Effective Communication Skills
Different genders have different traits that reflect their own uniqueness as they express the information they need to convey. Females, though not always, tend to be more passive, reserved in opinion, and interested in the methodology or feelings of a job whereas males tend to be more confrontational and direct with what matters. Often they are more results driven and less emotionally connected to those around them.
The important thing to remember with gender communications is that there is no wrong or right way and not all men and women will fall into these norms. It is the job of our educators at every level from elementary through the graduate level, especially through online higher education, to teach gender equality despite different gender tendencies and it is the job of our employers to foster educated acceptance of all inter-gendered communication and encourage effective communication skills.
Differences in Gender Communication
Men and women are innately different creatures and often their differences in communication styles are vastly different from each other. In my own experience I find that women tend to be more reserved or soft spoken whereas men tend to be more boisterous and free to speak their minds. Whatever the differences are it is important to understand that just as there are significant differences in cultural communication there are equally significant differences in the communication methods of men and women.
To illustrate my point we'll take the example of my father versus my mother on the phone. My father is a well spoken man. He's a public speaker, an educated mind, a leader and when he has something to say he just says it. I know that when I receive a phone call from my father there will be quick pleasant greetings followed by a specific line of questioning followed by a short amount of conversational banter capped off with a cordially yet loving farewell. When my mother calls however things change. More often than not the pleasant greeting is followed up with continued questions very similar to greetings. I'm asked on a deeper level how I'm doing. I'm asked what's going on in my life and I'm informed of all the things going on in her life at the moment. This is fine but it is in stark contrast to my father.
In general my mother is a woman and women tend to linger in casual conversation longer than men. They tend to want to know more feeling and details and they want you to understand them, what they've been through, and where they're going. Men are more guttural. They tend to want just the facts and the pertinent information. Decisions get made quicker and rasher and relationships to not go as deep. I would argue that in business relationships the same holds true in general circumstances. Communications in business culture merely mimic tendencies outside of the business world.
Effective Communication Skills
This of course leads us to the concept of communication errors that take place in normal every day working environments. This is in other words a lack of effective communication which quite frequently happens often. Sometimes it is harder to see the differences because all parties are speaking the same language it's just that some are speaking a different dialect. To be excellent communicators it is vitally important to understand the differences in communication styles of different genders and be able to minimize the impact or eliminate the impact of miscommunication as a form of managing conflict. Through education we can teach employees to recognize routine communication traits of different genders and to encourage acceptance of the differences.
In my current job I work with 5 women and no men. The women tend to ask me questions relating to methodology of my work far more than my boss who is a man. He tends to ask me questions relating to the results of my work with less emphasis on how I came up with my conclusions. Professional ethics always exist but obvious differences in gender communications exist. Discussions with my male coworker are more direct and less emotionally involved.
This type of work environment is quite stereotypical. Despite the tendencies it is key to understand that there stereotypes are not universal but merely averages. It is quite possible for women to carry the direct and confrontational communicative procedures more commonly found and men and it is quite common to find the passive and emotional traits in men. The point, however, is to understand that these average traits exist and that a good communicator will plan for them and revere in their soundness. It is with education and acceptance that colleagues can expect differences in communication techniques between the genders and thrive on the added value these different genders bring to the work place.