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Welcoming Space

Use Inclusive Communication Strategies

Students are more likely to open up to you if you show an honest interest in getting to know them and treat them with respect. Even with the best of intentions – differences in communication norms or micro aggressions resulting from implicit biases may create an uncomfortable environment for your advisees. By paying attention to the messages that you send, you can help your advisees feel welcome and supported. 

Notice Your Cultural Norms

Differences in beliefs or communication styles between cultural groups can lead to misunderstandings or hurt feelings. So take a minute to think about how you communicate and how this might be perceived by your advisees given their different communities and backgrounds. Remember too, that norms are just generalizations, and your advisees may not reflect the norms of their country of origin or hometowns.

Be Aware of Your Body Language

Your body language sends a strong message that may contradict your words. Certain behaviors, like crossing your arms or not making eye contact may come across as dismissive. Some people involuntarily roll their eyes or look down at the ground during a conversation without realizing it. Don’t allow your phone or other electronic devices to distract you.  Finally, always be open and friendly while maintaining appropriate boundaries.