Effective office communications are not always easy. To communicate with one’s coworkers in a manner that is professional and efficient takes effort on all parties involved in the conversation. When speaking to a member of the opposite sex, one must be aware that differences exist in the way in which messages are sent and how messages are received. In the attached scenario, two peers must work together to run the business while their manager is away. Unfortunately, the communication between Mary and Steve in the scenario below was not very successful, professional, or effective. 1. If Steve were addressing a male coworker instead of Mary, would he have chosen to communicate in the same way? Men and women communicate differently. Because this has been proven in multiple studies throughout the years, one should recognize this and be aware of these differences when dealing with members of the opposite sex in business communication opportunities. Unfortunately, emotions tend to overcome common sense sometimes and communication breakdowns occur. Cynthia Burggraf Torppa, PhD, (n.d.) states that “Although at times differences in women's and men's communication styles seem to be constant and overwhelming, they are really quite minor. For example, both women and men can be nurturing, aggressive, task-focused, or sentimental. What is important to think about, however, is that women and men sometimes perceive the same messages to have different meanings. In fact, it may be as a result of the differences in message interpretation that the "battle of the sexes" occurs. Studies indicate that women, to a greater extent than men, are sensitive to the interpersonal meanings that lie "between the lines" in the messages they exchange with their mates.” If Steve were addressing a male coworker, he would have spoken the same way. What should have happened differently is that Steve should have been more aware of how Mary would have...
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