When Bill uses the term "dear", he is not consciously being condescending, yet Margaret interprets it to have that meaning. Helen, older and more familiar with Bill's style easily accepts the term as a term of gender endearment. This example illustrates how communication changes over time and through generations because of the way we view our culture.
In the case study, Helen was an effective communicator. As the receiver of Bill's messages she was able to interpret them and act on them accordingly. She was acting within her cultural context. Margaret was also effective in her communication. Though she misunderstood Bill's intentions, she was able to place the communication in the current cultural context and was direct about her feelings in reference to it. Bill was the least effective communicator. He has assumed the role of dominance and not accounted for cultural change. When he requests a cup of coffee, he is transmitting a message and an image. To Margaret, this was the image of a waitress or a servant. His true intentions, to get a cup of coffee, were masked by his inability to communicate across the culture and understand the differences. The message he transmitted was not a request for coffee, but a statement of "I'm in charge".
Men's dominant position in the workplace has been challenged in recent decades. ...Show more