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The Handbook of Knowledge-Based Coaching: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE by Diane Brennan, Leni Wildflower

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GENDER AND CONVERSATIONAL STYLES: DEBORAH TANNEN

Deborah Tannen has written extensively on the different ways in which gender affects conversational style (1990, 1994). According to Tannen, men and women have different ways of communicating and derive different meanings from language.

There are gender differences in ways of speaking, and we need to identify and understand them. Without such understanding, we are doomed to blame others or ourselves—or the relationship—for the otherwise mystifying and damaging effects of our contrasting conversational styles. … Recognizing gender differences frees individuals from the burden of individual pathology. … Taking a sociolinguistic approach to relationships makes it possible to explain these dissatisfactions ...

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