Prior to working at my present job, I had developed certain communication habits.
As a female, I trained myself constrain my workplace communication to actions, objects and deadlines. That was my conception of model behavior.
I would never talk about my feelings. I have considered it the height of unprofessional behavior to talk about feelings. I think many women in the workplace, especially in technological professions, share that feeling.
There are two reasons to avoid talking about feelings:
First, a very common way to demean women is to say, “You are too emotional.” To be called ’emotional’ is another way saying impaired judgment, or not fit to do the work. I myself would be inclined to veer far away from any hint of emotion.
Second, to begin talking with male colleagues about feelings in the workplace, to be brutally honest, opens the door to unwanted sexual advances. If I start taking about feelings with a man, he might just talk about a whole other set of feelings that I DON’T want to know about.
But, I’ve been struggling to communicate with my current co-workers, and I’ve been hearing feedback about how some things are not working out right. My response has been to become all the more crisp when discussing actions, objects and deadlines.
Not quite the right path.