Forest Fires Direction: Body Talk


(Lead in the Forest Fire Department, p.22)

Communication is the main tool for creating an effective command climate. The ability to communicate effectively is universally considered one of the most important leadership behaviors. Communication is the foundation on which we build trust and enable our teams to develop cohesion. Effective communication is a two-way process. Good leaders actively listen to create a climate of trust with others.

Communication allows us to communicate goals and intentions, break down chains of errors and improve situational awareness. Leaders are aware of the central role that communication plays in the ability to lead and always strive to become better communicators.

What are you saying?

Nonverbal communication represents more than 90% of a message. Fortunately, communication is something we can improve with practice. So what are we saying? (at least according to these experts …)

Allan Pease shares information about what our palms communicate.

Lynne Franklin shares information on three types and provides some useful tips on how to communicate with them.

(Bonus: Dr. York's wacky video on body language.)

About the author: Pam McDonald is Editor-in-Chief for BLM Wildland Fire Training and Workforce Development and a member of the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee. The expressions are those of the author.