His Speak Her Speak

Men and women actually do speak differently.  For example, men tend to speak directly to the point whereas women like to share what is going on for them and chat about the subject.  I remember hearing somewhere how men only hear 7% of what you are saying.  Whether or not that is true, it is important to ask questions to make sure you are on the same page with whomever you are talking to, rather than making assumptions; assumptions that you are being listened to, assumptions that the other person is hearing what you are meaning to say, assumptions that what you are saying can be received by the other person, etc.

It is also important to recognize that not all people fit into gender stereotypes, so don’t assume that just because you are a man you should always be direct, or that because you are talking to a woman that means they like to share, etc.  Never function from assumptions with anything!  You want to know if the communication style is like a man or like a woman.  The key is to ask questions.

For greater communication that actually works to your advantage, ask yourself if you communicate more like a man or a woman; not out of significance, but to gain information about how you can use that to your advantage.  And, when communicating with someone else, always ask “Does this person communicate like a man or a woman?” and tailor your communication style towards that for greater effectiveness.  For example, if you communicate like a woman and are in a business meeting with mostly people who communicate like men, then it might be to your advantage to make your communication with them more direct than you would normally.  This will tailor their perspective of you towards being an effective leader, or someone they’d like to do business with.

Laleh Alemzadeh Hancock is a management and professional services consultant, a facilitator of many specialties and the founder and CEO of global professional services company, Belapemo and Global Wellness For All.  With nearly 30 years’ experience in operational excellence, change management and business consulting, Laleh has inspired and empowered hundreds of thousands of individuals including Fortune 500 executives, government agencies, non-profit organizations, kids of all ages, athletes and veterans.  A lifelong entrepreneur and passionate change-agent, Laleh strives to seek out possibility in every problem and aims to facilitate strategic change and optimal growth for all her clients.  She is an advocate for people of ages with special needs or disabilities and their caregivers, and served on the Governor of Maryland’s Caregivers Support Coordinating Council for four years.