February 16th 2018 marks the beginning of the year of the Earth Dog in the Chinese calendar.  On a personal level, the year of the dog is associated with qualities of independence, sincerity, loyalty and the ability to make sound decisions.  At a community level, the dog represents universal values of empathy and social justice.

In the palm of your hand

Like many popular sayings, this one has a solid and real meaning. Studies in body language indicate that the way we use our hands and our palms in particular, have a uniquely powerful way of influencing people.

There are more connections between the brain and the palm than any other part of the body!

Safety Strategies training has been refined over 20 years to produce a highly effective and complete skill set for peaceful and powerful communication. With a core focus on personal safety, simple hand gestures are used both to convey messages and create a boundary around your personal space.

Practical magic

In 2017, we had the privilege of bringing back over 200 frontline transport personnel for a refresher program. This provided a valuable opportunity to analyse how they are applying Safety Strategies on the job. They have reported many instances of using simple hand gestures to defuse conflict and achieve the outcome they wanted

Simple palm positions give you the power to persuade and direct people.

Some of them were amazed at how the movements worked like magic.

‘I told him to stop, put up my hand as I’d been taught, and he stopped! I then redirected him off the platform, and he followed my hand movement. I was amazed at how simple it was.’

‘I was completely surprised by the effectiveness of the guard and the various movements from that point to protect myself – I feel a lot more confident being able to defend.’

The power of the palm

At Safety Strategies, we use the word ‘distill’ to describe the processes used to develop training materials. This means starting with a large body of knowledge, then extracting the essential meaning to build the skills.

Two of the most versatile hand positions are palms up and palms down. The palms up position (below left) has a unique ability to reassure as well as increasing the recipient’s retention of what is being said.

The palms down position (above right) indicates authority and increases the recipient’s co-operation in following directions.

Watch body language expert, Allan Pease explain it in more detail at TEDx 2013:

We would love to work with you again in 2018. Is it time to refresh skills for staff who were trained some time ago?

As well as our 1, 2, 3 day and refresher workshops, we also provide speaking presentations for larger groups. This is a great way to inform more people in a shorter time frame. Please call Karen on 0408 615 559 to discuss any aspect of personal safety for your team.

What is your plan this year to protect your most valuable asset – the safety of your staff?
Please call Karen Armstrong on 0408 615 559 to discuss a program that is customised to your exact workplace scenarios.