Men and women communicate differently

The average woman speaks about 20,000 words a day, men average 7,000.   Most men have a hard time communicating anything that remotely resembles an emotion. Why? Because emotions are scary to men, who think much more than they feel, and much of the time, many men don’t even know what or how they are feeling.

What men need to understand is that when a woman says she wants to talk, she’s saying I want to be closer. Unfortunately, when a man hears that he thinks something’s wrong.Men and women also have different conversational styles. Women tend to talk faster when they get excited and may interrupt their partners who are struggling to find the right words. When this happen their male counterparts may lose track or shut down because they feel cut off and were unable to express what they were feeling. Men find it more difficult to attach words to emotions and getting back on track in an emotional conversation can be very difficult for them.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Men’s brains are wired for action during high emotion, whereas women’s brains are wired for talking things over.[/inlinetweet] If a man instinctively knows his anger is likely to lead to action (and possibly regrettable violence) he may try to stop it going that far by putting a lid it on it. Or ‘clamming up’ as his partner may describe it.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Men believes communication should have a clear purpose[/inlinetweet]. Behind every conversation is a problem that needs solving or a point that needs to be made. Communication is used to get to the root of the dilemma as efficiently as possible.

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Woman uses communication to discover how she is feeling and what it is she wants to say.[/inlinetweet] She sees conversation as an act of sharing and an opportunity to increase intimacy with her partner. Through sharing, she releases negative feelings and solidifies her bond with the man she loves.

The fact is men and women communicate differently.

Based on research,and a number of books such as Debra Tannen’s, “You just don’t understand”, here are some overall observations of differences between men and women. Understanding these differences can assist you in continuing to build and maintain relationships.

  • Men talk to negotiate and maintain their status and independence.
  • Women talk to create intimacy and build rapport.
  • Women tend to participate more in exercises and games during training sessions. Men tend to shy away.
  • Women enjoy sharing and relating and the quality of relationships, whereas men place a high priority on tasks, getting results and solving problems. During a presentation men will be more interested in the bottom line vs. activities.
  • When speaking to men say, “I want to work with you today” vs. “I will help” you. Men tend to avoid seeking help and direction. Women are more likely to accept help, but ask for it indirectly
  • Women use more words to express themselves and communicate more what’s on their minds through stream-of-consciousness delivery. Men tease and use more sarcasm, especially regarding sensitive issues, apologize less often, confront issues less frequently and disclose less personal information than women
  • Be cautious about having role playing exercises with men
  • Men and women give off different body language signals. Men don’t share as many facial expressions or reactions as women. Men frown or squint more when listening and don’t provide as much eye contact, while women have more face-to-face contact. Men sit further away, fidget, shift their bodies and lean back more when listening than women do.  If a woman nods during a staff meeting everyone thinks she is agreeing with them. While this may be true, it may also mean that she is processing the information and is nodding to show understanding. Men on the other hand are nodding to show agreement.
  • Women are more in tune to the body language and tone of the other party.
  • Men don’t share as much facial expressions. It’s sometime hard to tell if they are agreeing with you or not.
  • Both men and women like power. Men tend to seek it at all costs, while women will assume it when granted.
  • Women are more empathetic to the problems of their co-workers. Men jump in and offer advice
  • Women (more than men) focus on personal issues when criticizing others
  • Women tend to seek advice, input and consensus from others. Men often like to make decisions independently.
  • Men make decisions quicker than women. Women seek advice, input and consensus from others, while men tend to make decisions in a singular fashion
  • Men tend to promote themselves more and “brag” about their accomplishments
  • Interruptions are generally tolerated more by women then men during a conversation
  • Men don’t seek help and direction, where as women are more likely to ask for and accept help
  • Women are much more likely to bring up personal issues during a discussion.
  • Men are more straightforward in their deliberations while women tend to soften the blow by focusing on what the person did right.
  • If a man and woman are working on a very hard project and they fail the woman would internalize it and think to herself , ” It was my fault”. On the other hand, the man would externalize it and blame everyone else. If both of them were successful, the woman would externalize it and say, “We all did it”. The man would internalize it and think to himself, “I’m great”
  • Men are more focused on the outer world; their small talk often revolves around topics related to business, sports, weather, and news. Women like to focus on the inner world of personal issues, of what’s going on inside of others, and to share their inner worlds.

Marketers should be keenly aware of these facts as it can help increase marketing effectiveness.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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One Comment on “Men and women communicate differently”

  1. Of course men communicate differently than men. If I changed my marketing to ignore this difference I would be out of a job. Your article is right on the button and you’re right most marketers are aware of this.

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