Communication Skills: Body Awareness

Leadership:

1. When communicating ensure that your position is not threatening, open and positive.

2. Be aware of your eye contact.

3. Use affirming gestures.

What do the above three sections mean?

Teachers are communication experts, and this development is as part of their day to day practice.

1. When communicating ensure that your position is not threatening, open and positive.

Your position is always important. Standing front on, squared shoulders is likely to be perceived as threatening. Towering over the respondent has a similar impact; the converse is also true. Sideways posture and getting below the eye line may be least threatening.

Mirroring is a commonly used tool. Mirroring is where any positive body language is mimicked. Gestures are subtly copied; this increases engagement and connection.

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2. Be aware of your eye contact.

Important. Ask yourself why we ask anyone to make eye contact? To show they are paying attention. Where does this construct originate?

It is problematic; a multitude of people will find eye contact difficult. There is also a cultural aspect here. Eye contact with people in authority in my culture is rude, be aware of this.

3. Use affirming gestures. (Active Listening)

Listen to the words, sum up and repeat the main points. Support this by:

a) Use gestures to show attention. Head nods, eyebrow raises, etc. Use questions to check.

b) Use open question being careful not to lead.

c) Be aware of feelings and emotions.

d) Confirm understanding regularly.

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