communication styles

dr._margaret_martens at FTDETRCK-CCMAIL.ARMY.MIL dr._margaret_martens at FTDETRCK-CCMAIL.ARMY.MIL
Thu Feb 22 11:15:48 EST 1996

     I agree with Sarah that not all men or all women communicate in the 
     same way and that one cannot necessarily predict the behavior of any 
     individual based solely on that person's gender.  Not only are there 
     overlapping regions of the distribution curves, but we also tend to 
     adapt our behavioral style to the situation at hand.  
     However, I disagree that the generalizations arrived at in these male 
     vs. female studies imply that because I am either male or female that 
     I must, necessarily, behave in a particular way.  At least I have not 
     taken those studies that way.  Rather, I think that they help us to 
     better understand those whose communication style differs from our 
     own.  I take this knowledge in much the same vein as the personality 
     style or behavioral style analyses that one talks about in management 
     training seminars.  That is, they are tools to use for increasing 
     communication among people, not boxes for stereotyping them.  
     On the other hand, I am also realistic enough to know that there are 
     people who will use this type of information to stereotype and 
     discriminate against people of the opposite gender.  Unfortunately, we 
     still have a long way to go in the fight against gender-bias (and 
     race-, religious-, cultural-, etc-bias)

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: communication styles
Author:  "Sarah L. Pallas" <spallas at> at Internet-Mail
Date:    2/21/96 20:22

I don't like the implication by Tannen and others that if I don't 
communicate in a certain style, then I'm not a real woman, somehow.  I'm 
sure that men also don't like the implication that ALL men communicate in 
the same way.  My request is that when making generalizations, state that 
they are generalizations, so you won't offend the tomboys and sensitive 
men out there.  Communication (and other) behaviors do not always 
segregate by gender.
Sarah Pallas

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