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There's a body of literature out there (magazine articles, scholarly reports, books) examining the differences between the ways women and men communicate. Various materials I've read say that women tend to be more tentative and even apologetic when stating their opinions or asking for things. Some say that this communication style arises at least in part from women's generally stronger emphasis on relationships over results, but most seem to agree that it can result in women being less likely to get what they want.
Recently Stepcase Lifehack published a guest post on this topic. The post, titled “How Not to Ask,” is an excerpt from a book called Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth, by Mika Brzezinski (an MSNBC anchor and television personality). The post focuses on one narrow area: how women ask for raises or promotions in the workplace. The concepts discussed, though, apply to pretty much any situation. The premise is that in general (of course there are exceptions to every rule) women are more “emotional” and less direct than men about asking for what they want.
I encourage you to read the post (by clicking either on its title above or here). I found the post intriguing and probably will read the book. If you're a woman, do you recognize your asking style in any of the examples cited in the post? Do you think it matters? I'm interested to learn what you think about the article.