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What Does Your Body Language Say About You?

What Does Your Body Language Say About You?

Pat Hensley

I recently saw this video on youtube about Basic Communication. It was a great video to watch and to show my students. (Scroll down to view video)

It also was a great reminder to myself about how my body language affects my own communication to others. I began to think of the different people I communicate with and some things I want them to feel when we are communicating but I’m not sure I use the appropriate body language. By writing this down, I hope it will make me more aware the next time I am communicating with them.

My Colleagues I want them to know that I value their opinions and thoughts. Even if I don’t agree with them, I need to be aware that there are more than one side to any story. I need to have an open mind to new ideas they may have and be willing to try some of them. There is so much that I can learn from my colleagues whether they are new to teaching or a veteran. By valuing their ideas and opinions, I hope they in turn will treat mine the same way.

My Students I want my students to know that I have confidence in what I am teaching. I want them to feel inspired and motivated to learn. By showing enthusiasm and confidence, it will make learning new material more interesting for them. They need to know that when they try something new and face complications, that I will be there for them. By using the right body language, I can show them that I really care about them and their thoughts. I will also be modeling good communication skills to them.

My Friends Sometimes I take my friends for granted. I assume that they will be there forever for me and that isn’t true. I need to make sure that I am focused on our conversations more instead of thinking about what I should be doing or what I want to say next. I really need to be engaged in our interactions. I also need to watch their body language to see if they are really saying what they mean. My friend might need emotional support but not being saying that in words. As a friend, I need to be there for this person like I would want her to be there for me.

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My Family Like friends, I take my family for granted. I might not be as polite to my family as I am to others and that isn’t right. I need to show my family how much I care for them and how much they mean to me. If I ignore them or act disinterested in their interests, it is sending a message that I don’t value them, which is not what I want to do.

Body language skills are so important to learn. These can make an impact on a job interview or a relationship. These skills may determine whether or not you are successful in what you are trying to do. Sometimes I like to videotape my class and let the students review it. We do not attack anyone or put them on the defensive but instead look at the body language and the message they are sending. Sometimes students don’t realize what message they are sending and this can make a difference.





I once had an argument with a colleague who asked me why I was so defensive and I told her that her tone of voice was making me feel that way. She did not realize that she was coming across that way and did not intend for her comments to be taken that way. She really worked on this when she had conversations with me and we really got along much better and was able to work on many projects together peacefully. It also made me more aware of how I come across to people.

Even though I think body language skills are important for my students to learn, I also think it is important to refresh my own skills. Like any skill, if you don’t use it, you lose it. I think that adults may take this skill for granted also, and not use it the way we should. Now I need to go check out what my family is doing and practice these skills!

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