Menglish? Do you speak it?

Posted on June 15th, 2015 by

London view WiJ

Do you know the differences between how men and women speak? A better understanding of our different styles can help you enormously both at work and home.

I have to give credit for the title to the journalist Hilly Janes. She invited me to speak at a Women in Journalism event. It was obvious that they would come up with a pithy headline!

I was speaking to the Women in Journalism group on the differences in how men and women communicate. It’s a topic close to my heart, but also one about which much tosh is produced. I am only interested in researched and evidenced facts and those are what I share. And I am most definitely not interested in teaching women to behave and speak like men. I want women to be women. I also want them to be heard.

I was fortunate on the day in having a very talkative taxi driver who willingly shared his views. He was great. This is how it went:

Differences between men and women? Well, thing is, love, men only think about 4 things – ever:

1) Working and getting paid

2) Are they going to get a cuddle that night? (Very delicately put I thought.)

3) Looking after the family

4) Football or what they do in their time off work.

You women think about everything all the bloomin’ time, and you keep telling us about it. It does our ‘eads in’.

He was sort of right and left me smiling. Women (generally) do like to talk in stories, to provide details. Men, (generally) like to hear the factual headline. Which, as journalists do both, must mean that they are very good at Menglish!

So here is one tip. If you’re at work and and in a meeting with men, they will not pay too much attention to the story behind a point you want to make. They will probably stop listening or interrupt you before you have finished.  Make the point like a journalist, clearly and succinctly quickly grabbing their attention, and then add the story or supporting facts later.

What’s your best tip for making sure you’re understood and heard at work?

If you’re a Twitter fan you can see more about the talk by using the hashtag #wijmenglish. Or check out my twitter stream @JaneCWoods

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P.S. Picture is view from the room I was speaking in. Isn’t it great? Sunny London town.

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