He says, she says!


Published: 9 Dec 2020


How to play nicely with the opposite gender in communication 

People are: Perplexed. Bemused. Frustrated (or a million other words) about the difference between men and women’s communication in the workplace (and elsewhere?)

What questions do women ask men?

  • One’s that are long, contain twiddly bits, multiple topics at once, require input………. (They should be 6-9 words long!!!!!!)
  • One’s that require collaboration (because women are good at that!)
  • Pre-conditioned responses (that sound like your mother!)
  • Problem solving ones
  • One’s where they become ‘right’

What questions do men ask women?

  • One’s that are short, to the point, and don’t require input……..
  • Men like to tell and give information not ask questions.
  • Men can compartmentalise (let it go and move on later)
  • One’s that make them appear ‘right’ (pride, yearning to do a good job – instinct)
  • Single topics at a time not multiple

So, what’s the problem?

  • Men who can’t communicate? They will filter out the ‘unnecessary’ (to them), things they can’t fix, things that are repeated. Men are linear communicators. (Beginning to end)
  • Women who ‘over’ communicate? Say it ONCE ladies. Make it short and sweet. Think it through before you speak not during. Women are cyclical communicators. (Round and round/over and over)

Somewhere in-between the lands of perceived indifference and twiddly bits lies a communication male/female nirvana. Communication that still seems logical to a man, and yet answers the questions for a woman.

Where does perceived indifference come from?

  • Twiddly bits – all the extra and unnecessary bits that add judgement and opinion
  • Invisible words – passive sub text “If it’s not too much trouble….”
  • Men tackle head on (quickest way to fire fight) Women see this as not listening to the whole story

Is it in the body language?

  • Agreement body language (head nods) women nod throughout conversations, men nod only if they agree – confusion!
  • Men don’t use as many facial expressions, so they are harder for women to read 10/52 (men have 10 ‘tells’, women have up to 52!!)
  • Body language emphasises the tone /volume, helps ‘direct’ the other person
  • Body language relaxes when people learn to ask for what they need or want.
  • If you are a woman working with a man Don’t stand too close. Men will either open their feet to allow space for you to walk in, or you could try putting one foot forward – which shows them you are ok with them but not too close to make it unprofessional. Women get happy with Wonder woman. It’s a good stance for working with men. Remember to keep head nodding to a minimum. Males see a head nod as agreement/finaliity. Women see a head nod as supportive and encouraging.
  • If you are a man working with a woman Try a slightly sideways on approach but still with full eye contact. This is less in your face that face on if you don’t previously have a relationship with the woman. Men will often put their hands in their pockets

What is logical to a man?

  • To recognise hierarchy
  • To assume if a woman is talking about it – she needs it fixed?
  • To constantly filter to get to the point where he can help, and ‘get it over with’.
  • That conversation has a PURPOSE!
  • To not speak until the thoughts are organised
  • To interrupt if he’s heard enough
  • To retreat under stress

What is logical to a woman?

  • If the goal is met
  • If you’ve sent back the ‘ping’ (emotional trigger)
  • To ‘share’ – thus releasing negative feelings, seeking compassion and support
  • To use communication to explore and organise thoughts
  • To question competence/get personal under stress (men can play this card to their advantage)

In this new ‘nirvana’ land where both sexes work together with ease…….

  • Vulnerability is not a weakness
  • Compassion prevails
  • ‘Reality checks’ stay checked
  • Reason prevails (think about the ripple effect or the ‘ecology’ you are creating)
  • Questions are encouraged: Clear, Concise, Concrete

In this land……..

  • There are no:
  • Assumptions
  • Perception delusions
  • EGO’s


Things that will ‘save’ you!

  • Know when to ‘see it/say it’ and when to let it go
  • Paraphrasing to check each other’s realities (perceptions) “So to be clear……
  • Sort before you speak – not during (during is self-indulgent)
  • Watch your body language
  • Choose kind, not right (diminish your ego)
  • No assumptions
  • Remember that men like to maintain their ‘status’ as a man and get the job done, women like to build rapport – you both have different end games.



This is copyright Elemental Potential 2020