August 2009 Newsletter
Audrey Nelson Ph.D. Inc

Smart Talk
Where in the world is Audrey

What is Code Switching?

Code switching: \ˈkōd ˈswich-iŋ\ verb.
The ability to use your knowledge of two or more cultures or languages and switch between them, depending on the situation, to best communicate your message.

Do you ever feel like people are talking in code? Does it ever seem that men are speaking in code and you’re on the outside? Do they shut you down or ignore you when you speak? Perhaps you’re speaking in code, too-a different code!
Men and women do have unique communication styles that don’t always mesh well. Code Switching offers a way of “reaching across the aisle” to open the lines of communication. It helps break the “he” and “she” code and speak in common terms, so the work gets done, conflict gets resolved, and mutual understanding and respect prevail in the workplace and beyond! Oh, and the bottom line and profits soar!

Below is a punch list that describes what is and what is NOT Code Switching:

  • CS requires flexibility and adaptability to meet the communication needs of the situation or context.
  • CS is NOT women behaving like men.
  • CS usually requires a blend of female and male styles, possibly switching from one to other in a nano second!
  • CS respects all styles of communication emphasizing the value of diversity.
  • CS is requires a balance of respect for “self” and “other.”
  • CS dynamic and ever-changing, based on its code-switching roots.
  • CS is strong and soft, aggressive and straightforward, compassionate and not afraid of emotions.

When careers and paychecks are on the line, clear communication between genders is crucially important—from the mailroom to the boardroom. Code Switching explains what to say, how to say it, and how to act while speaking with the opposite sex for maximum effectiveness in the workplace.

Did you miss one of the
Smart Talk Columns?
Browse the archives of Audrey’s 2006 to date Smart Talk Columns on her web!
Simply visit
and click on “Newsletters.”

August 8,2009
12:30 pm EST; 10:30 am MST
The Cocoa Express
 Interactive, live Internet talk-radio show that focuses on issues that keep us from living a fulfilling life.  You are encouraged to call (347) 637-2319 to listen or ask questions.

Audrey will be interviewed on the topic of gender communication.

August 26, 2009
Denver Metro Chamber
Your Generation or Mine?
11:30 am – 12:30 pm (Keynote)
1445 Market Street

August 28, 2009
Stanford Hospital and Clinics
You Don’t Say
8:30 am-4pm.

Code Switching: How to Talk So Men Will Listen

by Audrey Nelson, PhD

Jack says, “She just goes on and on, when all I want is a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer! Can you get this report to me by Friday? Yes or no? Instead, I get her life story.”

Just look at a man listening to a woman who is rambling on. He enters the trance, kind of like a dog staring at a fan. He looks dazed and confused. His eyes seem to beg, “Why is she telling me all of this needless information? Just tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ woman!”

During one seminar, a man used that old saying, “You ask a woman what time is it, and she tells you how to build a clock!” Do we have a gender gabber dilemma here?


Coming in September!

Code Switching: How to Talk so Men will Listen
Claire Brown Ph.D. and Audrey Nelson Ph.D.
Alpha Books, September 2009

Check out the new book website! -

What People are saying about Audrey

 Farm Credit Council Service, Spokane, April 2009
Overall workshop & instructor comments:

  • NIce to have an expert presenter.
  • Audrey was easy to listen to and learn from.
  • have a lot of ideas I am going to take back from today's seminar and use on my project team. I am stoked to make headway on our team communication. Great class!!
  • Amazing person.
  • Very informative and beneficial.
  • Looking forward to hearing this speaker in the fall.
  • Excellent! She presents in a way that keeps the material fun and interesting.
  • Well done and thought provoking.
  • Audrey was great!
  • Very engaging; useful information that I hope to take advantage of in my leadership role.
  • Very enjoyable and I personally found it very interesting.
  • I enjoyed Audrey.
  • Well laid-out. Not sure if it matches younger generation and their communication.
  • Very good - she's very energized and engaging.

Dr. Nelson: I very much enjoyed your presentation Friday at the FDCC litigation management course. I have heard your name mentioned throughout the years through some of the defense counsel we work with. Have you ever done direct training with CNA? I was anxious to hear your presentation and wish we could have had a full day.

Deborah L. Riley, JD ALHC ACS
Vice President
CNA HealthPro
Global Specialty Lines

 Thank you for your book.  I read it cover to cover. Couldn't put it down until I finished.  I'm looking forward to working with you and reading Codes in September.

 Judy K. Sigward

Managing Director
Northern Colorado Region

"Audrey's Top 4 CD Communication Hits"