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Gender Differences in Business Communications

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jossel mansour

on 17 March 2015

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Transcript of Gender Differences in Business Communications

Nonverbal Communication
The process of communication through sending and receiving wordless (mostly visual) cues between people.
Influence Tactics
People (male or female) think differently than each other, so motivation in communication by gender can vary along the communication process.
Communication Styles
Men and women view the purpose of conversation differently.

Men have a natural need to exert dominance over the competition. They build relationships through their work.
Women want to build relationships and enhance connections. They work better by building relationships (Lieberman).
Leadership Styles
Verbal Communication
The sharing of information between individuals using speech.
Gender Differences in Business Communications
Speaking habits:

Men prioritize efficiency and productivity through communication. They pick out the important or necessary parts of a story in order to simplify the conversation (Drobnick 2014).

Women tend to use communication to explore and organize their thoughts. Conversations aren't as filtered and the purpose is for someone to listen and understand what their feelings are (Drobnick 2014).
Common listening habits:

Women tend to respond with habitual responses such as "uh huh" or "ok" when listening to a conversation, paying closer attention to what is being said.

Men tend to sit back and let the conversation unfold, without getting too engaged (Rateliff 2013).
Making connections:

Men connect through action. They would like to see things get done rather than said and they are more uncomfortable with the idea of connecting with other people.

Women connect through communication. They are a lot more comfortable with connecting through communication (Rateliff 2013).
Confiding in others:

Women are more likely to speak to other women when the need for help arises. They are more than comfortable with asking questions to reach a solution.

Men Psychologically view the need for help as inferior. The helper is seen as superior to the one asking for help. This is linked to the want to express dominance.
Expressing themselves through emotion:

Men are often uncomfortable with expressing feelings, so sharing ideas and suggesting facts is often the alternative (Drobnick 2014).

When women want to talk, they express themselves by sharing emotions and thoughts.
Communication limits:

Women often look for ways to better their work ethic and are more open to criticism. They put up a wall only when they feel that their concerns aren't being met (Rateliff 2013).

Men tend to fall back during a conversation where they feel they are being told what to do or their work ethic is questioned. Most men tend to prioritize doing a good job and a wall of resistance is created when that effort is questioned.
Men and women often see each other's differences as wrong, instead of focusing how these differences can benefit each other.

A leader's ability to motivate and persuade their followers to change their behavior, beliefs and attitudes, which is why influence tactics are one of the most common ways to measure a leader's effectiveness.

Purpose of influence- male vs. female:

Male- exerts dominance and achieves tangible outcomes

Female- enhances social connections and creates relationships
The nine proactive influence tactics:

These tactics are split into two groups, soft and hard, based on the target's level of resistance


Legitimating, exchange, pressure, and coalition

Soft- interpersonal relationships

Rationality, inspirational appeals, consultation, ingratiating, and personal appeals
Influence in action (causes stereotypes):

Male managers (more likely)

-Personal appeal
-Assertive and inspirational tactics

Female managers (more likely)

-Inspirational appeal
-Ingratiation and exchange tactics

Use talk to assert their independence
Sitting and talking is not an essential part of friendship
Give orders as a way of gaining social status
Use more small talk


Use conversations to negotiate closeness
Talking is the essence of intimacy; sitting and talking means friendship
Speaking about problems is the essence of connection
Get the input of others to make a decision
Go in-depth on a topic
Body language:


Desire space
Tend to be withdrawn rather than engaged bodily
Do not touch, unless with same gender in playful aggression
Tend to move around and shift body when conversation is uncomfortable


Body alignment, face the other person
Use more hand gestures
Use more bodily contact
Sit relatively still
Facial expression:


Don't use a lot of eye contact
Use more head motion
Conceal and control facial displays
Smile less


Use eye to eye contact
Tend to express emotion through facial expression
Smile more

For Instance

Males tend to feel the more questions people ask, slow down progress and delay decision making abilities while others were a sign that a female boss was being too controlling or critical.

While women asking questions were their best contribution needed to stimulate an exchange of ideas building consensus, show concern for others and help arrive the idea to the best outcomes. Understanding the motivation and finding value the questions rather than be annoyed by them can help to facilitate better communication between the genders and create a more balanced workplace.

For example, having meetings in which men are constantly interrupting each other and throwing ideas on the table while women in the room are silent, which can cause men to assume that the women in the room have nothing to say or do not have input to contribute. This can result women in the room to feel that men don't care what the woman has to say. Females like to be part of a team whereas, males like to receive individual acknowledgment. Women who are credited for a task tend to share the praise and like to be acknowledged as part of the team.

Women tend to have higher levels of Oxycontin which is a hormone that promotes a feeling of connectedness like we did this together whereas, males have high levels of testosterone when they take credit for something so they want to be the only one credited.

When males are stressed they tend to want to withdraw or get defensive. While women seek support to solve a problem as how can we come to a conclusion in which females interpret it, males appearing not to care or brushing off the problem. In order to improve communication and have a more together environment both male and female counterparts have to understand and respect each others differences in motivating.
Communication Styles and Possible Motivators
Challenges/points about perspective- gather more information or expand their understanding of the issue
Uses direct, brief and commanding language- Communicate efficiently, reinforce hierarchy
Talking more with authority- Trying to impress and establish respect/leadership
Impatience with venting- Seeking tangible outcomes and success in goals

Sharing details and complimenting others- Desire to build relationships, trust and cohesion
Pausing/Encouraging other to take turns speaking- Building respect/balance
Apologizing/Speaking up- Demonstrating trust, and strength
Sharing thoughts/feelings about subject- Build mutual understanding/mutual support
Asking questions- Atmosphere of respect and team work
Motivations (Continued)

People who are motivated tend to keep their motivation up and drive on by the little things that are easily overlooked.

For Example

Females tend to have more emotion that raise motivation levels to include simple gestures like saying "Keep up the good work you are doing a great job" or even receiving gift baskets to show that they are appreciated and recognizing their achievements, which raises motivation and moral to want that individual to go above and beyond what is required.

Males have tendency to let their work speak for themselves and strive to be the best which leads them to be more competitive and want something to show for hard work put forth which motivates them to work hard.

Both male and female want to be the best, so friendly competition between the two can get them involved and work their best to achieve good communication and feel a sense of appreciation.
Women are more likely to talk to one another when they have a problem because they are more relationship oriented so they collaborate to make a decision. Women also like building a rapport, share experiences and asking questions so they can come up with ideas that motivate them to accomplish goals.

Men like to tell and give information rather than ask questions, building relationships while they are working on tasks with each other.
Leadership Differences Across Gender:
Female leaders may adopt closer bonds with their followers than male leaders
Women base their leadership styles on quality of interpersonal relationship with their peers
Use a more "take care" leadership
Stereotypes for Women Leaders:

Stereotypes can limit women's opportunities for advancement into top leadership positions
A common stereotype women face portrays that women lack the qualities commonly associated with the effective leadership
Stereotypes paint men as a more natural fit for top leadership positions than women
The top three stereotypical traits of women based on psychological research is affectionate, appreciative and emotional; compared to the male stereotypes of being dominant, achievement-oriented, and active
These traits are seen as less vital to leadership
These stereotypes result in women being evaluated less positively than men for leadership positions
"Take Care" vs. "Take Charge"

-Stereotypically, women are described as "taking care", while men are described as "taking charge"
High risk of stereotype:

Stereotypes exist about the type of work women and men are cut out to do
this leads to negative consequences for women leaders
people think an ideal nurse or social worker would be a woman and when people think of an accomplished lawyer or medical doctor they most likely think of men
People expect to find women excelling as human resources and public relations professionals
People expect to find men excel as sales and general management professionals

Take charge type of leaders
Take charge characteristics are problem-solving, influence upward and delegating
Men are perceived as better leaders because they have different characteristics that set them apart from women
Women tend to be more emotional and supporting while men tend to be goal oriented and controlling
Stereotyping male leaders:

Society generally associates successful leadership with stereotypically masculine traits
Assertiveness and dominance
Women might make better leaders because men have an over-inflated view of their own ability
In Conclusion
Gender differences in communication has many aspects and will always be viewed differently for there are many opinions on it. As we discussed motivators, influence tactics, leadership styles and verbal and non verbal communication.
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