Studies have shown that men and women have very different communication styles.  Some experts have even gone so far as to describe these different styles as completely different languages. Many authorities attribute communication differences to disparities in the way that men and women think.Women tend to think about the connections between people and events. They communicate in a narrative form that illustrates how things fit together. By contrast, men are more task-oriented or problem solvers. They think in a compartmentalized fashion and communicate similarly. They use fewer words and are mostly concerned with the bottom line as opposed to the way women tend to use far more words and focus on the supporting story.

Differences in communication styles between the genders often lead to misunderstandings. When people are misunderstood they are likely to become frustrated which can lead to defensiveness and in some cases even hostility. Many of the effects of ineffective communication lead to increased stress levels.  Increased stress levels lead to greater incidence of depression and disease, including heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and even headaches.

Communication difficulties are also a key source of many of the interpersonal problems that people face both at home and in the workplace. At home communications problems can lead to marital difficulties or strained relationships between parents and children.  At work, failure to understand the different communication styles can hinder your career development. Communication troubles can be especially problematic for women in traditionally male dominated professions or for men in jobs that are more frequently the domain of women.

Since communication is a two-way street, men and women are equally responsible for the outcomes they receive from contact between them. Research has shown that there are things that both genders can do to accommodate the other and improve results.  Tips are given below:


  • Include more details for background and context.
  • Take time getting to the bottom line.
  • Try to increase the amount of non-verbal responses (eye contact, head nodding and feedback sounds) to let others know that you are listening.
  • Have patience and be mindful of communication differences.


  • Try to give the bottom line first when relating information.
  •  Wait to find out if males want more details before giving them.
  • State information clear and directly.
  • Have patience and be mindful of communication differences.

For Both

  • Seek professional help if communication can not be resolved or it is causing significant distress pertaining to relationships in your life.
  • Seek assistance individually or jointly depending on the type of problem occurring (couples counseling for marital problems, individual therapy for continuous poor interactions across many settings that are gender related or family therapy for continuous gender specific themes).
  • Be sure to find an expert that has familiarity with the type of treatment you are seeking.