Nonverbal communication is colorful and full of intrigue. A shrub of the shoulders and a roll of the eyes allows us to say, ”I don’t like you, ” without uttering a single word. Better yet, a warm smile and an outstretched hand says ”Im so glad to see you.”
In every personal encounter, we send and receive nonverbal communion cues whether we realize it or not. While the world encourages us to be ourselves, there is a time and place for nonverbal cues. When we are at work, it’s wise to take note of how we communicate with both our words and our gestures.
The first and most obvious clue to nonverbal communication is a persons facial expression.
Even though we only have one face, it can exhibit a wealth of expressions. From a half smile, to a full-blown smirk, to a casual eye shift, our facial expressions demonstrate a range of emotions. Instead of delving with all the nuances like a quirk of the lip or a twitch of the eye. There are three prominent expressions.
Have you ever heard the quote: if my mouth doesn’t say it my face definitely will.
This is so true where we like it or not, our facial expressions sometimes says more that our tongue.
Smiling- A smile generally indicates happiness or contentment.
Scowling – A scowl or from indicates discontentmebt or frustraion.
Lack of expression -An expressionless face can indicate two things the indication of disinterest or boredom, or a face of disdain.
An expressionless face is hard to decipher, so if you suspect you’re exhibiting what’s know as stone face, it might be nice to poo in a smiles from time to time.
Have you ever sat in a room full of people and just watched their facial expressions? It interesting what you can find out about people just watching their body language.
People place a lot of stock in eye contact. If you’re talking to someone and they don’t look at you at all, you’re going to feel put off and ignored. But, the fact that someone’s looking down a lot can mean their shy. Someone lacking in confidence tends to have trouble making or maintaining eye contact.
If you struggle with eye contact, it’s the kind of thing you have to practice to improve. Like public speaking, it must be practiced. And it’s a nice skill to have because it allows people to see you’re engaged and interested in what you have to say.
Of course, extended stretches of eye contact have the opposite effect; it can make people feel uncomfortable. You’ll find the happy medium the more you practice.
Gestures And Movement
While our face is a dead giveaway for our moods, the entire body is a barometer. If you had watched a heated debate through a glass conference room. There are somethings you might have witnessed:
- Frequent and even wild hand gestures
- Finger-pointing Arms waving in the air
- Raking fingers through their hair
- Invasion of personal space in order to send a message of hostility
On the other hand, if everyone’s sitting peacefully around a table you can still note nonverbal communication cues. What if someone has their arms crossed? Knowingly or unknowingly, they could be saying ” I’m closed off to you and your ideas.”
If someone’s resting their hands on the table with a relaxed and open posture, they’re conveying a message of openness and willingness.
What is someone at work is fiddling with they’re pen or coffee mug and not looking who is speaking with them. This could be a sign they’re bored with the subject. Or it may have nothing at all with the speaker, they may be preoccupied by they’re personal life. Either way it’s a signal they’re not fully present.
Tone of Voice
There’s not a lot of delineation in this example. If someone’s volume is elevated and they’re speaking rapidly, they’re excited. Either something is wrong or they’re amped up. But, if they’re speaking in calm, slow tones, they’re probably conveying their message without any cause for concern.
The way we inflict our words also impacts how they’re Interpreted. For example says, I thought you were coming to Florida this weekend, it could mean they hoped you were coming and theyre glad to see you.
The same person can also say I thought you were coming to Florida this weekend meaning why are you here on Sunday evening? You’re late. So, the inflection of your words conveys a message as much as the actual words we choose.
Remember, when we were watching the debate behind the glass window where there was finger-pointing and invasion a of personal space, it indicates attack mode. Someone’s aggressively conveying they’re out to get someone or prove a point. In this line of attack, someone can also reach out and grab someone by the arm to shock them to attention.
We usually consider physical touch in a positive and personal light. If someone is sitting somewhere crying, someone is likely to put their hand on them and ask them what’s wrong. These signs of touch are meant to be conforting while forging a connection. Someone can give a light touch to a person’s arm as they say thank you.
In any instance, bad or good, touch is designed to strengthen the message being sent.
This example is a bit more controversial. We’re taught to judge a book by its cover. We can’t assess a person’s intelligence or demeanor by the clothing they wear. Yet, however there are certain setting one’s appearance does send a message. This is why people wear suits or dresses to work and casual wear on the weekends.
My husband wears overalls to work because he fixes things for the power plant and farmers in the area. But when he comes home he puts on sweat pants and a t-shirt.
Our everyday attire and hairstyle send a message, imagine a woman who always wears bright bold tones. Perhaps she wears orange suits with red blouses or yellow shirts with royal blue shirts. This woman is not looking to be a wallflower. You could probably guess she has a high level of self-confidence.
On the other hand, just because someone chooses tones of gray, it doesn’t mean they’re shy. The might simply prefer a simplistic style. To them, less may be more.
I wear bright bold colors during the spring and summer seasons, but during the winter I wear a lot of browns, grays and dark greens. It doesn’t mean I change who I am, it’s just because in the spring and summer I’m happier. And During the fall and winter I’m kind of low key. Because of the darker seasons I am so excited about the weather but I am still confident and outgoing.
Either way, how we present ourselves to people and situations tells a story. Men are told to take out hats off at the dinner table, put a comb through our hair and wear our Sunday best to church’s. It shows we put a little thought into the interaction. My church doesn’t have a dress code, but I still wear nice clothes, black pants and a nice shirt, their are others that wear shorts to church. The way people dress, says nothing about they’re relationship with the Lord.
Your facial expressions and body language as well as how you dress can send a message. As well as how you act. Their are individuals who don’t realize this. You can watch a person and learn a lot about them.