Book Review: Same Words, Different Language A Proven Guide for Creating Gender Intelligence at Work

I tell all my workshop participants not to look for answers. Answers are things we use to solidify our own positions. Instead, look for insights. Insights mean we’re learning something. Insights mean we’re filling that hole in our minds that I call what-we-don’t-know-we-don’t-know. —B. Annis

Let me be frank. I did not intend to enjoy reading the piece. So, it was quite a surprise to me when I found myself recommending it to others. The key point that turned this from the realm of pseudoscience into an essential “must have” was the author’s unique framing of the text as a discussion and not a hard science.

I found that difference not only approachable, but an acceptable premise for the foundations of specifying that thought can be gendered. I may not agree with very assumption and deconstruction Annis presented, but I can accept that these reactions and interpretations may be accurate for some individuals. I can appreciate that thought and perception can be interpreted as gendered as a result of the social and perhaps genetic heredity we share as we grow into adulthood.

Sometimes in the workplace men and women just don’t perceive the world in the same way. This is an excellent resource to garner that conversation. Whether you’re exploring hurt feelings, or bouts of the blame game, we really do seem to use the same words with different meanings at times. If you keep a bookshelf of essential must reads for the workplace, add this to your collection I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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