Sometimes what you don’t say conveys more than what you do say. A single gesture or
|Try our editable, reproducible, EAP Newsletter|
People will more readily believe what they see you do than what they hear you say.
Adopt a listening posture that communicates your openness and curiosity. Keep your hands at your sides, rather than rubbing your scalp or eyes.
Avoid resting your head in your hands or folding your arms across your chest like a drill sergeant.
Don’t doodle, twist a rubber band or glance repeatedly at your computer screen while someone is talking to you.
Maintain a neutral facial expression, especially if you disagree. Beware of letting your negative emotions (such as anger, dismay or fear) dictate your nonverbal conduct. You may alienate people just by glaring at them or with a dismissive wave of your hand.
The proper nonverbal response to a speaker can enhance your ability to build rapport. Signal your interest with friendly eye contact, nods of understanding and genuine looks of concern or surprise. Speakers confide more frequently in listeners who seem actively engaged in the conversation.
Here's a tip. Ask a trusted friend to observe you for a week and keep a record of your body language. Then ask for a report. Having a supportive ally give you feedback on your mannerisms and expressions can increase your awareness of both appropriate and inappropriate nonverbal cues.
So, if you’re impatient, you may keep bobbing your head up and down while someone speaks. Don’t overdo it. Research shows that most people will interpret your first two or three head nods as genuine. After that, your nodding can appear phony and make others feel patronized.
Question? If you disagree, you should shake your head while the person talks to show that you object. Nope. Many speakers dislike addressing someone who’s shaking their head back and forth.
It’s distracting and polarizing. A better approach is to keep still while you listen. When it’s your turn to respond, you can politely raise your concern.] can send a loud and clear message.
That’s why even if you speak respectfully, your sloppy or hostile body language can work against you. Saying, “I think you’re making a good point” while rolling your eyes and shaking your head in disapproval will
Experience this 35 Minute Respect in the Workplace Training Program. You may want it for your workplace.