The Power of Understanding Communication and Gender Diversification in Workplaces

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The definition of communication is normally seen on a surface level as ‘saying what you mean or putting your thoughts, values, beliefs, and perceptions about a particular thing, into words’, what is crucial in the definition of communication is ‘how’ you say these things, what makes the flow of words that come out of your mouth different than the next person.

This is because using language to convey messages is a learned social behavior, how we talk, and how we listen are deeply influenced by experiences that you have through your culture and traditions within your generations. Because everyone has different experiences and a different childhood, they will have various ways of communicating various opinions and thoughts.

According to research, there is an influence of linguistic style and human relationships. The ways of speaking learned in one’s childhood affects judgments of competence and confidence as well as who gets heard, who gets credit and what gets done (the effectiveness of communication).  Now let’s talk about communication in a workplace, which can be face to face in a physical environment or on video calls such as HD video calling app such as NEEO messenger. In every workplace, there are different patents of linguistic speaking styles between men and women.

What can be seen as a natural way of speaking for men is different from what a natural way of speaking for women might be. For example, men might have a more assertive way for conveying what they mean, on the other hand, women might have a more cautious way of speaking. Hence, it is seen that even slight differences in the styles of conversations can make a huge difference. For example, a few seconds of pause can have a huge impact on who gets heard more effectively and who is more confident about what they are saying.

Research says that we learn ways of speaking as children from our peers and the children that we play within that age. Girls tend to learn conversation styles and methods that focus on rapport dimension of relationships while on the other hand boys learn styles on communication that focus on the status dimension. Girls normally play with a single friend and spend more time talking and using language to negotiate and understand how close they are and they learn to downplay ways in which one is better than the other to emphasize that they all are the same.

On the other hand, boys negotiate their status in the group by displaying what they are best at, in knowledge and physical abilities by creating a challenging environment. These behaviors are then seen when they grow up, the behaviors are polished during their education and then they are seen in their practical lives in workplaces, teamwork, projects, meetings and video conferences that can be made through an HD video calling app.

Men tend to be more sensitive towards the power dynamics of interactions with others, communicating their stance in a way that would place them at a powerful place in the conversation and resisting being put down from that position that they have created for themselves. Women are seen to have conversation patterns that are more towards listening and understanding opinion and relating their point of view in accordance to if they agree or disagree with that opinion, buffering their statements to create an environment of conversation that determines equality.

These exact linguistic styles of communication can be seen in the workplace environment every day in situations where one has to get credit for their work, confidence and boasting or asking questions from senior-level employees. For example, even the smallest use of pronouns during making a statement can affect who gets the credit. Research says that men tend to use the word ‘I’ and women ‘we’ in work that they had one alone. The credit of the outcome of teamwork may also be given to the person who is more vocal than the rest of the team.

Both genders claim that their speaking behaviors are reinforced throughout their lives by the positive responses they got from their parents, peers, siblings, friends, and relatives who share the same norms. Another example is how and when questions are asked, this can either help create a position of power or send signals about competence to the superior.

In a group of people, if there is one employee who keeps asking questions, he/she may be seen as ignorant. Gender also seems to play a role in this. For example, men are less likely to stop on the road and ask for directions than women as they believe they would have a better position of power if they find the way themselves. This trait is also seen in how men and women operate in different working environments.