It's Not Just What You Say, It's HOW You Say It


Make Your Body language Work For You! (1)

Eighty percent of our communication is expressed nonverbally through our facial expressions, gestures, posture and tone of voice. Body Language And Nonverbal Communications Expert, Linda Clemons shares her four C’s to understanding body language that can help you better communicate with others and interpret what others might be trying to say to you. 

Clusters - Judgements are formed in the first few seconds of meeting someone so you need to be hyper-aware of what your body may be communicating in your initial interaction. On the other hand, don’t judge someone based on their first movements - watch them in clusters before coming to a conclusion. 

Congruency - When your tone and nonverbal language don’t agree, there will be a disconnect in communication. To best understand this, you must first identify a person’s baseline or how they act under typical circumstances to know when they are deviating from their normal behavior.

Context - Take into consideration the social, linguistic and environmental contexts when interpreting body language as the same nonverbal cues can hold different meanings. For example, imagine someone crossing their arms while in a conversation with you. You may take this as a sign of disinterest or annoyance, however it could be that they are cold or have a stomach ache. Don’t jump to conclusions without taking into account all possible considerations.  

Culture - Gestures are not universal so it’s important to know who you are speaking to and a bit of background. For example, a thumbs up in the United States has a similar connotation to the middle finger in some African and Middle Eastern cultures. Nodding “yes” can actually mean a hard “NO” in countries like Bulgaria. The only expressions that can be considered universal are emotional.

Communicating with clarity and confidence is one of the most important life and workplace skills. Now that you understand HOW you may come across, check out these top tips to help you speak up effectively, build your visibility and enhance your presentation skills.

Missed the livestream event? For more from Body Language And Nonverbal Communications Expert, Linda Clemons, catch the session on-demand. 



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