I was working with educators and educational leaders this week on the culture of trust in their schools, and one of my participants made fun of me, because I had called on her to answer a question, saying, "Jenna, I can tell you have something you want to say." She asked me how I knew. I said, "From my vantage point, I can tell when someone has something they are mulling over or that they want to say but aren't sure whether they should say it or not. The kicker is how to make people feel like it's a safe enough environment in which to say what's on their minds." Heads nodded, and I realized it's so similar to what I used to see in my own classrooms when I was a teacher (or when I taught character education lessons to classes as a guidance counselor or principal)----you could always tell when a student had something they wanted to say from the look in their eyes.
And so it goes with air travel, as well, I have found. Have you ever watched the gate agents when you and your fellow passengers haven't yet boarded the flight, and the flight is scheduled to leave in 10 minutes (Newsflash: it is NOT leaving in 10 minutes if this is the case)? Just watch their eyes as they look out into the concourse---they are likely looking and waiting for a flight crew (or a member of the flight crew) to show up so they can begin boarding. If they are looking toward the jetbridge, they are likely looking for someone to call them to tell them it is okay to start boarding the flight. If they are looking at each other then back to the intercom, they are trying to figure out who is going to break the news to us that our plane has maintenance issues and many of us are not going to make our connecting flight in Chicago (or Atlanta or Dallas or wherever that hub is for your particular airline).
I love watching eyes. Dave has only to pick up the mail key for our bank of mailboxes in our rental house neighborhood, and Kirby (our 5 year old Lab/Clumber Spaniel mix) makes eye contact with Dave to ensure that his hunch is correct---they we are, indeed, going to go for a quick walk to get the mail. I think it is so adorable. When we had K.C. (our first Lab who we said "broke the mold" for all Labs since), Dave would look up at the ceiling, and K.C. would track his eyes, looking for what could possibly be drawing his attention to the ceiling. It was so precious.
I've asked my participants in online workshops to please turn on their video cameras so we can all see each others' faces and eyes. I don't do it for any other reason than except for the fact that I know that people are more engaged when they can see one another (the pandemic certainly pointed that out to teachers everywhere).
What do you see in the eyes of others? Please share, as I would love to hear your thoughts.