Lesson 3, Topic 6
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Engaging with Your Student Body

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‘Non-Verbal Communication’ Photo by Leon on Unsplash

As a listener, you should also consider your own non-verbal communication, making sure it ‘speaks’ the right things to the listener – think about what your physically doing and what your body language is saying: arms crossed can indicate ‘closedness’, so your speaker may think you are ‘closed-off’ and not reveal what they’re actually thinking; looking away or avoiding eye contact can make it seem like you’re not properly listening, so use eye contact to show you are engaged; smiling and nodding at what is being said to you encourages the speaker to continue, too.

Here are some more tips to consider for good engagement:

  • Enable dialogue: create a space for discussion (think tanks, focus groups, debates, question time panels etc.) so everyone can speak openly and honestly, and lead to further ongoing conversations outside of these spaces.
  • Manage risk: channel the Student Voice productively and safely, whilst balancing the thought that taking risks can often produce positive results
  • Learn from mistakes: some initiatives and techniques for engaging Student Voice will be more successful than others, so learn from experience and any ‘mistakes’ you make

“Remember, Student Voice is about all students – one student’s voice isn’t a true representation of the whole student body, but rather one part of a picture that needs to be built by others’ voices to be able to see the whole picture.”