Do men and women communicate differently at work? Yes, according to proponents of the
"men and women are from different galaxies" school of thought. Women are said to
be self-effacing and apologetic. Men, on the other hand, are described as convincingly
confident ... even when they don't have the slightest idea what they're talking about.
Such generalizations can be dangerous, of course, and sometimes downright wrong. For
instance I ... forgive me for saying so ... am a woman and I ... uh ... probably shouldn't
brag about this, but I ... on admittedly rare occasions ... sometimes manage to appear ...
uh ... completely self-assured and ... well ... I probably shouldn't waste your time on
such a personal matter. In any event, I'm probably wrong.
Communication differences can be especially pronounced during business meetings.
Especially those mind-numbingly "important" meetings where a gaggle of men and
women perch and/or slouch around a conference table and discuss critical company issues
like new products, marketing budgets, company picnics, and football scores. And play
BuzzwordBingo in a laudable effort to remain semiconscious.
Unfortunately, how far you move up the corporate ladder often depends on your
conference table talk. Why? Because your boss doesn't have time to check out your work.
(S)he's much too busy sleeping through meetings.
So you can see how important it is to learn to communicate like a ma... I mean ...
boost your communication skills.
But help is at hand. Simply assess your abilities with this MCQ (Meeting Communication
1) When you have an important point to make you:
Jump in the instant somebody stops to breathe.
Politely wait until every male in the room has spoken ...including the CEO's cute
Wave a white flag in the air and hope someone notices.
2) When somebody uses an unfamiliar term you:
Figure if you don't understand it, it isn't important.
Hope someone else asks what the @#$%$#@$ the speaker is talking about.
Say, "I apologize for my stupidity, but would you please, if it isn't too much
trouble, explain X?"
3) If you don't have any original ideas to contribute you:
Wait until you hear someone say something brilliant and rephrase it, pretending it's
Sit quietly, absorbing what everyone else has to say.
Beg for forgiveness.
4) When someone's secretary asks for beverage orders you:
Request exactly what you want.
Say, "anything will be fine."
Head for the coffee machine.
5) If the CEO directly solicits your opinion you:
Say what you think he wants you to say.
Say what you think your boss wants you to say.
Look behind you to see who the CEO is speaking to.
All done with the quiz? Good. Now it's time to check your responses ... and to hire a
communication coach if you answered "c" even once.
Whom should you hire? Any male can help settle ... I mean "improve" ... your