How can you identify a “cat” student and connect with them?
In this short video, Michael Grinder, the pioneer of nonverbal communication, discusses how you can use nonverbal cues to easily identify your independent “cat” students and gain their respect.
These strategies are from his book A Cat In The Doghouse.
So far, we’ve talked about dogs, and now we’re going to talk about cats. The lower the grade level you teach, the more you will tend to have puppy dogs.
Pretty easy in terms of accommodating them and them trying to accommodate you.
As you get to a higher grade, you have more cats. So, the higher the grade level you teach, the more you have to be in your cat. If you’re in your cat, you’re fine because you understand what cats are like. You’re not bothered by how they are.
But how do you identify your “cat” students? So let’s look at some behaviors.
- They tend to bring their joints straight outwhenever they’re emphatic. Their back is straight when they get upset. Everything is rigid. When you see that, you would say, “that’s what a cat is like.”
- They don’t move their head when they talk. So, because their head is still, their voice comes out flat.
- Their voice patterns sound very definitive. If you misunderstand them, you’ll think that they’re angry. They’re not angry. They’re just being definitive.
- They drop their chin down when they finish speaking a sentence or phrase. You can actually listen to them on the phone and recognize, “well, there’s a cat.”
- They love to get to whatever the outcome is.
- They will seem self-centered. If you point out to them, “Hey, that’s not being very polite.” One of the things they’re going to say is, “what’s in it for me to be polite?”
- They tend to talk with their palms down or straight out.
- They tend to interrupt anytime they want to.
- They don’t have a lot of what we would call manners. They love to give orders.
- They value power and authority. You can put them in charge of things because they’re very goal-oriented, but they sometimes trample over some of the dogs.
If you’ve ever had a cat and dog at home, they’re not good; they’re not bad.
They’re just different.
And if I may, this may sound funny. You will remember your cats a lot longer as a teacher than you will your dogs. They’re going to be the ones that are going to make a huge difference — they’re going to be above average in terms of creativity, inventiveness, but they also could get in trouble with the law.
Cats and dogs. If I may, come on, learn how to make your classroom a more humane society by being a very good veterinarian.