Women, This is Why Men Won’t Invite You to the Conversation



If you think this is going to be an attack on men, or an exhortation to women to behave more like men and lean in, relax. It isn’t. I haven’t suddenly taken on a new stance and become anti men. However, I do still firmly believe that what women bring to the table is good enough in its own right and we don’t have to start swaggering around in pinstripes and sitting wth our legs akimbo. (Although if you want to, feel free!)

I have been revisiting some of the Speak Up material and reading my research notes.

Here’s some of it below which led to that rather provocative title.

Men talk to determine and achieve status. Women talk to determine and achieve connection. It’s known as ‘rapport talk’. For men life is a ladder with the best spots being high up. For women, life is a network and the better spots are greater connections. Women talk to work out what they are thinking.

Deborah Tannen.

And from ‘Duels and Duets’ by John F Locke:

Men see conversations as contests to win. Women as something to share and be harmonious. Men like to duel, women like to duet.

Gray and Annis conducted over 100,000 interviews with male & female executives to highlight blind spots in communication between the genders.  72% of men Gray and Annis interviewed said that women ask too many questions. Some felt these questions slowed down progress and delayed decision making, while others felt that a female boss was being too critical and controlling. They observed meetings where men were constantly throwing down ideas while the women were not saying much at all. The men ignore them and the women feel the men don’t care about what they have to say. Gray and Ennis think our different hormones play a significant part in this. Testosterone and oxytocin.

It’s fascinating, isn’t it? The more we understand the better able we all are to play to our strengths and be the best version of who we are. It isn’t about becoming like men, but about being more confident women at work. Being the best version of you.

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The picture above is of Judy Garland.


Posted on March 11th, 2016 by

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