“At a conference I attended recently as a guest speaker I was sitting waiting to address a group of around 300 women. As I watched them come into the hall, I began to take note of the noise they were making. It seemed they were all talking at once. I decided to see if I could focus on just what had them so energised: perhaps they were discussing the world situation on the context of the Iraq war or maybe the political situation here at home. But no, they were talking about which chair they were going to sit in – ‘Hey Mary, let’s go up the front’, ‘Sally, I think we should go over here’, ‘Has anyone seen Jude? She might want to sit with us’, ‘Where do you reckon you’ll hear here better, up the back, or over here?’ ‘Are the seats allocated, do you think? Will it be all right to sit here?’ The discussion continued for several minutes then gradually came to a halt as the women settled into their chairs, checking as they did so that everyone around them was happy with the seating arrangements….
I’m reasonably sure I can guarantee that if 300 men were coming into a hall in similar circumstances, there wouldn’t be one conversation about which chair to sit in. If there was any conversation at all, it would be low level, short bursts of speech and equally short responses. ‘Good game last night.’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Michael Campbell seems to have hit his stride.’ ‘Yeah.’ But if you actually watched what was going on, you’d see a lot of communication occurring. If one guy wanted another to sit next to him, he’d just nod towards a chair and raise an eyebrow and the other man would know exactly what he meant. He wouldn’t speak; he wouldn’t need to. He’d just sit down.”
From “He’ll Be Ok: Growing Gorgeous Boys Into Good Men”
by Celia Lashlie
Celia’s observation highlights some interesting differences in predominant communication style used within a group of men in comparison with the predominant communication style used within a group of women.
However if we take a closer look at individuals in both groups, we might discover a huge range of communication styles and preferences within each gender. We might also notice individuals of both genders shifting styles dramatically from one context to another.
What is your predominant communication style?
Do you speak loudly with non-verbal communication?
Do you speak silently with words?