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A discussion on deborah tannens article regarding the difference between losing and compromising in

Tannen earned a doctorate at the University of California—Berkeley in 1979 and has received five honorary doctorates. DT Yes, most of my books are about personal relationships in different contexts.

The Argument Culture is about public discourse. DT Well, yes, but I guess I would put it in an affirmative way. Our inclination, when talking to somebody, is to assume that they must mean or feel what we would mean or feel if we spoke in that way in that context. And furthermore, they must have intended whatever our reaction is.

Communicating With Style

If we feel hurt, they must have set out to hurt us. If we feel insulted, they must have set out to insult us. And whoever is expecting the shorter pause will find themselves doing all the talking. This could be solely a matter of conversational style. I get asked that question a lot, and people get quite frustrated with me for not saying one is better than the other. For example, many women are uncomfortable with outright conflict and opposition. GS Along the lines of women in the workplace, your book mentions that women may be perceived as more cooperative in communication style.

DT Yes, it is. And in some contexts, men tend to be more indirect than women. There were definite gender patterns. In the workplace, however and also at homemany men think that if they apologize, their position is going to be weakened and the other person may take advantage of it in the future. Authoritarian styles work well in some settings. Or men get their a discussion on deborah tannens article regarding the difference between losing and compromising in out in the open and women address them in a more passive-aggressive style.

The example that comes to mind is a woman who was frustrated because her husband came home and announced his plans for Friday night.

GS Many principles of communication also apply directly to certain fields of work. Print journalists are afraid of losing their jobs because of the Internet and TV, and TV journalists are worried because people can switch channels so quickly now, and there are so many channels to switch to.

GS You mentioned the way the Internet has alarmed print journalists. Do you see the new media, in the form of blogs, social networking sites, etc. DT Both; some positive, some negative. Any change will be both.


And clearly a lot is good about that: You could focus better. DT Every new system quickly develops etiquette. But even now you have companies specifically trying to find ways of limiting these intrusions.