The workplace bullying institute reports that over 40 percent of bullies in the workplace are women. Interestingly, women target other women in conflict over 70 % of the time.
Recently, I was a motivational speaker for a women's conference. This inspiring event including some fantastic topics all catered to developing soft skills like communication, stress management and conflict management.
One of the other motivational speakers for the women's conference, Kelly Brown, presented a motivational talk on how different genders handle conflict.
The guest speaker summarized these differences between how men and women resolve conflict:
Women deny they are competitive
Women learn that belonging and friendship is more important than succeeding and being right. Women usually expect other women to provide them with nurturing, support and sympathy and they may take conflict or criticism personally. Women judge each other more harshly than men judge women.
The motivational speaker for the women's conference said that men are judged different in business. Men are presumed right until proven wrong and women who display anger are seen as difficult.
Women are generally uncomfortable with the aggressive, competitive style men relish at work. Most women shy away from being confrontational.
The motivational talk inspired women to opt for a coaching style of giving feedback. It works because coaching is nurturing, which women are good at. Coaching is more subtle, indirect and less confrontational.
Women also tend to communicate in a much less indirect style, often hinting at a problem instead of cutting to the chase.
The motivational speaker for the women's conference suggested that by addressing issues and not personalities in a direct, and straightforward way- women will get effectively address conflict.