One of my favourite authors Paulo Coelho says, “Of all the weapons of destruction that man could invent, the most terrible – and the most powerful – was the word. Daggers and spears left traces of blood; arrows could be seen at a distance. Poisons were detected in the end and avoided…but the word managed to destroy without leaving clues.”
To me words are special and I must choose them with care. I must use them judiciously especially because as an educator I deal with human beings – children, their parents, and teachers. Besides, I am also expected to be a positive role model. Being a language teacher, I also know that more than word it is the its intonation / inflection that has a deep effect on the human psyche. Therefore I am aware that I need to be patient before I blurt out something which will harm or hurt. So when I am provoked in any way, the first thing I do is to make use of the yoga principles that I have learnt … B.R.E.A.T.H.E! This helps me to cool off and calm down. This acts as a real speed breaker!
However, recently at a PD session I came to know of the Mehrabian formula (7%/38%/55%). Albert Mehrabian, who pioneered studies on the nature of communication since the 1960s concluded it is 55% of body language, 38% of tone and only the remaining 7% from actual words that help us form an impression of a person. Research also cites that it takes just about 4 seconds to make a first impression and about as many minutes flat to make a lasting one!
When it comes to first impression I believe that this is crucial to success and is an important lesson to learn for today’s students. This will enrich soft skills, a vital ingredient to raise levels of acceptance and worth in job places. Body language and non verbal communication must therefore find some place in our teaching – learning contexts to prepare today’s pupils for tomorrow’s adult life.
Meanwhile, going back to words,