For teachers leading a classroom or parents guiding their children, so much more goes into the message than the words spoken. While curriculum is of utmost importance, what we convey to students is so much more than our lesson plans. We must be intentional in how we communicate without speaking.
It’s widely agreed upon that more than half of communication comes from nonverbal cues. Somewhat ironically, this quick podcast by the American Psychology Associate talks about the importance of and examples of nonverbal communication. A simple gesture is worth more than words.
Consider these tips as you parent, teach, and communicate without speaking:
1. Practice what you preach.
Your audience will weigh the importance of your message based on how much they think you believe in it. That’s why super fit people make millions of money teaching people how to get healthy. If you aren’t excited about what you’re teaching or trying to talk to someone about, it will show. The most effective communicators bring passion with their message, because they know it’s relevant and important.
2. Body language.
Be aware of how you move and present yourself. For those of us who replaced in-person time with phone calls or emails a lot in the last 18 months, we understand the impact of body language even more. Are you making eye contact? Are your hands calm or nervous? Do you use big hand gestures or fold your arms uncomfortably? Do you pace back and forth in a distracting way or to take up more space with your big ideas?
3. Make space.
Be intentional with the space in your room. Do bright colors and bold illustrations help drive home the lesson? Or do fewer distractions bring the focus to the front of the room and the presenter? If you’re at home and talking to your children, which room will be the most comfortable for candid conversation and minimal disruption? Researchers have even studied room temperature, background music, and wall colors on test taking.
In addition to being intentional with your space, make space to listen. Receive feedback. Understand questions and comments. Let your audience process with you.
If you are looking for a school to partner with you in educating your children, contact us at (480) 641-2640 or (602) 274-1910 to get more information about our K-8 nationally awarded charter school of excellence with an advanced learning curriculum. In addition to online learning, we have campuses in Phoenix, Glendale, East Mesa, and Mesa.