From a young age, people always tell you to be careful what you say. But what they don’t always tell you is to be aware of what you’re doing while you’re saying it.
I’m talking about “nonverbal communication.” They are the facial expressions, eye contact, hand gestures and body language that you send out on a regular basis – whether you are aware of it or not. These unspoken transmissions carry a powerful message of their own, and if you’re not careful they can actually contradict the very words coming out of your mouth. (Example: You tell someone, “I’m doing just great,” but your body is slumped and there’s no happy look on your face.)
How many times have you heard of e-mail misunderstandings that occur simply because the receiver didn’t know something was a joke, or maybe they didn’t understand the desired “tone” of the sender. Had there been one-to-one nonverbal communication that accompanied these e-mails, chances are this would not have happened. (That’s why “emoticons” were invented, of course.)
Your nonverbal actions speak volumes, and being more aware of that will make you a better communicator.