I've just finished reading a great book by Allan and Barbara Pease entitled "Why Men Lie and Women Cry". A true and humorous account of the differences between the sexes and full of practical ways to communicate effectively.
I've enjoyed the book so much and felt it will be of great benefit to all of you that I just had to write up an extract from it:
Women Talk, Talk and Talk
"When a woman talks she often uses indirect speech, this means she hints at what she wants or infers things.
Women's indirect speech has a purpose – it builds relationships and rapport with other avoiding aggression, confrontation or discord.
When women use indirect speech with other women there is a ladder a problem – women are sensitive to picking up the real meaning. It can, however be disastrous when used on men.
Men Take Words Literally
Men use direct speech and take words literally. They find women's lack of conversational structure and purpose very disconcerting, and accuse women of not knowing what they're talking about. They respond by saying things like "What's the point here?" "Where is this conversation going?" and "What's the bottom line?"
Men then proceed to talk to a woman as if she is a mental patient or will cut her off by saying "We've been over this a few times", "How much longer will this take?" and "This conversation is too much hard work and is not going anywhere!"
Indirect Talk In Business
When a woman uses indirect speech in business, it can prove problematic because men may have difficulty following a multi-tracked, indirect conversation.
Men need to be presented with clear, logical, organized ideas and information before they will make a decision. A woman can have her ideas and requests rejected purely because her male boss did not have a clue what she really wanted.
After six months of negotiations, Marie finally won the chance to present her company's new advertising program to a big financial client. The audience would be eight men and four women, the account up for grabs was worth $ 200,000, and she had 30 minutes to sell her story.
As she started into her presentation, however, she noticed how blankly the men were regarding her. She felt they were judging her critically and, assuming they were losing interest, she began to multi-track her presentation to try to spur their interest by going back to previous slides, talking indirectly and trying to show how one related to the other.
The women were giving her encouragement by smiling at her, using various facial expressions and making listening sounds like, "Uh huh", "Right!" and "Mmmmm" and generally looking interested.
Marie was excited by the women's feedback and started pitching her story to them, unintentionally ignoring the men. Her entire presentation became a juggling act. She finished and departed, convinced she'd done a great job and eagerly waited for the company's response.
Here's the conversation that took place between the male executives over coffee after Marie had gone:
Marketing Director: "Do you guys have an idea in hell c what she was talking about?".
Chief Executive: "No … she lost me. Tell her to send the proposal in writing."
Marie had multi-tracked her presentation and used indirect talk with a group of men who did not have a clue what she was talking about or what related to what. The women executives were happy with the presentation and had participated by asking questions but no man wanted to raise his hand and admit he did not understand.
A woman needs to understand that if a man does not follow what she's saying he'll often try he understands rather than look stupid.
Regardless of a man's age, a woman still needs to talk with direct speech. Give him timables, agenda, bottom line answers and deadlines.
Women need to be direct with men in business and give them one thing at a time to consider. Marie is still waiting for an answer …
"Why Men Lie and Women Cry, Allan and Barabara Pease info @ pease international.com
The Final Word
This week I focussed on women communicating with men, however there are heaps of great tips in the book to help you guys get along better with the fairer sex. .
I highly recommend you invest in "Why Men Lie and Women Cry". We've even been able to talk Barbara and Allan Pease into making a special offer to our subscribers (see page 2). I'm certain you'll discover some gems you can action immediately and dramatically improve your communications with the opposite sex.