Mastering Nonverbal Communication in Teaching Relationships Part 1

Uploaded by studentteachingEIU on 11.08.2010

[no dialogue].
[audience applause].
The neat thing about education, once you get out and do it,
is that you get to take the classes that you really,
really, really want to take, and you get to choose,
and all of them are ones you want to take, so it really
is exciting to take classes after you've graduated.
I am an intern in the Department of Counseling
and Student Development.
My internship is with Hunter and Melvin Professional Counseling
here in town, and I have worked as a counselor for many years
in the schools, and I am working as a counselor now
in the community.
However, I do teach the practicum class that you all had
as an educational psychology class when compared to secondary
ed or coordinated with secondary ed, so you've all had that class
and I do teach one section of that.
I haven't had you all.
I've had Mark, but I haven't had you all, but at any rate,
so I teach one of those classes too.
So I'm very tuned in, and I'm very excited about talking
to you today because I know what it's like to go out into
the schools and have so many things flooding you and coming
in at you and so many things to think about as you begin
to teach, and as you begin to form yourself as a professional
teacher that sometimes they all just come at you very fast
and it's hard to stop and think about one.
The one I want to talk to you today about is
nonverbal communication, and in speaking about nonverbal
communication, I want to talk to you about two aspects of that.
One is observation, what you see in your students, what you see
in the other teachers, what you see in the parents,
and the other aspect of it is attending skills,
how you nonverbally relate to people, how you use your
nonverbal communication to let them know you're paying
attention to them, let them know you're with them, let them know
you understand them, and those kinds of things.
And, amongst all this, we're going to talk a little bit about
cultural diversity, and how different cultures might have
different nonverbal communication skills that might
make a difference to you when you're relating to people.
So they will help you understand these ideas, and we can't cover
everything by any means, but some of these ideas will help
you start to think about what should I pay attention to,
what do I need to look for nonverbally along with what
I hear verbally, and then how do I nonverbally react to people,
and how do I use what I do nonverbally to help people
understand, to communicate with them, to help me understand
them, and then how does culture make a difference in that?
What if the student isn't looking at me in the eye?
You know, that's a sign of respect in our culture.
In some cultures, that's a sign of disrespect.
And so to start to think about how nonverbal communication
might make a difference if you're relating to people
from different cultures.
Now, 45 minutes isn't a lot of time to cover everything,
and any one of these things we could cover a lot, so this is
kind of a survey to get you going, to get you thinking.
There's lots of ways you can review.
But let me give you an example of what I'm talking about.
If I come in here and I tell you that I'm going to sit down here
and I'm going to talk to you about nonverbal communication.
Wouldn't you have a different attitude than if I actually
come up to you and let you know that I'm excited
about this topic too?
Right there is just an example, along with what Mrs. McFarlane
did with the hand gesture, we use nonverbal communication
all the time, and students pick up on our nonverbal
communication and we sometimes, with a sea of 25 to 30 faces
in the room, might have a hard time of picking up
on individual cues, but it's one of the things as teachers
that we want to start to think about.
So, let's talk first about observation skills.
Observing is noticing what goes on both nonverbally and verbally
between you and the student, parent, or colleague
you are talking to.
In other words, observing what's happening nonverbally.
So, if you're my student, and I'm talking to you
and I'm standing here like this, you'll notice that nonverbally
I'm standing over her.
That's different than if I sit down beside her
and talk with her.
There's a nonverbal message there that's going on,
so observing, and her face changed.
You didn't see it, but her face changed when I was up here
then I kind of got down a little bit.
Her eyes were much bigger.
Noticing how people are feeling when you're talking to them,
students, other teachers, administrators, parents,
anybody that you talk to, so observing what's going on.
You might not believe it, but 85% of communication
is nonverbal.
It's one of the reasons that I have a hard time talking
on the phone to people about things that are meaningful,
because you can't see what the person is doing.
You can't see how they're reacting.
You can disguise a lot about communication on the telephone.
It's harder to do that in person because our bodies react in ways
sometimes that are just, they give us away.
We flush, our face flushes, we knit our brow because
we're thinking, and we don't even realize we are doing some
of those nonverbal things.
So 85% of communication is nonverbal, so it's important
for teachers to pay attention to that, and what you do notice
can very much help you with what's going on either
in your classroom or individually with people.
Now, one of the things we want to look for with
nonverbal communication is incongruency.
I can say to you, I am feeling great today.
Would you believe that?
What if I say to you, I am feeling great today.
Would you believe that?
Not as much.
I had an inflection in my voice, but did you see the difference
in my nonverbals as well?
It was subtle.
I didn't make a big change, but I did make a change,
and part of that was nonverbal, so when someone says, yeah,
I'm okay, that's a change.
It's an incongruency in what they're saying and what their
nonverbals are saying.
But if they say, yeah, I'm okay.
I'm fine, I'm okay.
Well, actually I just went the other way again, but if they say
I'm okay, I am okay, that's a whole different feeling,
and you hear the voice inflection,
but did you see my face change?
That's the kind of thing that can help you to see if what
a person is saying is the same as what they are feeling,
and often times the incongruency is what can help us tell that.
Obsevation can help you build bridges with individuals
even between cultures and gender differences, and we'll talk
about that in just a minute.
It can also help you and question nonverbal subtleties
and changes, especially in response to something you do.
You know, all of us, sometimes say something we don't mean to
say exactly the way we said it, or someone understands something
that we say in a way that we didn't mean for them
to understand it.
It wasn't what we meant, and sometimes, by what they do
facially, verbally, physically, we can tell that what we said
has affected them, so it's important to pay attention
to those, and it can also help you consider what
the other person may be feeling.
If you approach a student, and they can't look at you,
that's a sign that they're embarrassed or they have a hard
time sharing with you what's going on with them.
Just seeing their nonverbals can give you a clue as to where
to approach them.
So, what do you observe?
What things should you look for?
You probably have some ideas about this.
You can see some of them there because they're
facial expressios, but another thing is body language.
Relaxed or tense body and how that changes
with your discussion.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes when you have to talk
with someone about something and it's really hard to talk
with them, their hands are tight and their jaw is tight,
but as you go along and you start to work things out,
they relax and you relax and your body changes with time?
Most of that comes with what happens verbally,
but if we notice, also sometimes it happens because of what
happens nonverbally, and I'll give you some examples of that
in just a minute, but watch how nonverbals change
over time in your discussion.
As a counselor, I notice that all the time.
The very first time a client comes into my office
and sits down, almost always they're nervous, fidgety,
a little closed off, often times the first thing they do
is sit down and cross their arms even if they want to be there,
they're not sure how much they can trust me because they've
never met me before, and as we go along, usually their
body language opens up.
Their arms go down.
Their eye contact is better.
That's because it does change over time.
If you notice it doesn't, if they stay like this the whole
time, I know there's something going on there.
It seems really simple.
It seems like really simple things we should do naturally,
but we don't always.
We don't always recognize this in the midst of all these
other messages coming into us.
Notice the open or closed posture.
I've got a closed posture here.
It usually tells you that something's going on that they
either are not wanting to share or not wanting to let in.
Body language that's incongruent with words, we already said that
about nonverbals, period, and intensity of movement is an
indicator of mood, personality, or outlook on an issue.
A student who is normally open can be closed on some issues,
especially if they have a problem with sharing
something personal.
They may be able to talk with you about everything.
They may be able to share with you about everything.
They may be able to relax with you about everything,
and be open, but there may be something, maybe family life,
some issue that it's really hard to share and you notice that
that changes with their mood or their outlook on an issue.