What Your Body Language Says About You

One of the most influential ways you communicate is through your body language, also known as nonverbal language. However, many people overlook the significance of their actions in conveying messages. How you behave tells others a lot about your personal style. It’s crucial to understand the dynamic interaction between verbal and nonverbal communication. Successful communication hinges on ensuring that both align harmoniously.

Some time ago, I coached a corporate client named Rachel on her communication style. During this process, I interviewed several of Rachel’s colleagues to gain insights into her behaviour. What emerged from these conversations was a common theme:

Rachel, a prominent female executive, projected authority during meetings. She’d lead discussions with precision, but as the meeting neared its end, she’d remove her glasses, lean back, cross her arms, and ask if anyone had further input. Surprisingly, no one did. Why? Her nonverbal cues signalled that she was disinterested in further discussion. When I shared this feedback with Rachel, she was taken aback. She hadn’t realised the mixed messages she was sending. Her verbal language contradicted her nonverbal cues.

After this revelation, she adjusted her behaviour, maintaining an engaged posture throughout meetings.

Nonverbal communication is often deemed the most genuine form of expression because the body seldom lies. When verbal and nonverbal cues conflict, people tend to trust the nonverbal signals. Conversely, alignment between verbal and nonverbal language fosters credibility.

Psychologist Albert Mehrabian’s research decades ago revealed that 93% of attitude is conveyed through tone, inflection, facial expressions, and body language, with only 7% attributed to words. This underscores the importance of actions in communication.

Considering this, what does your nonverbal language convey about you? Is it helping or hindering your interactions? Do your verbal and nonverbal cues complement each other, or are you sending mixed signals? Nonverbal communication manifests in six primary ways:

  1. Facial Expressions and Eye Contact: Your face, especially your eyes, conveys myriad emotions. Maintaining consistent, engaging eye contact signifies confidence and interest. Avoiding eye contact can be perceived as evasion or
  2. Body Stance and Posture: Your posture reflects your confidence level. Stand tall and open, avoiding slouching, which may suggest indifference or
  3. Gestures: Hand gestures can enhance or detract from verbal Be mindful of repetitive or excessive gestures that may distract from your message.
  4. Movement: How you move communicates your mental state. Rushing or preoccupation can be misinterpreted by
  5. Objects and Attire: Surroundings, attire, and personal grooming convey information about your identity and
  6. Silence: Pausing can add power and clarity to your message. Embrace silence as a tool for effective

Understanding these nonverbal cues is crucial, especially in diverse workplaces where cultural differences abound. Gestures and norms vary across cultures, necessitating sensitivity and awareness.

In conclusion, your nonverbal language speaks volumes. Ensure you’re using it effectively to communicate with others.