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Our research shows that men and women differ in their use of communicative abstraction, with men using more abstract communication than women. Because people rely on communicative abstraction as a heuristic cue for power and status, women’s tendency to use less abstract communication may interfere with their ability to emerge as leaders. We provide recommendations for how managers can support women’s growth and leadership emergence in light of our findings. We further highlight strategies that men and women can adopt to tailor their communication to the demands of the context.

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