Two comments from An Extrovert’s Listening Insights piece have inspired the following Blog.
1. DRAMATIC BODY LANGUAGE
“Unfortunately, there are times when my body language is about 80% and I can't hide it! I used to teach this information on communication, but it was really good to think about it again — and to focus on the listening aspect of it. Thanks.”
After this comment, I intentionally took note of the dramatic and non dramatic body language on display as I mingled around in public. In horror I watched a distraught mother drag her 3 year old through the store, slamming the child with threatening dialogue.
People standing in line use the gritted teeth, shrugged shoulders and heavy sighs which display their impatience. They need no words to explain their unpleasant situation.
Or take note in a restaurant when diners are not given the attention they expect. They care nothing about letting the whole room know of their concerns and feelings of neglect.
My husband and I noticed a specialist being interviewed on TV who talked through her teeth hardly moving her lips. Her subject was of interest to us but her body language and projection was disconcerting though undramatic. Understanding her was next to impossible. You’ve strained at people in a class who speak barely above a whisper and then others who seem to scream their remarks. A general rule of thumb is to make it comfortable for others to hear and understand what's being said.
While I was personally in line at an airport after our flight had been delayed twice, then canceled, waiting to hopefully reschedule before night fall, a nervous passenger cut right in front of me to tell her woes to the attendant. A man behind me moved forward and yelled loudly, “Hey, woman, you’re cutting in line; this lady is next, pointing straight to me. I was caught off guard and was a bit embarrassed. I can still see his dramatic body language and hear his bullhorn voice. However, I did appreciate his concern for fairness as we were all a bit anxious.
An assignment: apply these examples by identifying our own dramatic body language being aware of any inappropriate tone or violation of suitable volume, especially when we are driving, caring for a stubborn child or challenging a clerk with an inaccurate bill. These incidents are always better handled if we utilize “I" statements along with controlled body language (avoiding a clinched fist or accusing parental finger pointing) in a normal tone. Eye contact is a must for good, honest non-threatening dialogue. Always be kindly honest, patient and poised. We all need help at times to access the needed patience, love and kindness that the Lord has promised to extend to our use in times of distress.
2. DIALOGUE ETIQUETTE
We can all pick up something from the next comment which is the first time it has ever been mentioned to me. One can’t help but smile in acknowledgment.
“What about the pace of our speech and the right equation of taking turns? What about when someone gives an angry monologue and then shuts me down and refuses a response? What about needing to have the last word which I feel is more obvious within Texting and I'll admit I am one of those people. It appears a comedy routine when two last ‘worders' are parting ways, saying goodbye. " Okay" "Okay" "See you later" Yeah, see ya later! Have a good night! You too! We'll have to do this again" Yeah Ok Ok Bye Bye, and so on and so forth."
She makes a good point here. Application: Do you give others a turn? Do you make a point and then walk away? Look away? Throw up your hands? Ears closed tightly? Oh, we all have room for improvement in the Halls of Dialogue.