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Sorry, but men use passive language as much as women

Men are more likely to say thanks, and women use more exclamation points, according to a new workplace survey.

Sorry, but men use passive language as much as women
[Photo: rawpixel/Unsplash]
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Words and phrases that undermine your message can kill your career. To combat this, there’s even a Chrome extension that highlights the use of words like “sorry” and phrases like “does this make sense” in an effort to encourage more confident communication–particularly in women’s messages.

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But a new study from Hive, a collaboration platform, indicates that men are just as likely to use those words and phrases. The State of Workplace Gender report, which surveyed 3,000 men and women across different workspaces, found that there are almost no differences in the use of “I think,” “please,” and happy face emojis. However, men are more likely (0.64%) than women (0.07%) to say they’re sorry in a message. And when women do say sorry, they are more likely to say it to each other.

Both women and men are more likely to send direct messages to their own gender. The survey also found that men assign 20% more tasks to men, and women assign 20% more tasks to women, and respondents indicated that they’re also slightly more likely to complete work assigned to them by someone of the same gender.

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About the author

Lydia Dishman is a staff editor for Fast Company's Work Life section. She has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.

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