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Human Relations

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on April 5, 2007 at 6:21:12 pm


The seventh characteristic of a synergetic classroom is good human relations. By that Charles means how students treat each other and how teacher and students interact, specifically (109):


  • How we  attract another person’s attention
  • How we give them individual attention
  • How we can create the impression that we are nice people with whom to associate and work


When students engage in positive human relations, they 

“increase the potential for effective collaboration with others, which makes more likely the release of energy that leads to classroom synergy” (119).


Human relations skills

Charles suggests introducing and practicing human-relations skills through role-playing in class meetings and then coaching students to transfer the skills to day-to-day interactions. Specific skills that we should model and help students develop include (109-111):


  • Breaking the ice
  • Making a good first impression
  • Opening up communication
  • Helping another person cooperate
  • Conferring dignity by valuing and respecting others
  • Building trust


Behaviors to display

Charles outlines a set of specific behaviors that “carry our messages to others” (110-114):


  • Smile and greet others pleasantly: A smile attracts others, as does using their name. 


  • Use positive body language: Facial expressions, eye contact, gestures, posture, and proximity should correspond to our intentions.


  • Send clear verbal messages: Spoken and written words should convey your intentions.


  • Be aware of how words sound: Intonation, inflection, and emphasis affect meaning.


  • React positively to others: Remain attentive, be tactful and express disagreement gently.


  • Follow through on agreements: Excuses do not foster positive work relationships.


Behaviors to avoid

To maintain good human relations, avoid these behaviors (114-115):


  • Showing disinterest in the other person
  • Slighting the other person
  • Putting down the other person
  • Discounting the other person’s contributions
  • Speaking sarcastically to or about the other person 


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