What are some ways that men and women differ in their listening behaviors? To what extent do you perform these behaviors? Its fun to look at communication differences between men and women but we also have to be careful to not stereotype and assume that all men will act a certain way and all women will act a certain way. There are some examples I can give to demonstrate these differences : Women are more likely to talk to other women when they have a problem or need to make a decision.
Men keep their problems to themselves and don’t see the point in sharing personal issues. Women are more relationship oriented, and look for commonalities and ways to connect with other women. Men tend to relate to other men on a one-up, one-down basis. Status and dominance is important. Women focus on building rapport, by sharing experiences and asking questions. Men like to tell and give information rather than ask questions. They share experiences as a way of being one-up.
If women have a disagreement with each other it affects all aspects of their relationship. Men can have a disagreement, move on to another subject and go get a drink together. Women get things done at work by building relationships. Men build relationships while they are working on tasks with each other. At meetings women nod their head to show they are listening. Men think the woman is agreeing with them. He then assumes the women will go along with his idea.
He is surprised when she later disagrees, since she nodded her head. She has no idea why he thought she agreed with him since he never asked her. At meetings, men only nod their heads when they agree. If a women is speaking and she doesn’t see his head nod as he listens, she assumes he either disagrees or is not listening. In my prespective, too often men and women see the differences between each other and make each other wrong, rather than appreciating how they can benefit from those differences.