Gender stereotypes are everywhere.

You’ve probably heard the expression, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” This was the title of a best-selling book published in 1992, billed as a guide to understanding the opposite sex.

Episode 95 - Gender Stereotypes - Men Are From Mars

So, are men and women really from different planets? No, of course not! However, men and women often DO have different communication styles.


Episode 95 - Gender Stereotypes - Face off man and woman

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Calm down.
We can learn a lot from each other!

Read on to learn:

  • 3 things WOMEN often get WRONG in their communication, according to Judith Humphrey
  • The COMMUNICATION MINDSET to which we can all aspire
  • What the RESEARCH says: 6 ways mens’ and women’s communication styles might differ

Episode 95 - Gender Stereotypes

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Yes, we’re doing this. 
Let’s go!

Let’s Step-it-Up, Ladies!

In PART 2 of my conversation with communication skills expert Judith Humphrey, she highlights 3 negative stereotypes regarding how women often communicate:

1️⃣ Women often make themselves small
2️⃣ Women tend to talk more about their hard work
3️⃣ Women typically don’t assume people will listen 

Episode 95 - Gender Stereotypes - Pick me!
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***It’s very important to note that these stereotypes are GENERALIZATIONS, and do not apply to every individual. However, we can learn a lot from these stereotypes to help us improve our communication effectiveness!

Ask yourself:

Do I do any of these things?

1. Women make themselves SMALL

  • With their BODIES – through body language, smiling too much, and by taking up as little space as possible
  • With their VOICES – by speaking with higher pitches and lower volumes
  • With their WORDS – through diminishing language such as caveats and apologies (“I could be wrong.” “Sorry.” “It’s just a thought.”)
2. Women talk more about their HARD WORK
  • Many women may feel INSECURE, and therefore they feel like they have something to prove.
  • They may feel the need to DEMONSTRATE their productivity and be very EXPLICIT about the time and effort they’ve spent working.
  • Men, on the other hand, talk less about how hard they work. Instead, they LEAD and DELEGATE.


Episode 95 - Gender Stereotypes - man with megaphone
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3. Many women don’t assume people will LISTEN

  • Women don’t take for granted that they will be HEARD or that their messages will be ACTED ON.
  • Men generally expect that they will be heard, understood, and FOLLOWED.
This is a POWERFUL mindset!

A Powerful Communication MINDSET

Imagine assuming that your communication will be HEARD, UNDERSTOOD and FOLLOWEDRegardless of your gender, this is a mindset that demonstrates confidence and credibility. It also comes with awesome responsibility.  This is a mindset to which we can all aspire.

Episode 95 - Gender Stereotypes - Judith Humphrey quote

This all said, women do get a lot right! For example, have you ever heard the stereotype that at work, men are focused on “performance” and women are focused on “relationships“?  Certainly, both performance AND relationships are good things.

What does the research say?

6 Ways Our Communication Styles May Differ

I get asked this question a lot: What are the differences between how men and women communicate? And how we can elevate everyone’s communication effectiveness?

Episode 95 - Gender Stereotypes - gender differences at workimage: Unsplash @ youxventures

So I scoured the academic research and came up with six meaningful ways that men and women’s communication styles may differ.  Note that I say “may” differ: 

  1. HOW MUCH we talk – It’s not what you probably think.  In fact, it might be the opposite! (See more below…)
  2. Our communication GOALS – Can you guess who’s “task-oriented” and who’s “relationship-oriented”?
  3. Our VOICES – Two words: Go Deep.
  4. Our LISTENING SKILLS – The anatomy of our ears is identical. Yet somehow, our listening is not. 
  5. Our NON-VERBAL communication – As Judith points out, women make themselves small. Can you guess who’s better at reading body language?
  6. Our CONFIDENCE – Everyone suffers from imposter syndrome!

If you’re looking for more on gender differences in communication, HERE’s my summary of the research.

I leave you with this last amusing insight.  Starting with a QUESTION:

Can you guess the topic of my #1 most viewed post on social media?

Episode 95 - Gender Stereotypes - Yoshiro Mori quote


Over 22K people viewed my LinkedIn post where I shared a Forbes article about what the head of the Tokyo Olympics thinks about gender stereotypes and communication:


Yoshiro Mori used 38 words:
“Board of directors meetings with many women take a lot of time. When you increase the number of female executive members, if their speaking time isn’t restricted to a certain extent, they have difficulty finishing, which is annoying.”

I use THREE:
“Do the research.”

Now you’ve done your research.  You’ve heard Judith’s insights about how men’s and women’s communication may vary, and to what we can aspire.  You’ve also learned more about what the research says.  Onward!

Please forward this email to your friends who might like help with their communication skills (and/or their gender stereotypes!). Thank you.

Talk soon,

Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach