Getting Heard, get on with it

Sarah L. Pallas spallas at bcm.tmc.edu
Sat Jan 27 18:26:05 EST 1996


In article <pnorton-1901961432100001 at norton1.jmc.tju.edu> Pamela Norton,
pnorton at lac.jci.tju.edu writes:
>  The comment from another poster (Eric) that women (all people, really)
>should take pains to speak clearly and deliberately is a good one. Also,
I
>have memories of another thread (maybe here?) in which someone noted that
>women tend to phrase comments hesitantly, or as questions. I've caught
>myself doing it on occasion, and now try make an effort to sound
confident
>if I'm going to bother to say anything. Hesitant mannerisms can weaken
the
>impact of your comment (reaction: "If she's not sure of what she's
saying,
>why should I bother to listen?). I suggest that we should all solicit
>comments on our speaking styles, both formal and informal, from
>colleagues. 

To the person who wants us to "get on with it", you are welcome to get on
to another topic yourself, but I think it's inappropriate to dictate to
others whether they should do so or not.  If you're tired of a certain
topic, depending on your newsreader, you can eliminate that thread
entirely, or you can simply press the 'n' key.

I was the person who originally posted the Getting Heard topic, so I
thought I'd follow up.  I received some good suggestions, mostly along
the lines of the one quoted above.  I also talked to one of the offenders
and asked him why he seemed not to be hearing me.  He in fact said that I
tend to talk with an upward inflection on the end of my statements, which
made him tune them out, thinking I wasn't requiring a reply or that I was
asking another question, and not answering the one he had raised.  I
don't know if this is a particular habit of women but it might be.  In my
case I think it's because I'm from Minnesota and we all talk like that,
it's considered rude to make bold statements, and the lilt of the
Scandinavian accent compromises the forcefulness of speech.  So now I am
working on requiring an answer back to my statements, and making them
statements, not questions.

Another interesting topic would be:  why do female scientists need to
adopt 'male' ways of speaking, etc., to get heard, why can't the men
learn to hear us just as we've learned to hear them?

Sarah



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