You’re smart. You have read a few books and have lived a full life. You have solved many complex and complicated problems. However, you may still be mystified by one thing: the issue concerning communication between men and women. Why is gender communication so complex?

There are seven levels of gender communication in the workplace.

1. Intrapersonal communication: Do you think women and men think differently? Are you more process-oriented or goal oriented?

2. Interpersonal communication: Do men and women establish and maintain trust and resolve conflict differently? Do you engage in different levels of self-disclosure or types of shared activities?

3. Triadic communication: Do you have an office spouse; someone of the opposite sex at work that complements your masculinity or femininity? Is there someone that you think of first to balance male and female interactions?

4. Small group communication: Do women and men approach the socio-emotional aspects of work differently? Do you balance the task and social elements of teamwork differently?

5. Public speaking: Do men and women demonstrate different public speaking styles? Do you display different nonverbal communication behaviors?

6. Mass communication: Are women and men portrayed differently in advertising, in magazines, or on television?

7. Social movement: When it comes to overall society; what are the assumptions and expectations of maleness and femaleness? Are there different norms for femininity and masculinity?

Gender communication is complex. Look for these seven different levels, watch people in action, recognize the differences, treat everyone as an individual, and look for opportunities to improve your interactions with men and women alike.

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