Venus Vs. Mars: How ‘Emailing Like A Man’ Can Help Your Career

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February 12, 2013 ‐ By Ann Brown

 

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Did you know men and women write emails differently? Whether you hail from Mars or Venus may say a lot about how you email — and how your colleagues perceive you. It might not seem like a big deal, but in business it could help you “to email like a guy.”

“In general, women tend to write longer emails and are more likely to use expression or–I am inclined to say–emotion,” Deborah Tannen, a linguistics professor at Georgetown University and author of You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, told Inc. “Women tend to mix personal talk with work talk.”

Men too get a persona — but just a little. They may make small talk about sports or a shared hobby, for example. Women on the other hand, insert emotional or humorous phrases to show that they are well-intentioned, men sometimes perceive this as a form of over-sharing, reports Inc.

So how does emailing “like a woman” hurt executive women? “In the workplace, being open and emotionally transparent with team members might result in greater trust and collaboration,” according to Inc. “[W]hen women who communicate in a more personal or informal style are being evaluated by superiors who do not share or value this style, the use of emotional text can be perceived as frivolous.”

And men may also use sarcasm in an email to make fun of a situation. Women use sarcasm more as criticism; if you joke around in an email to a male colleague, he might take it a different way and could possible be offended.

So before you hit the send button, check your email language.

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