The art of seduction

The art of seduction is meant as the art to attract, to attract someone to you, to fascinate someone else.
Try closing your eyes, stay quiet and in the dark for a few minutes and try to remember your teachers. Focus on a particular teacher, one who has left you with something valuable. Do it now… Done?

We obviously cannot read your mind, but we’re certain that the teacher that you came into your mind had mastered the art of seduction. He or she probably had a great ability to communicate and encourage students, they managed to mobilise and involve them, they were able to themselves get involved and they were able to find a weakness in themselves without being afraid to lose authority. Most importantly, they he or she managed to establish a bilateral trust relationship with their students.

But how do we accomplish this? What actions can we undertake in order to be listened to? Here are three simple suggestions.

Become an accomplice and do so in a credible way. This does not mean you need to become your students’ best friend, but it does mean partially giving up on the classical idea that a teacher knows everything and that they are superior. Do research with them, use their same language, listen instead of answering, ask them for advice and put yourself first in learning situations.

Start a journey of aware communication. As you probably know, what you’re communicating does not only go through the words you use, but there is also a big part of paraverbal communication (how we say things) and non-verbal communication. We will se this more in-depth with practical activities, but in the meantime, try to stop yourself when teaching once in a while and try to take a mental picture of the posture that you have at that exact moment, and where you find yourself in the room.

Be empathic. If you want to enter in a positive and proactive relationship, forget about the pre-set schemes that you think you know. Group dynamics influence individuals’ behaviour and they are constantly evolving. It’s up to you to observe your group of students and to perceive small variations in those dynamics, to be able to handle consequently. The ability to capture the messages coming from students is a consequence from being able to enter in an emphatic relationship with them, to communicate at their ‘level’, to talk like them, to move in the same way they move. We are all capable of doing this, but the more kids grow the more we expect them to enter our world and use our same language, and not the other way around. Just think about how good we all are with little kids: we crawl, we grumble, we make up rhymes, we submit to loving ‘tortures’ such as bites, hair pulling, drooling, we dress up like princesses or superheroes, … Why not do the same with pre-adolescents and adolescents? Why do we pull away from the idea of being part of their code of communication?

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