Skill Builders

Home > Skill Builders

He Said, She Heard

Adapting to gender

See theme

A friend of mine bought a puppy and named him Zebedee. As Zeb grew he became harder and harder to manage, so my friend went to dog obedience school. There he got a revelation.

He learned his words ("Zeb, you naughty dog, if you do that one more time I'm going to have to spank you") were simply noise to the canine mind. Dogs, he learned, communicate nonverbally. They signal dominance by being "top dog"—literally! The "alpha male" stands over the underlings of the pack, and all canines seem to understand this message.

So my friend was taught to play alpha male. He would roll Zeb on his back, hold the dog's head in both hands, and look him in the eye. Zeb got the message, and so did my friend. To communicate with Zeb you have to speak canine.

There's a principle here for all communicators: we must adjust to our audience if we hope for them to adjust to our message. We have to speak a language they understand. Missionaries call it "contextualization." And translators use "dynamic equivalence." ...

skill builder Preview

This skill builder is available to members only.

To continue reading:

Rating & Reviews

Average User Rating: Not rated

Displaying 1–1 of 1 comments

Phil McLain

July 15, 2016  2:30pm

good advice... which the author followed in this article :)

Report Abuse

Please to rate and review this skill builder. Or subscribe now for full access.

Related articles

How to Translate Male Sermons to Women

And connect with what may be the largest half of your congregation.

Connecting with Men

How to preach to the tattooed
Bryan Chapell, Haddon Robinson, and Joseph Stowell

Apply Within

A conversation about application with Bryan Chapell, Haddon Robinson, and Joseph Stowell

More articles

Print this pageShopping CartHelpMy Account