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Communication at work place

Communication is the process of passing information from one party to another, usually comprises of two or more people. The passage used to pass the information has to be clear enough to make the information complete and accurate. There are many channels of communication, visual, auditory and tactile. The type of communication in human is uniquely categorized for its use of the theoretical language. Being a good listener is argued as one of the best qualities of a good communicator, combined with the proper use of non-verbal communication like the body language, gestures, tone of the message and the eye contact. Researchers have come out to argue about the differences in the ways of communication in both genders, with many suggesting that women have the best qualities when it comes to passing the message home safely with their soft and clear voices (Labov 161). Other quotas who oppose the same claiming that men are the best communicators citing their authoritative voice and commanding body language. This paper will study Tannen’s ideas on communication in genders, and other two sources that support and criticize the same respectively.

Deborah Tannen’s research she argued that women have learned more about the speaking styles than men which they can use during communication.  This was his view to disagree with the manager of a company who used to consider who confidence is in communication so as to grasp their ideas. Where it ended up that all women lacked confidence in that organization. The managers used the linguistic norms to judge women in their communication.  

According to the Deborah Tannens, linguistic styles or norms is one of the issues that led to differences in communication between men and women in the workplace. Men and women have different linguistic norms. Linguistic styles are individual characteristics of speaking patterns. The linguistic can involve activities such as choice of words, pausing and pacing, indirectness and directness and use of the elements like stories, apologies, questions, jokes and figures of the speech. Therefore, linguistic signals are culturally learned where one does not communicate what he or she means but he or she interprets the meaning and evaluation of different people. For example, turn-taking in the process of communication is important since it enables one to listen and then respond so as to enhance communication. Different communities have different linguistics which are different in men and women. What is said to be natural for the men when speaking a given language is not what is natural to the women. Women and men have different linguistic styles which make their communication in the workplace different. At the young age, girls tend to learn the conversational rituals focusing on the relationships whereas boys tend to focus their learning on the rituals that focus on their status (Harvard Business Review 250). Due to that when they grow, men and women must have differences in their communication.

According to the Deborah Tannens, men and women take the linguistic styles they learn at the young age to the workplace. Therefore, there is different in the communication between men and women in the workplace.  To begin with, the choice of the pronoun used by the men during communication affects who gets credit. Men use pronouns that refer to themselves during communication hence making them be recognized that the girl's example; “I did this”, this makes men to obtain credit as they reflect their status in the communication. On the side of the women, they use pronoun which reflects the entire group in the organization or workplace. Women use the inclusive pronouns even in the work that they have done alone “we did this”. Women in their communication do not credit themselves for what they have done whereas men think that they should credit themselves. In this view, you will find that in an organization men communication will be different from the women communication in the workplace (Harvard Business Review 250).

During communication in the workplace, women have the tendency to talk down their certainty whereas men are likely to minimalize their uncertainties in the workplace.  The act of the women to downplay their certainty may cause the different of communication in the workplace, in this case, women are unable to produce their ideas in public in the public as they seem it as a boastful nature. This may seem that they have no confidence in communication. For the men, they minimize their doubts and they communicate their ideas in the workplace without the doubt. Hence they are confident in their communication. This causes a difference in communication between men and the women in the workplace.

In the workplace, men are said to be more attuned when compared to the women to the potential face which leads to losing the aspect of asking questions in the workplace.  This brings the difference in communication between men and women. Men they rarely ask questions for the directions in the workplace since it will look like they are incompetence. They want to be independent and find their way (Harvard Business Review 250).  Women on the other side will always ask a question for the directives. In this way, the communication will be different between men and the women.

In another view, it is clear that men and women are different both physically and psychologically, this is from the way they act to the way they communicate and influence others. The major differences focused between the genders are conversation characteristics and traits between men and women, and the way the genders influence other individuals. The tactics that both genders use in communication that influences the other party, depends on the gender of the other party because in most cases women respond better to men and vice versa. However, most research has pointed out the superiority of women in communication skills as compared to men (LoBue and DeLoache 397). There are so many factors that have been linked to this including the soft voice that is persuasive and the humble hospitality that is displayed in the face of a woman that is trustable and convincing. According to John Hansen, “girls are more verbal than boys.’’ This states that from an early age communication skills are better presented in women than in men with scientific evidence citing the same “a healthy baby girl is born with perfect hearing.” The author analyze this as the reason why girls can be able to discriminate between tones and what they really mean.

Hansen further states how the difference in communication between the genders starts at tender age, because male children are slower at hearing and so they are more attracted to things they can play around with, “ boys are more fascinated by the mobiles above their cribs than they are by their parents faces.” This is different when it comes to girls whose brains are designed to observe and analyze things from the inter-relational point. This better describes why women are better when engaging their audience than men, and the best storytellers. Another reason why women have stood out to be the best, and with no genetic connection is the standards that women are held on that is higher than men. This putts them in an insecure position that instead makes them to work twice as hard, develop more advanced skills and methods of communicating to overcome men, be respected and heard (Labov 161). This are main reasons why men trail in overall communication skills, and women keep the lead.

According to Sanders (18), he argued that people in the workplace should not use the linguistic  styles learn in the community set up to bring a difference in communication between women and men in the workplace. He argued that men and women should understand each other in such conditions. Men should not use nonverbal cues like women asking a question as lack of competence but they should use it as a different style or technique, they should avoid women on the questions they ask. The reluctant of the women to boast or sell themselves should not be used by men to mean they are insecure or for men to underestimate the women abilities. In fact, men should ask women for their accomplishment so that they can realize that women are not incompetent is just that they don’t want to boast.  According to sanders men and women should not use linguistic characteristics to bring about a difference in communication in the workplace. Instead, they should understand each other and use their knowledge and skills to enhance smooth communication in the workplace.


Harvard Business Review. (2017). The Power of Talk: Who Gets Heard and Why. [online]Available at: [Accessed 22 Nov. 2017].

Labov, William. "Preface: The Acquisition of Sociolinguistic Variation." Linguistics 51.2 (2013): 161. Print.

LoBue, Vanessa, and Judy S. DeLoache. "On the Detection Of Emotional Facial Expressions: Are Girls Really Better Than Boys?." Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32.05 (2009): 397. Print.

Sanders, Jane. “Communicating Effectively at Work.” Hispanic Times Magazine, vol. 16, no. 5, Oct. 1995, p. 18. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost. Accessed 10 Nov. 2017

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