As a counsellor in a female-dominated profession, I must rise above my gender bias to communicate effectively with men and boys in order to help them. As an employee with a female boss, and both male and female colleagues, I need to understand their unique communication styles and adapt myself accordingly. I still need to be myself but being flexible allows me to get to the heart of the matter more easily. And you don’t have to be a counsellor to benefit from that! Have a look at the charts below – I think you’ll recognize these gender styles.
There are differences between the sexes as well as cultures that are worth studying. Becoming aware of some of the areas in which people differ can help us become more attentive and effective communicators. A number of respondents made the point of explaining that in some behaviors (such as eye contact, touch, etc.) they are not typical of their gender or ethnicity. Turning differences into stereotypes may cause more harm than good. When it comes to effective interpersonal communication it is critical to think about individual differences rather than population differences (see Cultural Differences? 2009).