Non verbal communication tips for life

We don’t care what people say, we are more likely to believe what they do, Non verbal communication matters

Non verbal communication tips that can improve the way you communicate. The best communicators are often more aware of the power of the emotions and thoughts communicated nonverbally. These non verbals can convey important information beyond the words. We communicate information in multiple ways (eye contact, gestures, posture, body movements, and tone of voice).

1. Watch for a word/action mismatch 

Pay careful attention to words that do not match the nonverbal behaviour. e.g. If someone says they are happy while frowning, shoulders hunched and staring at the ground. Research shows that are more likely to believe the nonverbal signals when there is a mismatch. Become aware of the way your body speaks.

2. Tone matters

The tone of voice conveys a wealth of information – from enthusiasm to indifference to anger. Pay attention to how your tone impacts how others respond to you. Start focusing on using the tone of voice that emphasises the ideas that you want to communicate.

3. Eye contact matters

When someone fails to look us in the eye when they speak, it can seem as if they are trying to hide something. Be aware balance is essential though, too much eye contact can seem confrontational. Good eye contact doesn’t mean staring into someone’s eyes. A simple way to find the balance is to maintain intervals of eye contact lasting four to five seconds.

4. Context matters

Take the context in which the communication occurs into account. Certain cultural and formal behaviours can be interpreted differently in another setting. Consider trying to match your nonverbal communication to the level of formality necessitated by the situation. A gesture can mean a variety of things, or even nothing at all, unless taken in context. If you are confused about a person’s nonverbal signals – ask.Non verbal communication tips Infographic

The trick to accurate interpretation of Non verbal communication behaviour is looking for groups of signals that demonstrate a common theme.

Too much emphasis on one non verbal signal may lead to an inaccurate conclusion about what a person means. e.g. a firm handshake is often seen as indicating a strong personality while a weak handshake is seen as a timid. The limp handshake might actually indicate something else, such as an injury. Always remember to look for groups of behaviour.

When it comes to Non verbal communication what we see matters more than words.When it comes to Non verbal communication what we see matters more than words.

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Richard Riche

Change Communication and Employee Engagement specialist at One Clear Message Consulting
Richard specialises in helping you build real human communication skills. Employee Engagement / Experience, Emotional Intelligence skills, building high performance teams and a great place you want to work. TED style speaking and presentation skills. Training, consulting and coaching.
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