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Is there a gender distinction in the way we communicate? Apparently, yes. My wife and I were talking as we re-arranged things in the wardrobe. The conversation went something like this :-

Wife: “He has gone to London today”

Me: “Who?”

Wife: ” Not that one, the one on the right. Mr. Rajaram. Above that, a bit to the left. May be his company is paying for all his expenses. ”

Me: “Which one? Right of what ? What expenses? What are you talking about?”

Wife: “That’s the old one. I told you that has got spoilt. Our new neighbour. They are quite nice people. When will you buy a new one? She told me he is returning on the 14th”

Me: “What? What? What?”

As kids, girls as a rule tend to speak much earlier than boys. They not only speak much earlier but also apparently much more. I recall a stat. which says that while men speak about 7,000-10,000 words per day, women speak something like 20,000-25,000 words per day. I haven’t actually counted but there seems to be a lot of truth in that.

Women have this amazing ability to talk about several things at the same time. They have the bandwidth to handle multiple tasks more comfortably than men. Most men, I find, prefer, on the contrary to handle one topic at a time.

Women attach much more importance to inter-personal relationships to get things done. Men tend to be more task oriented. Women tend to be more indirect in what they say. Much of what they say has to be read “between the lines”. For example: “Do you want to go to the bank today?” actually means ” Go to the bank today”!

Often women speak at length merely to express their thoughts, weigh pros and cons and not necessarily to ask for a solution. Men, on the other hand, think the woman is asking for a solution and give one promptly when all she wants is a patient hearing.

These differences are obviously not absolute. One cannot generalize. All that I suggest is that one should be sensitive to these and other differences so that problems arising out of communication can be minimized.

Disclaimer: This post has been seen and approved by my better half.:)

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This is the 124 th of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success