Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Polytechnic instructors discussed the importance of gender communication

Monday, April 9, 2018
The audience members watch a video Gender Communication before a discussion in the Polytechnic building on Wednesday, April 4.
Photo by Jen Brien

Conversation filled the room Wednesday afternoon as students and instructors from the Polytechnic Department discussed the importance of gender communication through videos and shared experiences.

Junior, Hannah Seyer is a technology management major who was interested in attending based on her personal experiences with gender communication.

“I've just had a lot of experience in my past between gender roles and how they cross and how their can be issues,” Seyer said. “I kind of wanted to see what it was about.”

While focusing on two specific areas of leadership and teamwork, the video introduced real life situations and explained the reasoning behind how each gender conducts themselves in social settings.

The video shared how men cause more interruptions than women during meetings and how women are more likely to wait their turn to talk, which sometimes leads to women missing their turn. Additionally, women tend to pose their responses as questions, instead of directly sharing their thoughts.

The meeting scenarios emphasized the importance of understanding how the opposite gender conducts themselves, stressing better communication all around.

Understanding how to communicate makes the process easier, and students said the video was a useful resource in gaining essential knowledge.

“I think it was helpful because it made you think more in depth, because you think about some of that stuff just from day to day and how you deal with different people,” Seyer said.

Belinda McMurry, an instructor in the Department of Polytechnic Studies, shared her experiences she has had while working as a faculty member at Southeast.

She said there are only three females in the department here at Southeast, and when it comes to meetings, she makes sure her voice is heard and does not allow others to interrupt her. She also said in predominantly female departments, unlike the one she is in, members have different experiences compared to her own.

She said females may be instructed by other females on what to do in a predominantly female department.

Through the discussion of gender communication, came the importance of understanding the broad bands of behavior for men and the narrow bands of behavior for women.

McMurry said, “females need to bust those bands.”

Sophia Scott, another instructor who directed the gender communication conversation, highlighted how critical communicating is among each other.

“Communicating the right message in the right way gets stuff done,” Scott said.