Communicating Consciously using Nonverbals

29 Sep

Entire books have been written about body language and energy patterns. A good reference book to consult would be Edward T. Hall’s, The Silent Language, which deals with cultural differences in nonverbal communication.

Those aspects of body language which speak volumes are

  1. Posture
  2. Facial expressions
  3. Hand gestures
  4. Body movements
  5. Energy levels

If we are the speaker, our posture should be inclined slightly toward our listener, so that at the proper moment we are ready to exchange places and become a receiver in the ongoing dialog. Generally our body should assume an open stance if we are centered and nondefensive. Our facial expression will also reflect the energy of calmness, with a smile of welcome to the listener.

Hand gestures will not be violent or sporadic. Instead our palms may be in a somewhat upward position, and our movements will be slow. We will want to refrain from any dismissive movements, just as we would from frowning or making ugly faces.

Our listener will pick up on both our energy level and the kind of energy we are emitting. A low energy level, or even depression, will be reflected in a drooping head and listless movements. High energy will be reflected in crisp, but not erratic or jerky movements, plus a welcoming smile.

All of these potent nonverbals can best be practiced with the use of role play in front of a camcorder, IPhone or similar device. The camera does not lie! You will find that you will improve your communication by at least 80% by intentionally choosing your nonverbal responses, and that you can do this by studying yourself on DVD or camera playback. With time and practice, you may even find yourself unconsciously mimicking the stance of your listener. This will tell you that you are “in sync” with that person.  Since about 93% of our communication depends on getting through nonverbally to our communication partner, you will be giving — and soon receiving — those positive strokes which all of us want — and need — to live happy lives!

One Response to “Communicating Consciously using Nonverbals”

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