Women andCommunicationin the WorkPlaceRMOUG WIT SessionApril 18th, 2013
Communication Women’sZen? 52%- Stated communication held women back. Communication Style is Vitally Important Developing a style that is still true to one self, yet comfortable in a male oriented career
How do Women Weaken TheirImage in Communication?
1. Too Much Head Nodding Nodding to women says, “I hear you.” Nodding to men says, “I agree with you.” Can be perceived as weakness or end up in miscommunication. Do not assume, lessen nodding. Often men stop listening when repeating info. Ask and clarify instead.
2. Uptalk RisingInflection at the end of a sentence. Appears as a question instead of a statement or opinion. Vocal pattern is not taken seriously. Practicebringing voice down at end of sentence.
3. Be Assertive “Do you think you could get me the data by tomorrow?” “We are a great team, right?” Unintentionally sends a weak message vs. one of strength. Minimizes the message. Remove taglines from communication with others. Be convinced of your own communication before you speak to others. Use statements instead of questions.
4. Allowing to be Interrupted Men easily jump in and say what they are thinking. Women often hold back. Women more often allow themselves to be interrupted or cut off. Say-“I’m not finished” or “Please, wait, I’m not done.” Do not hesitate to jump in when you should.
5. Speak up! Oftenhear, “thought a fool or speak and remove all doubt”. Women often wait to be called on Have difficulty taking the floor. Committo making one contribution at every meeting or other event.
6. Losing Credit for Ideas Always one that will take credit for other’s ideas happily. Impedes the other’s professional progress. Speak up and claim contributions, “Excuse me, I just said that a minute ago. How is that different from what I just proposed.” Take credit for what you do!
7. Problem Solving Problems are thoroughly reviewed before a woman overcomes it. Discussion is an obstacle to the solution for many men, as the same for decisions. Ensure that when wanting discussion with male colleagues, get to point quickly unless specifically clear about the agenda. Ensure deadlines are clear for both parties.
8. Avoid Public Speaking Considered one of the biggest mistakes in women’s careers today. Public speaking is an opportunity to offer visibility and equal exposure to men in the technical arena. Confrontfear, find mentors, get coaching and get out there to shine. Women often speak twice as well as they think they do!
9. The Bully Avoid Bully type communicators/communications “winning through intimidation” This type of communication undercust productivity, harmony and creativity in any workplace. Document all interactions and ask for everything in writing, (excuse that you are busy and would appreciate it, always be gracious to bullying behavior…)
10. Goal OrientedCommunication Remember what your goal was for the communication. What did you want to accomplish and keep on that path. This will often require you to keep other’s goals within your own. Without their agendas included in your own outcome, you won’t come far, (team goals.)
11. Additional Tips Say what will be effective for the situation. Choose words and behavior based on what your goal is, not on what will make you popular. Learn that doing what is right is more important in communication than “being right”. Criticism- Men learned to criticize each other early, women supported. This should be recognized.
ReferencesTop Ten Ways Women Sabotage Communication in theWorkplace: http://www.diresta.com/in-the-media/top-ten-lists/top-ten-ways-women-sabotage-their-communication-in-the-workplace/Men, Women and Workplace Communication, The InterpersonalEdge: http://www.chicagotribune.com/ct-tribu-skube-communication-at-work,0,233811.columnHow a Woman Can Improve Gender Workplace Communication,Chron: http://work.chron.com/woman-can-improve-gender-workplace-communication-6587.html
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