CSUN COMS 360 - He Said, She Said (5 pages)

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He Said, She Said



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He Said, She Said

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Pages:
5
School:
California State University, Northridge
Course:
Coms 360 - Comm + the Sexes
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Khachatrian 1 Shake Khachatrian COMS 360 Fridays 2 00 November 3 2016 He Said She Said The existence of a difference in gender communication has been a topic of interest for decades with generalizations being made between the sexes When messages are transmitted from sender to receiver there is a potential for distortion of the message due to how it may be perceived Differences in communication styles between men and women may be a result of this distortion or differences in the style and content of the messages However the miscommunications do not only occurs due to the biological sex of the speakers but by the feminine or masculine conversational styles that they utilize Problems arise when the intended message is not transmitted or the message is misunderstood Recognizing gender differences in communication enables both sexes to communicate better with each other Both women and men could benefit from learning each other s styles In order to understand the differences of communications patterns I will focus and analyze the masculine and female verbal conversational styles used by men and women In the textbook Gendered Lives by Julia Wood she supports the theory that women use communication as a way to establish and maintain relationships Wood states that women are responsive supportive and also value equality and work toward sustaining communication She goes on to show the polarization of communication by stating that men use communication as a means by which to solve problems maintain dominance and assertiveness Men are less Khachatrian 2 responsive and their talk is more abstract and less personal Men are generally perceived as direct confrontational and assertive in conversing with people Men use the technique of loudness to emphasize points while women use pitch and inflection for emphasis Women on the other hand are the exact opposites of men utilizing indirect consensual and cooperative conversational styles Wood 128 133 I started paying more attention to these styles of speech in my workplace Every Monday morning I have a work meeting that includes my supervisor and all the outreach coaches When we go around the table to share our ideas experiences and feedback I noticed the women interrupt to support and finish sentences rather than take the floor On the other hand the men ask questions and challenge the speaker while interrupting One time one of my coworkers expressed that she didn t like the interruptions and confronted one of the boys He wasn t aware that she felt disrespected and later on in the meetings I noticed he would wait until she was done to ask questions or add his input Another instance I noticed was when Wood s explains how language organizes our perceptions of gender We learn of stereotypes and how people rely on them for generalized perceptions One day my five year old cousins asked my dad what his job is My dad replied that he is an electrician They didn t know what that was so my dad explained that he fixes and installs lighting My girl cousin was amazed at that job description and said that she wants to be an electrician when she grows up My boy cousin replied to her Emily you can t have that job Boys fix lights I was very surprised that he related the experience he s had with that action and stereotypical role of men Even at five years old he has the perception that only men fix things One of the prominent features of masculine speech is instrumentality Wood explains that when men focus only on the information and solutions women feel as if their emotions are Khachatrian 3 disregarded 131 I completely agree and have experienced this with my own boss My female boss has a very masculine communication style Many of my coworkers feel as if she is too direct and unemotional when she speaks When she assigns us work or tasks to complete it sounds like direct orders She comes off as unfriendly and mean and as a result many people could not deal with it and have quit For example one time she was not happy with someone s availability and she straight out said I informed you of the time commitment this position requires if you cannot comply there will be consequences When she used to send texts her signature quote that would automatically be send would be If I m not a thought you are not a priority Many people were offended and thought it was intentional and they actually complained This shows how this direct communication style is sometimes misinterpreted especially because it is practiced by a woman On the other hand my previous male boss had a more feminine communication style He always asked us how we felt about certain tasks and he instilled a more family style work environment by telling us he loved and appreciated us If someone wasn t doing well he would approach them and ask How s your week going Is everything alright or Do you need to talk to me about something that s bothering you This really enforced an open communication environment and makes it comfortable for the workers to feel safe even if it is a man demonstrating feminine communication style As Wood explains a prominent feature of feminine speech is establishing equality between people 128 In conversations people with feminine speech style tend to match the other person s experience to make them feel like they are not alone in their dilemma I find myself doing this all the time I have even noticed sometimes I exaggerate to make the other person feel better It is my way of empathizing and nurturing the other person For example my Khachatrian 4 friend and I were taking the same class One time she got a C on a test that I got an A on I felt like I had to contain my excitement because I didn t want her to feel bad I even said I probably got an A because I guessed correctly and not because I actually studied Learning the differences in male and female conversational styles and the approaches to verbal communication makes us more aware of what to expect in an interaction We can prevent miscommunications within the conversation and as a result relationships can be grow from it It gives us perspective to understand male and female styles and benefits us at work personal or social environments Khachatrian 5 Works Cited Wood Julia T Gendered Lives Communication Gender and Culture Boston MA Wadsworth Pub 2009 Print


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