Friday, April 22, 2011


Diane Balloun, a Dallas, TX, communications consultant, has made a study of the differences between men and women memo-writers. "Women tend to be more wordy in memos", she says. "They put in too much detail, too much explanation, taking them longer to get to the point."

Balloun believes that the same qualities that make women such excellent managers when dealing with people are their downfall when faced with a blank sheet of paper. She thinks that female willingness to explain an issue in detail, especially their desire to soften bad news or present alternatives, can hamper their style with a memo.
Ms. Balloun observes, "The rule in memo-writing is, whether it's good or bad news, just give the information straight. Clear, concise, and to the point. But women are uncomfortable with this approach. As well, women seem to want to make even short memos look like letters, resulting in word-flow longer than the ideal maximum single page." She adds, "Most men don't like writing letters, so they're happy with point-form and bullets in memos to get info across fast." Hers are thoughtful -- if perhaps contentious -­observations...

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