Week 1 – Section 3 – Learner Reflection & Practice

Learner Reflection & Practice

Orientation tools provide a way to assess, describe, and plan for the physical aspect of our communication.

What are some common configurations that occur naturally because of the architectural constructs we move around or through? For instance, Full Front at the fast food counter, or Profile on the streetcar. What are some more nuanced situations that seem to invite a default physical orientation?

For instance, Quarter Turn in a circle of friends, Full Back standing in line, or Full Front for formal greetings. Sitting or standing in front of a device camera invites Full Front, but now you know you have additional options of orientation even in front of a screen.

Observe the use of Line Focus in yourself and others. Reflect upon the circumstances or people that influence your Line Focus and the Line Focus of those around you. If you are a person that does not use your body to communicate or respond, try to employ a deliberate Line Focus pattern. For instance, you might want to draw focus with Full Front or connect with someone in a Quarter Turn.

What orientations do you default to most during your day? Observe when and why you shift orientations purposefully or subconsciously. Is it the circumstances, the people, your confidence level, or that you have a specific intention? If you are a person that naturally uses line focus in a reactionary fashion, always shifting toward people or activity, begin to observe what is causing your line focus to shift.

Do you think Physical Orientation can influence how you are perceived? What about how you perceive others?

Through your observations you will soon recognize that at times the impressions gathered from Physical Orientation and Frame and Stance transmit more meaning than what is spoken.

The strategic employment of these tools can also mitigate the exposure of your Emotional Center. Physical Orientation naturally builds upon the concepts of Line Focus and the Emotional Center.

Think of stressful or difficult in-person communications. What orientation can you employ that redirects your Emotional Center?

Redirecting your Emotional Center with purposeful Physical Orientation provides you agency in adapting to intimidating and difficult situations and supplies relief to your feeling without sacrificing full engagement in an interaction.

As an exercise to gain control over interruptive feelings or nerves and regain agency over thoughts and audience connection, turn your Line Focus a few degrees away from your communication partner.

Many people default to Full Front orientation for presentations or formal interactions in front of a group or large audience. Practice your presentation or discussion points laid out in Quarter Turn and then the same or similar content in Full Front or Profile, or vary positioning from one to the other as you communicate different content or ideas.

When you purposefully engage in changing orientations observe your communication partners and notice if they also shift or counter you physically.   

Don’t forget the Ready Position. You can layer Physical Orientation on top of your practice and use of the Ready Position.


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