Working women are more likely to write long emails that express support and are emotive, while men prefer to stick to the point with precise orders, says a new book.
Authored by Claire Damken Brown and Audrey Nelson, the book, titled Code Switching: How to Talk So Men Will Listen, examines different email styles adopted by men and women in the workplace.
But, that's not where the differences in sexes end. Women are also more likely to stand by while a workmate takes credit for her ideas, get accused of being emotional and allow herself to be interrupted. On the other hand, men like to hold court in the workplace, initiating banter and offering solutions to problems rather than understanding. They will act in a more challenging manner, playing devil's advocate in tense situations, while women will try to help everyone to agree.
The authors of the book said that men and women act in ingrained styles learned from birth and deeply embedded in the workplace structure. And they suggested that in order to rub along together more effectively, men and women should go for "code switching," which they describe as using knowledge of more than one culture and language to communicate.
"It's a travel guide, in a way, to another country with another culture," the Telegraph quoted Nelson as saying.
They said that the differences in men's and women's styles create a persistent "credibility gap," where women are credited with less authority and power than men. "There are a number of women out there that are still happy to accommodate men, that do not want to rock the boat, that have no assertive skills and don't want them," said Nelson.
"But the biggest complaint I have had for 30 years from all levels, all professions of women, is, 'How can I get men to take me seriously?' Miss Nelson said. "This book is to build a bridge in that credibility gap," Nelson added.
In fact, their book teaches how women should respond to interruptions with certain phrases and body language. "Part of our goal in this book is to make women more self-conscious. Step up to the plate. Do something about it," said Nelson.