I was at a workshop this week and was reminded of these statistics about how messages are communicated:
- Body Language 55%
- Tone of Voice 38%
- Words 7%
This reminded me that visuals can play an important role for communication with students – especially during tense times. When students are struggling to stay in control of themselves, it can be difficult for the adults who are supporting them to keep their tone of voice and body language calm and supportive. Sometimes we are nervous of about our own safety or the safety of other students. At times we are simply frustrated that the day is not running as smoothly as we would like. There are many reasons that we may struggle to keep our body language and tone voice supportive.
Visuals can offer communication that does not involve body language or tone of voice. In fact, visuals may allow you to step further away from the student and give them space. This may be just what they need to de-escalate. Visuals allow you to communicate clearly with the student without adding the stress of having to process words, body language and tone of voice.
Visuals: because talking is overrated