I wrote most of these articles and conference reports while I was doing my M.Ed.(CI). Originally put up on the website TeachAsiaOnline.com (defunct since 2009), I have decided to archive them here as I think most of the information is still relevant and useful for others. (2012) I'm now picking up where I left off to write about more recent seminars I attended.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Building Leadership through Effective Communication

Speakers: Dr. Maria Bamforth, Dr. Pushpanadham Karanam
Organised by: Faculty of Education, ABAC, Bangkok
Date: 25-26 November 2005
Location: ABAC Bangna Campus, Bangkok

(1) Dr. Maria Bamforth, University of Huddersfield, England

Dr. Bamforth’s distinguished external and internal leadership skills. Components like vision, flexibility, humility, charisma, integrity, motivation, accessibility and communications skills are important assets for a leader.

With regards to communication skills she advised leaders to be assertive. Assertiveness combines the good points of aggressiveness (like stand up for your rights, state your views) with the good points of non-aggressiveness (express feelings, humility).

Assertiveness should be practiced with integrity, directness, honesty and respect for others. Leaders should develop assertiveness as one of their personality traits.

(2) Dr. Pushpanadham Karanam, Assumption University

Dr. Pushpanadham continued the subject of effective communication.
He claims that leadership should be a partnership that can be achieved through quality communication. Body language makes up 93 % of a communication, the actual words only 7 %, so it is important to be positive if you want to achieve something.
Another important aspect of quality communication is to be credible, which means one should be dynamic, competent and trustworthy.

I was surprised to see that body language plays such a more important role than the actual words spoken; the percentage seems extremely high.

I did some research on the Internet with regards to this percentage. The 93 % apparently originates from psychologist Albert Mehrabian (Chapman), who did extensive research on non-verbal communication from the sixties.

Body language comprises facial expressions, gaze, gestures, postures, tones of voice, but also grooming habits and body positioning in space etc. Biologists distinguish factors that are innate (e.g. facial flush), learned (e.g. thumbs up) or mixed (e.g. laughing). (Givens) This means that it is possible to influence your body language and make it more positive as Dr. Pushpanadham stated. This will be most difficult or maybe impossible for some of the innate factors (How can you stop someone from blushing?), although factors like blinking your eyes too quickly can be controlled. Learned and mixed factors can probably be influenced if you work on it.

Chapman, Alan. Albert Mehrabian Communication Research. 2004. Businessballs.com. 24 December 2005. <http://www.businessballs.com/mehrabiancommunications.htm>
Givens, David B. Nonverbal Communication. 1998-2005. Center for Nonverbal Studies. 24 December 2005. <http://members.aol.com/nonverbal2/nvcom.htm>

More about Educational Leadership at International Conference on Educational Leadership http://education-articles-and-conferences.blogspot.com/2011/11/international-conference-on-educational.html.

(c) cafavier, 2005-2011

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