I can't stand the idea that "women communicate one way" and men communicate another! That's just not true, and it creates false perceptions and pressure to be one way or the other.
My SO will ever so often (after I speak "to the point" to someone) say that I need to develop better people skills. On the other hand, he will disagree and/or insult people in such a way that is so subtle they will never get it. In that case, I tell him he need to grow a f'ing spine and tell the person what he thinks.
Hmmm. Well after 15 years in a maximum security prison,(working not living, FYI) I had better learn to say NO or be run over. Sometimes, that doesnt translate well, on the "street" so so speak, so Ive been working on balance. Funny that when a woman is forceful, direct,frank she is a ball-breaker, b!tchy etc etc. THose same qualities in a man "show leadership potential"! Directness sometimes implies a hostility or abruptness, that need not be there. Oldernewbie hit it- direct, but tactful- they need not be opposing forces! I will say there have been a few times that too many alpha-b!tches in the same office spoil the pot! Some of my worst conflicts with staff have been with other women. Agree with the comment that being a really good listener, and ensuring other people know they are HEARD is so critical to not coming off harsh. But in split second decisions, yes, its my way or the highway at work in the chain of command. But we all understand that. And I make every effort to be responsive and proactive on questions, after action briefing etc.
Sorry, but I think this sort of binary thinking about communication is sexist. I do not claim to be a great communicator, but I understand that good communication is not always direct communication. Sometimes direct communication is tactless communication and sometimes it's the easy way out. Prioritizing direct communication as dominant and inherently the pattern of an effective (male) leader tells me more about the facilitator's assumptions than the quality of a good leader. There are many ways to communicate and realizing the most appropriate manner at any given time is effective communication that is not the property of either gender. I do not doubt that there are differences between the genders, but it's simplistic to think that one gender holds property rights over certain skills.
I'm in general pretty quiet, and talk indirectly... I get along with the majority of people. I can be direct and take leadership if I need to, but don't feel the need to. Taking orders is no issue for me either- pretty laid back.
I like to treat everyone the way I like to be treated so I try and be as kind as I can to others and try not to offend anyone. I didn't vote since I didn't think any really fit me.
I manage a team of part time people. I've been told I'm intimidating when you first meet me, but once you get to know me you realize I'm not burdened with ego, and im a caring person.
I am a very direct communicator, and ill speak up in a crowd without hesitation. I'm tall, I don't slouch, and other people don't scare me. You know where you stand with me as a friend, family member, or as my employee. I find people enjoy those clear definitions as much as horses and dogs.
I definitely fall in the direct category. In fact I've been told I have more testosterone that any man in my division (this was a more civilian job, not the almost all male and military group I work with now). The guys seem to like that. Plus I'm older, so I get more direct, and that way there is no chance of misunderstanding what I mean. I also have to lead sometimes, such as when the tornado sirens or fire alarms go off, and the customers just sit there and try to ignore them--not happening on my watch. I've been known to tell people exactly what I think, with out any kind of tact involved at all. I don't think the Nobel Peace Prize is in my future. I think with age I've just stopped pretending to be anything but what I am, and I think tactful is something I've never been. Don't ask me for an honest opinion unless you want exactly that.
None of those apply. I'm not "dominant." I am straightforward and clear. I can't stand people who will NOT get to the point. I want yes or no answers, and give people yes or no answers. My opinion doesn't really enter into it.
I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry