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While the answer to this question is simply yes; all people, whether they are men or women, have the same basic human need to feel understood by the people with whom they communicate. Our sex is a trait that can greatly influence the way we relate and communicate with each other. Many theories have been formulated as to the differences that have been studied in the communication styles between males and females. But despite them it is simple not notice that there are usually clear difference when it comes to the communication of males and females (Stewart).
It is very important that we should understand the differences that exist between the opposite sex and how this influences communication styles. A lot has been said about women and men as being from very different planets and this makes them have their own culture. However, the reality is that none of us has grown up in a planet different from the earth in which we live. This means that we will interact with each other in different ways and in different circumstances. As people look at the different communication styles between men and women, they should be aware that there is a risk of communication differences leading us to stereotypes. This means that we may be tempted to assume that all men will behave and act in a certain way .
The truth is that we are in a continued state of change, and there are women who may have the traits of men, as well as men who have the traits of women. It is necessary for them these particular traits on certain occasions that demand for effectiveness in communication. I discovered various aspects that may be invaluable in helping us understanding these communication differences. Women build relationships first because they tend to be more relationship oriented. The relationships that they form help them in the fact that they find it easy to accomplish tasks this way (Simmer). The find it comfortable to ask others to get things done, and are in most cases fully aware of who to ask. However, men tend to be more tasks oriented and feel obliged to go straight to the task at hand. It is during the actual performance of the project or task that they form or build a relationship.
Men are at best internal processors of information. This means that if they are faced with a puzzling issue, they will contemplate it by themselves, even silently till such a point they will come up with a solution. Women, on the other hand, find themselves looking at options out loud when they are at the process of decision making. This difference can be troublesome as women may often think that the man is being unresponsive to their suggestions. Men feel nagged on the other hand, and will often think that women are looking for approval when they are processing out loud. They may even think that the women are not aware of, or don’t have an idea of what they are doing. Men are adept to the thought that this way of processing common among women is a sign of weakness in their part.
Communication becomes different also when it is influenced by the manner in which the males and females approach leadership. The fact that women are relationship oriented means that tend to lead by consensus. However, the men tend to be appreciative of hierarchical systems and may always include only the people that are closest to them in their level of decision making process anytime they consider it necessary. All these factors directly or indirectly influence the communications styles that males and females tend to employ in their daily lives.
It is not uncommon to see that women nod their head as an indication that they are paying attention. It may be a dangerous gesture as men may leave the conversation thinking that the nod meant an agreement. However, they may be shocked to discover later that the woman did not agree at all, all she did was indicate that she had been listening. The women interpret the habits of men differently. Often the man may sit silently, not nodding or anything and his body are in neutral body language to indicate that they have been listening. However, the woman will just assume that the man is bored or even worse, that they are not listening at all. It could also occur to the woman that the man does not understand what they are saying. In the event this happens, she may feel obliged to dwell in unnecessary emphasis and may end up boring the man in the process. If not so, the woman may feel uncomfortable at the neutrality of the man’s body language.
Repetitions made by a woman are often than not interpreted by the men as mere insecurities. Men often end up claiming that a woman talks too much, and may suggest that she is not assertive enough or isn’t as confident as a leader ought to be. In order to create relationship and connection, the women are likely to use more direct eye conduct in conversations, and may end up creating the impression that they are a challenge to the power or positions that the men hold. It is also common among women that they will approach a man from the front while a man often approach from the side at an angle. This is often the style in which they sit or stand when talking to others. The men will interpret the face to face as too personal or even aggressive and women will interpret the talking side to side as to mean that he is not being upfront or that he is not telling her everything.
Basically, women desire intimacy in conversation. In so many ways this helps them to feel connected to others and also understand that they are not taken for granted in return. Men are not like that at all, because they desire to give information while remaining independent of the other party. It is easier for a man to make things personal and hence they are wired to avoid this eventual outcome. Women, though, as much as they open up so easily and require that the same be returned, do not really take personal even though are more intimate.
When it comes to talking, women are users of many words that are meant to express even more feelings. However, men are known to use few words, and they also express fewer feelings this way. Simply said, they don’t tend to be very sentimental like their female counterparts.
Women have also been wired in such a way that they tend to avoid the appearance of superiority in communication. This critically intimidates men and is best avoided even if it doesn’t mean that she does not mean to make them feel intimidated at all. Men are actually comfortable telling others what to do and appearing superior come to them as something of a natural trait. As I noted above, women are more adept to adopting a consensus before they make decisions. Men, at the same time, want to get straight to the bottom line and choosing without consulting is not uncommon among them. Finally while men communicate to solve problems and show their expertise, the women value communication for the fact that it helps in building relationships.
Different communication styles between men and women do not come about when they are all grown up and working. The influences that cause these differences begin very early in life. As small children the boys are told that they are made of ‘snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails’ while the nursery rhyme indicates that girls are ‘made of sugar and spice, and all things nice.’ This is the mentality that builds in all of us and the more we grow, it solidifies and eventually defines on how we relate and communicate. Society therefore plays a big part in shaping how we behave and how we relate and communicate.
However, these differences are also the greatest sources of stereotypes. Often men are labeled and seekers of superiority whilst the women are seen as meek. This is the reason why if a woman is seen to be very serious and demanding of superiority, they are referred as being very masculine. On the other hand a soft man who seeks opinion at every opportunity, who waits long before they reach a decision and also bows to the wills of women is not seen as a total man. Many are the times that men and women see the differences between each other. The bad thing about this is that they use these differences to make each other feel that they are right and the other is wrong. The differences between men and women should be used to appreciate each other and to build a strong society that appreciates that we are both different and deserve to be what we are.