Talking from 9 to 5: How Women's and Men's Conversational Styles Affect Who Gets Heard, Who Gets Credit, and What Gets Done at Work

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Are your words working for you?

You say something at a meeting and it is ignored; then when someone else says the same thing, everyone embraces it as a marvelous idea. You devote yourself to a project, but don't get credit for the results. You give what you think are clear instructions, but the job is not done, or done wrong. Sometimes it seems you are not being heard, not getting credit for your efforts, not getting ahead as fast as you ...

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1995 Audio Book Good 8 RELIABLE and sturdy audio cassette tapes withdrawn from the library. Some shelf wear and library markings to the clamshell box and the cassettes. The ... eight cassettes sit inside tested and clear sounding. Enjoy this worthwhile unabridged audio performance! Read more Show Less

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Overview

Are your words working for you?

You say something at a meeting and it is ignored; then when someone else says the same thing, everyone embraces it as a marvelous idea. You devote yourself to a project, but don't get credit for the results. You give what you think are clear instructions, but the job is not done, or done wrong. Sometimes it seems you are not being heard, not getting credit for your efforts, not getting ahead as fast as you should.

Now, Deborah Tannen brings to the workplace the same voice, eye, and insight that made That's Not What I Meant! and You Just Don't Understand bestselling classics. In Talking From 9 to 5, she explores the special world of work -- where we spend countless hours with people we may not understand or even like, and where the way we talk determines not only how we get the job done, but how we are evaluated for our efforts. Offering powerful new ways of understanding what happens in the workplace, from the simplest exchanges to the complex contemporary issues of the glass ceiling, Tannen explains a variety of conversational styles and reveals how each of us can develop the flexibility and understanding we need.

Since the publication of You Just Don't Understand, Tannen has been told over and over, "Your book saved my marriage." Talking From 9 to 5 will have the same dramatic impact on those who are struggling with co-workers, jobs, and companies, and will help entire companies as well as individual women and men thrive in a working world made up of increasingly diverse workforces and ever-more competitive markets.

The bestselling author of You Just Don't Understand and That's Not What I Meant enters the realm of the workplace and shows readers how they are too often foreigners to each other. Tannen maintains that there is no one style of speaking that is superior in all situations, fully recognizing that differences in gender, ethnicity, geography, class, and personality effect communication in the workplace.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This wise and widely informative book fulfills its promise to do for the workplace what Tannen's You Just Don't Understand has done for the home front-heighten the reader's perception of the ways in which gender, power structures and cultural constraints affect communication. Basing her discussion on extensive interviews with workers, managers and executives at a range of businesses, Tannen identifies-and decodes-various conversational ``rituals.'' For example, women tend to use the words ``I'm sorry'' as an ``expression of understanding-and caring''; but men generally interpret ``I'm sorry'' as an acceptance of blame. Tannen demonstrates that women, conditioned in childhood not to sound too self-confident, are likely to issue orders or implement plans indirectly and therefore don't receive full recognition for their work; men, conditioned not to sound uncertain, may perceive requests for feedback as an admission of weakness. Offering clear explanations of various conversational ``styles,'' Tannen passes few judgments; rather, she offers readers a wider variety of strategies to express themselves. Filled with gracefully analyzed examples of job-related conversations, every page delivers a shock of recognition. Major ad/promo; author tour. Oct.
Library Journal
Tannen (You Just Don't Understand, Morrow, 1990) describes differences in men's and women's public communication as found within the business setting. These differences appear to influence actual perceptions of worker skills and abilities. For example, women say "I'm sorry" without actually apologizing and tend to use an indirect manner of speech. These styles make women appear less confident, competent, and professional. However, women who learn to speak like men are accused of being aggressive and unfeminine. Written for the general reader, Tannen's work is entertaining and filled with illustrative conversations. It raises many issues of concern to working women, from knocking against the glass ceiling to dealing with sexual harassment. Unfortunately, Tannen's research has not yet suggested any linguistic solutions. Highly recommended for general public and academic libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/94.]-Kathy Shimpock-Vieweg, O'Connor Cavanagh Lib., Phoenix
From Barnes & Noble
Examining communication in office settings, this book explores the implications of hierarchical relations and how conversational style differences are influenced by such factors as gender, ethnicity, geography, class, & personality. The author presents information that will have a dramatic impact on those who are struggling with co-workers, jobs, & companies, and will help individuals as well as companies thrive in a working world made up of increasingly diverse work forces & ever more competitive markets. Filled with real-life examples of speaking styles.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780788702716
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Unabridged

Meet the Author

Deborah Tannen
Deborah Tannen is the author of You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation (a New York Times bestseller for more than four years), That's Not What I Meant!: How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships and many other books and articles. University Professor and Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University, she has also been a McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University. She has been a frequent guest on such national television shows as The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, Good Morning America, Oprah, and Donahue. Articles by and about her have appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and most other major magazines and newspapers. She and her husband live in Washington, D.C.

Biography

In 2001, Deborah Tannen published a book that explored the eternally complex relationship between men and women, specifically why communication can be so darn difficult between the sexes. You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation clearly struck a chord with its readers, spending nearly four years on the New York Times bestseller list (holding the No. 1 spot for eight weeks) and having been translated into 29 languages. Bolstered by Tannen's extensive experience as a linguist, You Just Don't Understand has played a significant role in improving relations between men and women throughout the world.

Tannen followed her breakthrough work with several others that have tackled the difficulties in improving communication on the job (Talking from 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work), the source of argumentativeness (The Argument Culture: Stopping America's War of Words), and general disagreements within families (I Only Say This Because I Love You). Now Tannen is turning her attention to improving communications between two groups that share one of the most complicated relationships of all: mothers and daughters.

You're Wearing That?: Understanding Daughters and Mothers in Conversation is yet another ambitious attempt to examine, understand, and resolve the long-standing communication difficulties that so often plague families. Tannen delineated the nature of the particularly thorny interactions between mothers and daughters in an article she recently wrote for The Washington Post. In her article, Tannen stated that "there is a special intensity to the mother-daughter relationship because talk -- particularly talk about personal topics -- plays a larger and more complex role in girls' and women's social lives than in boys' and men's. For girls and women, talk is the glue that holds a relationship together -- and the explosive that can blow it apart. That's why you can think you're having a perfectly amiable chat, then suddenly find yourself wounded by the shrapnel from an exploded conversation."

You're Wearing That? is her attempt to defuse such potential explosiveness, to get to the root of why daughters and mothers so often hit walls when relating to one another. Tannen's own strained relationship with her ailing mother was part of the impetus that caused her to begin asking the questions that this insightful book strives to answer. Along the way, she explored not only her own relationship with her mother but those of many others, as well. "I interviewed dozens of women of varied geographic, racial and cultural backgrounds," she explained in her article. "I had informal conversations or e-mail exchanges with countless others. The complaint I heard most often from daughters was, ‘My mother is always criticizing me.' The corresponding complaint from mothers was, ‘I can't open my mouth. She takes everything as criticism.' Both are right, but each sees only her perspective."

Once again, Tannen has proven her skills as a great communicator, and has penned another instant classic in the field of self-improvement. You're Wearing That? has already achieved bestseller status and inspired Miriam Wolf of the San Francisco Chronicle to call it "a book any mother would be proud her daughter wrote." Tannen should surely be proud that she has made such a significant and positive impact on those who have read her work.

Good To Know

Make no mistake: Deborah Tannen is not just another self-help guru. She has published an impressive body of work that includes 20 books and over 100 articles. She is also the recipient of five honorary doctorates.

Tannen may be most famous for her linguistics studies, but she has also published short stories, poems, personal essays, and plays. In fact, her first play, An Act of Devotion, was chosen for inclusion in The Best American Short Plays: 1993-1994.

The sage relationship advice that Tannen has imparted is not limited to the printed page. She has also lectured all over the world, once addressing an audience of U.S. senators and their spouses.

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Tannen:

"I lived in Greece for several years; I speak Greek and consider Greece my second home. The first book I ever wrote was literary criticism about a modern Greek writer, Lilika Nakou."

"One of the most exciting experiences I have ever had was seeing a play I wrote produced by Horizons Theater in Washington, D.C. Another was having my play An Act of Devotion accepted and published in Best American Short Plays 1993-1994."

"I didn't start grad school in linguistics until I was 30. When I graduated from college, I had no ambitions other than to travel and not to go grad school. I worked for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in Manhattan, lived with my parents in Brooklyn, and saved my money to go to Europe on a one-way ticket. My plan was to go around the world. But I got only as far as Greece, where I got a job teaching English. It was through teaching English as a second language that I first became aware of linguistics."

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    1. Hometown:
      Washington, D.C. metro area
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 7, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Harpur College, 1966, Wayne State University, 1970; M.A. in Linguistics, UC Berkeley, 1976; Ph.D., 1979

Table of Contents

Preface 11
A Note on Notes and Transcription 19
1 Women and Men Talking on the Job 21
2 "I'm Sorry, I'm Not Apologizing": Conversational Rituals 43
3 "Why Don't You Say What You Mean?": Indirectness at Work 78
4 Marked: Women in the Workplace 107
5 The Glass Ceiling 132
6 "She's the Boss": Women and Authority 160
7 Talking Up Close: Status and Connection 204
8 What's Sex Got to Do with It? 242
9 Who Gets Heard?: Talking at Meetings 276
Afterword 311
Notes 319
References 345
Index 361
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2006

    An eye-opening read that men and women alike can relate to!

    Talking from 9 to 5 truly displays many real-life examples of how men and women differ in a variety of ways, and how being flexible and aware of conversational styles will definitely help realtions with co-workers and life in general at the workplace.

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