Friday, July 09, 2010

Code Switching: How to Talk So Men Will Listen (Book Review)

In my experience, most problems between men and women come down to the issue of communication. I think a lot more issues could be solved if men and women better understood each other’s communication styles. Now there’s a new book on the market that helps us with this age-old dilemma. It’s called Code Switching: How to Talk So Men Will Listen, by Claire Damken Brown, Ph.D., and Audrey Nelson, Ph.D.

Although this book is really geared toward improving communication in the workplace, it’s still valuable information for marital satisfaction. For instance, check out this excerpt:

“Sayings such as ‘Get to the point’ and ‘What is the bottom line?’ are borne out of male culture. Women are more process oriented. They want to share their stories and provide the details that they think make the stories rich. Women want to go on more than men want to hear. Simple as that."

In this case, the authors teach women how to speak in a “pyramid style” so men won’t tune them out when they answer in more than a few words.

Code Switching also has an excellent chapter on how the digital age has affected our communication with each other. Have you ever received an email from a man and struggled to read between the lines as to his real meaning? The authors share:

"Similar to sex differences in linguistic patterns, women and men use e-mail, the Internet, texting, and other technology to communicate in different ways. For example, there is a lot of confusion in the style and interpretation of e-mail between men and women. If women want men to look at their e-mail and respond favorably, a closer look at these differences is crucial."

If you’re struggling to communicate effectively in the workplace, this book is for you, with topics such as asking for a raise, managing office bullies, handling workplace humor, sexual harassment, office romances, climbing the corporate ladder and more. But even if you’re not working in an office environment, Code Switching is worth reading to gain a better understanding about gender differences and learning “how to talk so men will listen”! What woman doesn’t want that?

Web site:

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate this review. No other compensation was provided.


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