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Decoding the Silent Language

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Did you know that women physicians spend an average 2 minutes longer talking to their patients compared to male physicians AND engage in more rapport building/patient centered care?

Why do we women do this?  It’s like we care or something.

That’s right!  We do care, a lot actually.  It’s in our genetic code.

No, it’s not a gift, gentlemen.  Yet simple evolution.   Men have their strengths, but the data is clear, women are non-verbal communication decoding Ninja-Masters.

Scholarly Pursuit… Sharpen your pencils.
Anthropology categorizes body language as the study of Kinesics.  First used in 1952 by Dr. Ray Birdwhistell, an anthropologist who wished to study how people communicate through posture, gesture, stance, and movement. Part of Birdwhistell’s work involved making films of people in social situations and analyzing them to show different levels of communication not clearly seen otherwise.

History… A look back at our ancestors.
Women excel in decoding non-verbal cues from thousands of years of practice.  In early society, women were tasked to work together in groups to gather and forage for food, which took up the greater portion of their day.  Women created relationships built on a need to support the collective through maintaining peace and resolving conflict.  In addition, due to delayed language development and prolonged infant stage in humans –as compared to all other mammals and primate species- women have developed an innate sensitivity to reading the myriad of non-verbal signals and needs from their offspring.

Women’s Intuition… We got you pegged.
You may be familiar with this phrase.  But a woman’s intuition is simply her ability to read body language.  As a whole, women tend to make more eye contact during communication than men.  Part of the reason is the tendency to use communication to establish connection and decipher intent.  Women are more likely to use eye contact to gauge the sincerity of the other party.  As a result, women are better suited at interpreting unintentional nonverbal messages, such as signals of deception.

Competitive Edge
What makes us great mothers, wives, caregivers and partners is the same thing that makes us successful in business.  We care, we listen, we respond… repeat.
Dominance over non-verbal communication is what provides successful business women an edge over our male counterparts.  When everyone has a product to sell, what makes a consumer chose your business?  What makes you special?  Well, Fortune 500 companies all know the secret.  Yep.  Great customer service.  What people want is an experience.  They want to feel something.  Even with the prolific nature of the interwebs, Skype, Facebook, Words with Friends, etc… we still carry around feelings of isolation and disconnection.  A businesswoman’s ability to think, feel, and engage her consumer and cohorts is arguably her greatest asset.

Is it any wonder why occupations like teaching, nursing, and counseling are populated by women? It’s just our natural propensity.

Aside from those jobs, I am an businesswoman. What I see is balance. We belong in business, and we’re good at it. Women are critically necessary in the business process to ensure communication between groups. As companies continue expansion into international markets and globalization presses forward, verbal and non-verbal communication skills are the key to survivability and overall profitability especially in an already strained global market.

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