Who should shut up – Men or Women? 

ConsultingTools Senior Psychologist Nigel Evans (UK) answers this question by saying “it all depends on your Family”. 

A recent BBC article reports on the research from the University of Arizona that women are “no more chatty” than men. From our expertise, we at ConsultingTools could have told you that.  Let us go to basics and examine the intrinsic aspects of communication. We can look at the many years of established links of communication to personality, particularly through the trait of Extraversion. 

This is covered by the factor of Energy in Facet5. Trained users of Facet5 should treat this new research with voices of “quelle surprise”, since each of the main factors show no significant difference between male and female samples*. 

More interesting than the differences in gender, are the differences in how communication comes across, essentially looking at Energy and the differences within the other factors of Will, Affection, Control and Emotionality. Someone with high Energy would characteristically be enthusiastic, expressive, and eager to communicate with colleagues and clients.  These high Energy people could equally be seen as loud and insensitive – especially by low Energy people – as they appear continually to be on broadcast mode, and can cut others off mid sentence!

This typical style is accentuated (or conversely kept in check) by the other factors in combination:  High Will gives a more powerful and pushy manner, Low Affection will bring a no-nonsense approach, Low Control is individualistic and uninhibited. Combined together they form a classic ‘Family’ profile, called a Promoter.  You will always know when a promoter is in the room as they are very outgoing, forthright, and quick to speak out - but also can be intimidating, overwhelming and too rapid. (Add to this high Emotionality and you will get a further increase in pace and reaction to others).

They seem to do very well in sales and leadership roles with a high public profile.  This is quite the antithesis of the Promoter’s ‘opposite’ Family - the Coach. Coaches are polite, good listeners – but may take time to warm up and voice their opinion. (With low Emotionality this has an effect of dulling down these behaviours even more).  They are your colleagues who are the more reserved and sober types, even at office parties.  As previously stated, there are no gender differences across the four factors that make up a Family profile, so we will find equal numbers of male and female Promoters (or Coaches, or any other Family profile).

Therefore, if people are telling you, or, secretly want to tell you, to shut up, it is not because of your gender – it is because you are probably from the Promoter Family, or at least a close relative! *With the 5th factor Emotionality, females report slightly higher than males.  On analysis, this difference comes out as ‘just’ statistically significant (p=0.03). 

For those of you who are accredited users of Facet5, see section 3 of your user manual for further discussion.   

To find out more about Facet5, click here.

Nigel Evans is a Business Psychologist with a wealth of organisational development experience having previously provided consulting services to various Global 500 companies both in the UK and internationally.

Nigel has produced competency based assessment and selection techniques, employee/customer survey tools, and HR development plans, to help manage change in a range of organisations. Nigel is regarded as an expert on the use of psychometrics.

He holds the highest occupational test registration issued by the British Psychological Society and is qualified to train professionals in the use of ability tests and personality questionnaires.  

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