker than women. Women seek advice, input and consensus from others, while men tend to make decisions in a singular fashion

  • Men tend to promote themselves more and "brag" about their accomplishments

  • Interruptions are generally tolerated more by women then men during a conversation

  • Men don't seek help and direction, where as women are more likely to ask for and accept help

  • Women are much more likely to bring up personal issues during a discussion.

  • Men are more straightforward in their deliberations while women tend to soften the blow by focusing on what the person did right.

  • If a man and woman are working on a very hard project and they fail the woman would internalize it and think to herself , " It was my fault". On the other hand, the man would externalize it and blame everyone else. If both of them were successful, the woman would externalize it and say, "We all did it". The man would internalize it and think to himself, "I'm great"

  • Men are more focused on the outer world; their small talk often revolves around topics related to business, sports, weather, and news. Women like to focus on the inner world of personal issues, of what's going on inside of others, and to share their inner worlds.

The more we are aware of all the differences the more successful we will be in communicating to get our message out in a clear and understandable manner.

Imagine what your productivity and performance will look like when you have a crystal clear blueprint to connecting better with the opposite sex. Develop the skills you need to become more effective in your communication.

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