This paper critically evaluates the view that in order to achieve power in management, women must change their communication strategies. It is easy to imagine what the business world would be like, were it dominated by men. That is because this was the case for several recent centuries…
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An in-depth study of women in management settings, conducted by Korac-Kakabadse and Kouzmin revealed several insights into how communication is often a key factor in women not achieving the same level of power as men in the workplace. It explored the differences in their manner of communication and the way that these differences lead them to have less power. He pointed out, for example, that even the terminologies used in a workplace used to be male-oriented. (Korac-Kakabadse and Kouzmin, 1997, pp. 190-193) As researchers have observed, several positions in an organization would have titles such as “chairman” or “salesman”, making them seem like jobs that are designed for males only. Furthermore, women occupied some positions so often that these job titles were associated only with women. Some of the most well known examples of this are “secretary” and “manager’s assistant. The reason why this point is essential to this critique is that these job titles, both the ones associated with males and the ones associated with females, were altered around the same time that the role of women in the workplace started gaining more power. Women, whom these stereotypes had suppressed for a long time, stood up and fought for change, and achieved it. They had the male associated positions changed to “chairperson” and “salesperson”....
In addition, the women-associated job titles now stand replaced by more male-oriented titles such as “office manager” or “assistant manager” (Pringle, 1992, pp. 127-60). Even generic terms like “mankind” now stand replaced with less sexist words like “humankind”. This is an indicator of how women who seek power started by altering the communication strategies in the world around them, in both the workplace and otherwise. Thus, this supports the theory that communication strategies have a large bearing on the power that women possess in the workplace. Another important area in communication that affects the power that women have in the workplace is nonverbal communication. As researchers have found, even the difference in tones that women and men use often affects their power disparity in the workplace, regardless of the content of their speech. Due to the different roles men and women adopt in their lives, they often develop tones of speech accordingly. A man will more likely have a strong and confident voice whereas a woman will have a soothing and comforting tone (Willis, 1990, pp. 40-72). This difference makes it appear that the man is more capable of taking charge in the workplace, whereas the woman is more suited for a less power-oriented career. It would also explain why men are more likely to be trusted with managing and leading large workforces, while women are employed to work for them. This again supports the view that women need to alter their communication strategies if they wish to have more power in the workplace, even if it is their non-verbal communication. A few more studies have observed the communication strategies used by men and women, and have found some startling differences when
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