Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
 
Related Sites

 

Alum Success

Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell
Mechanical Engineering '06

Ben Mitchell grew up in a devout household in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan where emphasis was placed on helping others. He traveled with his father to places such as Kenya and Peru on short-term medical missions. When he was in Kenya, a missionary explained that engineers have the greatest potential to influence the largest number of people. During high school, Ben participated in a youth mission trip to Tijuana. A result of the mission trips, his family decided to adopt three Vietnamese children when he was a junior.

All of these experiences had a great influence on Ben’s outlook on life. He decided to major in mechanical engineering and enrolled at Lake Superior State University. Near the end of his senior year, he decided to volunteer for the Peace Corps to help others.

His two-year commitment began in the fall of 2007 and took Ben to Burkina Faso in western Africa. He resides in the village of Tansila, population 3,000, approximately 10 km from the Mali border. His host organization is the local cotton growers union. It works cooperatively with other villages to improve and expand their production techniques. He serves as an agribusiness advisor as a part of the Small Enterprise Development program which helps create market linkages and assists with the advancement of business skills.

Parents at Lake State

Gender Communication

March is National Women’s History Month, celebrated on campuses, in offices and in K-12 classrooms everywhere. What better time to talk about some of the gender communication differences between males and females? It can help you interact more positively and productively with your student.

Understanding communication styles and preferences, based on gender, can increase positive interactions and decrease misunderstanding. There are some general rules of thumb when it comes to verbal and nonverbal communication. Of course, not all men will communicate one way and not all women will communicate another. These are just some general differences that you may see.

Women’s Speech

  • Women speak less often and talk less time per turn
  • Women often state ideas tentatively, using qualifiers and disclaimers
  • Women wait their turn to speak so talk can be shared among equals
  • Women’s talk focuses heavily on people, feelings and daily events
  • Women tend to rely on requests
  • Women ask questions to invite others into the conversation and show interest in others’ ideas

Women’s Nonverbal Behaviors

  • Women establish more eye contact
  • Women use more facial expressions to convey emotion
  • Women rely on more closed body positions
  • Women use fewer gestures
  • Women touch others less, value touch more and are touched more by others
  • Women use more nonverbal cues of intimacy, like what a communicator is feeling, to include and nurture others

Men’s Speech

  • Men talk more frequently and longer per turn
  • Men state ideas assertively and forcefully
  • Men interrupt or speak over others to assert themselves and their role
  • Men’s talk focuses on actions, events and themselves
  • Men often give orders
  • Men ask questions that challenge the speaker or assert their own position

Men’s Nonverbal Behaviors

  • Men establish less eye contact
  • Men use fewer facial expressions to convey emotions
  • Men rely on more open body positions
  • Men use more gestures
  • Men touch others more, value touch less and are touched less by others
  • Men use more nonverbal cues of power or status to indicate a degree of influence or control

Bridging the gender gap through increased understanding can lead to a better connection with your student.

Sources: The Supervisor’s Journal 2005-06 by Laura Dicke, PaperClip Communications; “Gender and Communication in the Not-So-9 to 5 Student Affairs Workplace,” NASPA presentation, 2000.

Personal education...

Caroline Demary-Elliott

Caroline Demary-Elliott
Mathematics - Secondary Education

"Not only is LSSU close and convenient to my home in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, but the atmosphere is very welcoming. All of the staff and students seem to be really open, and the teacher-to-student ratio is very personal, unlike larger universities." [ more ]

Apply Today!

Home » Gender Communication
Share this page with your friends: