“The Power of Talk: Who Gets Heard and Why” by Deborah Tannen is an article dealing with the differences in linguistic styles between mainly men and women, but also between people in general. She talks about how the same phrase can have different meanings to different people and it can depend on your cultural background, but more surprisingly can depend also on your linguistic upbringing. Linguistic style is the way we say things.
In other words linguistic style is the way we learn to communicate that is how we say things, the tone of voice we use and at what speed we say it.Deborah Tannen writes about how children, both girls and boys, develop these skills at a very young age, but in very different ways. These skills are then taken into their future workplace. Girls generally tend to hang out in small groups and balance their needs with the needs of the other girls. They are more open and supportive and above all rather be a group then a hierarchy where one stands out more then the other. Boys on the other hand are in large groups and tend to be competitive and want to stand out more.
The more you stand out the more power you have, and the more power you have the more control you have over your group. These groups are where boys and girls tend to learn their conversational styles. The result of this is that men and women can have trouble communicating by having different ways of saying the same things. Tannen (p. 245) explains it well when writing “You can’t assume that the other person means what you would mean if you said the same thing in the same way.
” Businesses in our time are mainly run by men, and though changing, most of the employees in higher position are male.Getting credit is one place where men tend to vary from women. Men are much more likely to demand credit about something they have done at work searching for praise, as women are likely to keep it low in case they will not be liked because they are looking for credit. This leads to confidence and boasting. Tannen talks about studies which show that women are more likely to be less confident while men are more likely to minimize their doubts.
This can be tracked down to the groups that are formed when in Pre School.