“Touro University International” Leonardo R. Chavez BUS 303 Body Language Module 3 24 November 2006 Dr. Don W. McCormick Introduction: This question is a bit perturbed, it’s almost asking that men should act a certain way around women in the work place in order to a better job of being inclusive! How about the reverse of this question what women should do in order to accomplish the same goal. I would agree that men should behave in a professional matter and avoid any potential situation that could be misconstrued as inappropriate behavior.
But as far as acting in a certain way to make women feel comfortable and accepted, my answer to that is be professional. Main Body: What are the differences between women and men? When asked this question, everyday beliefs about differences in male and female social behaviors are elicited in abundance. Men are typically believed to be “instrumental” and task-oriented but also aggressive, dominant, noisy, and loud-mouthed Women are believed to be emotional, gentle, and sensitive to others, but also passive and gossipy.
Everyday perceptions about behavioral gender differences are found regardless of the gender of the perceiver. Perceived gender differences in communication style reflect these common perceptions about gender differences. Women are believed to talk more and to be better listeners than men, to be more aware of others’ feelings, and to be more emotionally expressive than men. A picture is worth a thousand words. What you see is what you get. You’ve probably heard these cliches countless times, but they hold true when it comes to body language.
If you want to communicate clearly, you need to pay attention to your voice, gestures, facial expressions and posture as well as other people’s personal space. If you don’t, your body might “say” something you don’t want it to and send the wrong message. When talking with someone, consider these aspects: The pitch of your voice plays a key part in how your message is received. Like it or not, many people make assumptions about your personality based on your voice. People with high-pitched voices give the impression they’re nervous, immature, lacking in confidence or even slightly emotional.
People with low pitches sound confident, calm and competent. When you speak slowly, listeners assume you’re choosing words carefully. A slower pace also underscores the message’s importance. Be conscious of any undesirable gestures in your part or that of the listener. Folding arms across your chest indicates a closed, defensive attitude; leaning forward means interest; shrugging your shoulders signals indifference; narrowing your eyes and setting your jaw shows defiance; and smiling and nodding illustrates agreement.
To interpret nonverbal language accurately, pay attention to individuals’ personalities and habits. Your posture also provides insight to your personality. Good posture conveys self confidence and competence. Remember, your control of a group or a situation can be won or lost by the image you present while standing, walking or sitting. Personal space rules is just as important when you’re communicating one-on-one, especially with someone of another culture, gender or generation. Personal distances, one to four feet, are appropriate for conversations you don’t want overheard.
Use touch in business situations only when appropriate. Pats or squeezes on the shoulder or hand and quick hug occurs everyday in the workplace to convey friendship, comfort, compassion, empathy, excitement and sincerity. You must know when such touching is appropriate at work. If you have the slightest indication a person will misconstrue it, or if you are hesitant to extend the touch, don’t do it. Your body language is a key factor in making a good first impression and in building relationships with business associates and customers.
If what you communicate with your voice is contradicted by body language, you’ll confuse and possibly insult your audience, breaking down the communication process. Conclusion: These are the things we can all improve on not just men, since this topic is what men can do a better job being inclusive in the workplace by looking at how their body language works to either make women feel comfortable and accepted in the workplace. I guess this is what men can work on.
For my self and perhaps any other male soldier the best thing you can do when it comes to women in the work place is avoid them and deal with them only when necessary. My experience has it that when ever I tried to make friends and perhaps share a joke, or smile with a female soldier. Those around us always misconstrue the behavior as inappropriate and the assumption of a personal relation is what’s taking place. I can’t say the same for a civilian work environment, perhaps I will be answer that question when my tour of duty is complete.