Each of us, like our fingerprints, are uniquely individual. Borne of our circumstances and living our life story, we are a compilation of our cultural, environmental and genetic heritage. As most of us know, our perceptions of other people, places and events are affected by our life experiences.
For instance, if several people witness an event, each person will recall a slightly different experience because each of us filter out the external event as we make sense of the world around us. That filtered experience becomes an internalized event, which produces a “state” that yields a specific physiology and results in a behavior (which is why each of us react differently when we recall a person, place or event).
As an instructor who has tutored many diverse students (children to adults in many races, religions, nationalities and varied socio-economic status), I seek to find a common ground, a universal experience with which to build rapport. I endeavor to match and mirror the student and understand their individual learning style so I can teach them according to their model of the world.
It only takes a few minutes when you first meet someone. It’s always about them. Actively listening to a student’s language will yield insight to their model of the world. Watching their expression, body language, and verbal inflections – including what they do not say – will allow a tutor to build an effective relationship. Respecting the student’s model of the world first requires an understanding of how they view the world.
Since over 90% of communication is non-verbal, holding passion and respect mindfully is essential in successful mutual respect. I often learn as much, or more, from my students as they learn from me, and I am perpetually inspired.