Friday, November 18, 2005

Body Language

Several years ago Tim Johnson was the field manager for the Toronto Blue Jays. He was subsequently fired over some fabricated stories concerning his alleged time served in Viet Nam with the American forces.

Regardless of that, I enjoyed a good relationship with Tim and he seemed pleased to have me around. When he'd pass me in the clubhouse, the dugout or in the "bowels of Skydome", now the Rogers Centre, he'd give me a couple of taps on my elbow without saying a word. His body language spoke volumes.

It said:

Thanks for what you're doing with the guys!
You are always welcome in my clubhouse!
Keep up the good work!
Thanks for encouraging me!
Good to see you today!

I was always encouraged by those "elbow taps". Of course he used words at times as well but the body language will never be forgotten.

Recently I watched our Peterborough Petes play the Erie Otters. It was a terrible game in many ways. We fell behind 3-0 in the first period and I felt bad for David Shantz, the Petes' goaltender. Some "soft" goals went in. The officiating left much to be desired and there wasn't much "flow" to the game at all. Fortunately we pulled out a 6-5 overtime win and David played well in the 2nd and 3rd periods and overtime.

What caught my eye in the midst of everything else going on was the taps on David's goalie pads by one of his defensemen, Bryan Young. Bryan would skate past David after he allowed a bad goal and give him a smack on his goalie pads with his stick. He'd do the same after a great save. Sometimes he'd skate by David before a face-off in the Petes' end and give him a tap on the pads. I was so encouraged as I watched this. After the game I spoke with Bryan and commended him for being such a "cheerleader" and encourager in his own unique way. The next day I asked David if there was any one player who seemed to lift him up more than others. David quickly mentioned Bryan. Body language is so powerful! Bryan's "taps" were saying:

Hang in there, Shantzy!
We'll get that one back!
Don't get down on yourself!
We can do it!
I'm with you, man!

How about you? What messages does your body language convey! Does it positively reinforce others?

Encouragement is vital these days! Let's encourage others any way we can. Positive comments or, yes, even body language!

No comments:

Post a Comment