How Androgyny Works (Part 1)

Getting Around a Binary Concept:

Posted Dec 31, 2016

Getting Around a Binary Concept: How Androgyny Works (Part 1)

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Men and women will continue to work together in the workplace. Women comprise more than 50 percent of the workforce and are growing in their presence in management and executive levels. More so than women, men tend to be seen as the workplace power brokers. Understanding different communication styles is the first step men and women can take to promote a supportive workplace for both sexes. Valuing or appreciating the differences is important. Men are not being asked to stop being men; likewise, women are not being asked to stop being women. The androgynous communication style grasps the differences and uses them to improve the interactions between men and women. Borrowing from each style is like having the best of both worlds at your fingertips; the masculine and feminine communication behaviors are readily available to improve your communication with the opposite sex.

Here are some recommendations and findings about androgyny (also referred to as code switching and gender flexing in research and literature):

The correlation between androgyny and self-esteem is high.

Actualize both masculine and feminine behaviors = expanded repertoire. More choices to fit appropriate behavior in the context.

Flexibility to move in and out of feminine and masculine styles is key to an adaptive communication style.

Appear more familiar to the opposite sex.

Aids in achieving goals and persuasion.

Women and men must move beyond blaming each other for poor communication, thoughtlessness in terms of speaking style, or labeling men’s or women’s behaviors as bad or “less than.” Men and women must take the high road and be diplomatic, helping each other move beyond gender and workplace stereotypes. By using a code-switching and androgynous communication style, men and women can communicate better while creating a more equitable workplace. Breaking away from communication stereotypes allows both women and men to be more productive for their companies and ultimately reach their career goals.