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Friday, March 20, 2020

Video Playlist: Mindful (vs. Clueless) Communication



by Catharine Hannay



Here's the latest in the popular series of video playlists for teachers. This time the focus is on mindful speech and communication issues in the modern world.

I've tried to include something for everyone, so there's a wide range of videos--from Sesame Street to lectures and short films for adults or mature teens. 
After each section, I've included a few suggested questions for discussion or reflective writing. 

As always, use your own best judgment about what's appropriate for your particular context. 


Tips on Mindful Speaking and Listening





Mindful Speaking

Joelle (a licensed therapist) gives some
quick tips for mindful speech.
(3 minutes)




Active Listening 

Student Katie Owens explains
why it's important to Be. Here. Now.
(3 minutes)





Elmo Knows How to Listen

Elmo (who's dressed like a chicken for some reason) 
sings about whole body listening.
(1 minute)







Better Communication with Mindful Speech

Phi Thuy Nguyen explains how people react 
to skillful or unskillful phrasing of the same message.
(7 minutes)







Julian Treasure explains how 
we're losing our ability to listen, 
and how we can practice listening to each other 
and the world around us

(8 minutes)







How to Speak So That People Want to Listen

Julian Treasure explains the 'seven deadly sins' of speaking, 

then shares the warmup exercises he uses before giving a lecture.
(10 minutes)





Mindful Speech

lecture by Tara Brach
posted by Palouse Mindfulness

a free self-guided online MBSR program;
this is an excerpt from an hour-long talk
(20 minutes)


Suggested Questions
  • How does your body language show that you're listening (or not)?
  • What does 'mindful speech' mean to you?
  • If you gave a TED talk on mindful communication, what would you say? 


Words Can Hurt





"I am a Person"

for "spread the word to end the word"
(1 1/2 minutes)








Native Americans explain their response to this offensive term. 
(Teachers, be forewarned that a couple of the participants compare this word 
to other offensive terms, including the N word.) 

(3 minutes)






song by Kaitlyn Marie Oliveira 

click here for lyrics

(4 minutes)



Suggested Questions
  • Do you know the expression, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me"? Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  • Why do you think there are still so many offensive words to describe different groups of people?


Communication Problems




They're certainly trying hard to communicate!
(3 minutes)




Off Book

A man brings a script to a first date, 
but the woman doesn't want to play along. 
(8 minutes)





Suggested Questions

  • Have you ever felt like the 'Muppet Martians,' trying hard to talk with someone but repeatedly failing? What did you do to finally communicate?
  • Have you ever felt like someone else wanted you to follow a script, or have you ever felt frustrated with someone who wasn't following your script? What happened?





How Smart is Your Smart Phone?






In this satirical video, 
JP Sears earnestly explains 
why it's important to be 
in a constant state of distraction.

(4 minutes)






A groom with cold feet 
posts a survey on Facebook about whether 
he should go through with his wedding. 
(Teachers, be forewarned 
this one has a lot of swearing, 
mostly from the bride.)
(14 minutes)




Suggested Questions

  • How much time do you spend on your phone? Do you ever look at your phone just to distract yourself? 
  • Do you think social media every goes too far? Where do you draw the line in terms of what's too personal to share? 
  • How much should other people's opinions count when we're making important decisions? What are the most/least effective ways of asking and giving opinions?


Related Posts

If you and your students like these types of videos, be sure to check out the other song playlists and video playlists, including:


Here are some additional posts that might be useful:



And see the Mindfulness Resources page for many more posts about practicing and teaching mindfulness, compassion, and SEL.



About the Author



Catharine Hannay is the founder of MindfulTeachers.org and the author of Being You: A Girl’s Guide to Mindfulness, a workbook for teen girls on mindfulness, compassion, and self-acceptance.