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Communication and Conflict Newsletter, Issue 3 -- Body language, it don't mean a thing
April 06, 2008
Newsletter - Body Language Interpretation
They don't mean a thing.
(....or why, when we treat communication as a 'science', it leads to disconnection between us.)
I was in a conversation the other day and noticed - some people call it my 'body language' - how I was standing.
I had my arms folded and my legs were also crossed as I stood leaning against the photocopier at work. I was talking to one of the mediators and I was fascinated by a discussion we were having about a course she is doing in Mediation and Conflict Resolution.
But hang on - my arms were folded and my legs were crossed. Doesn't that mean I was being defensive or insular or negative in my response to what was being said? Surely that's what all the body language bibles and gurus say. So how could I have been fascinated by this positive, interesting discussion, with this positive, interesting person?
But I was.
Fortunately, Caroline, the mediator I was talking to, is someone who clearly does not assume she knows how I feel and what I am thinking from my 'body language' as she was happy to continue the discussion.
But if she was someone who believed the books and trainings that discuss 'non-verbal communication' she could easily have 'read my body language' and decided that I was bored, or defensive, or negative and didn't want to continue our discussion and so might have brought it to a close by making some excuse and ending it.
And what a pity that would have been.
An interesting connection and sharing of communication would have been terminated and lost, perhaps never to have been recreated, because of one person's assumption based on perceived 'body language' saying that I wasn't interested.
And as a result, many people who believe what they are told about such things, cease to actually communicate and engage with others because they have 'read their body language' and it was 'aggressive' or 'bored' or 'defensive' and so they either don't start to connect with them or they cut the connection.
......... to read the rest of this article CLICK HERE......
Ideas and Information
Some links that you may find interesting......Mediate.com is an excellent resource of information relating to mediation. There are articles, links to websites and blogs as well as the possibility of locating mediators in your area.
SelfGrowth.com- - SelfGrowth.com is a comprehensive guide to information about Self Improvement, Personal Growth and Self Help on the Internet. It is designed to be an organized directory, with articles and references to thousands of other Web Sites on the World Wide Web.
Transforming Conflict is an excellent organisation which works with young people, and adults, in educational settings, promoting restorative approaches to conflict.
So, how did you like it?
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