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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.

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.

Change for the Better

  • Code switch and use an androgynous communication style to maximize your communication with the opposite sex.
  • Use an androgynous communication style to maximize your leadership skills and flexibility.
  • Women: Integrate an androgynous communication style to improve your credibility and how you and your messages are received and perceived.
  • Men: Integrate an androgynous communication style to improve your relationship-building and interpersonal skills in the workplace.
  • Consciously strive to be aware of your listeners and how you choose to communicate so that they hear your intended message.
  • When you find yourself in the middle of a conflict, address the issues. Use workplace conflicts as an opportunity to use your facilitation skills and understand your coworker’s perspective.
  • Be specific with your message and your needs. Be brief with your responses and explanations.

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