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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gender differences and use of the phone - lessons for business, politics and life.

An interesting piece of research from BT shows that men and women use the phone in different ways. Tarzan's calls show three times as much functional content (50%) compared with women (17%). Jane's calls by contrast measure three times as much personal conversation (28%) compared with her friend(10%). Men want to talk quantitively and women qualitatively. Obviously, a confirmation of anecdotal evidence and Men from Mars.... The next bit gets interesting. Much of our communication is transitory, cryptic and perfunctory or else gushing with emotional overload. Extremes of a kind. Lessons here for political dialogue, tendering in business, networking, and the myriad of other contexts where we communicate. Endearments, elaboration of thinking and the expression of nuance are the casualties, whilst on the emotional side it can be difficult to assess what is important. Either way there are casualties of misunderstanding. We confuse listening with hearing as we do looking with seeing. As Gertrude Stein observed in the 1930's, long before the appearance of Twitter and other social media - "Let us stop communicating with each other so that we can have some conversation."