Volume 138, January 2015: Non-Verbal Messaging

Keyzine: An E-zine for Leaders about the People Side of Business

This is a monthly electronic magazine for anyone who wants to be a better leader, coach, facilitator, or simply, to tune up their people skills. It is a complimentary publication, devoted to the next evolution of Quality Thinking.

Publisher: © Key Associates, 2015 ISSN # 1545-8873

“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Since 85-95% of all communication is non-verbal, people are watching how you deliver messages. Do they hear conviction? Passion? Commitment? What are your hands saying? Your posture? Where are your eyes directed? What words do you choose to express yourself? Your posture, gestures, tone of voice, movement, facial expression, eye contact, congruence of body and message – all convey a lasting impression, overriding what you are saying in content. By your very position in space (proxemics), you influence people.

One of the greatest skills to cultivate is the ability to place attention on something or someone and hold it there. I believe this is trainable. As Georgia O'Keefe said, “If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it is your world for the moment.” Many of today’s diseases of productivity and effectiveness have to do with distractibility – a condition enhanced by our media society.

When you wish to communicate fully, align yourself with your listener, fully intending to communicate. Come close, but not too close. Incline toward them, match their height (sit, stand) and point your heart. Pause before beginning to see that you have their attention, then begin speaking. Ask for affirmation of the message through some type of feedback/playback.

Practice Point

For a day or so, stop speaking words so quickly and use your actions to speak. Place your attention completely with another. When you next speak to them, notice the color of their eyes. Use nonverbal communication to soften the hard line position of others: S = Smile, O = Open Posture, F = Forward lean, T = Touch, E = Eye Contact, N = Nod (author unknown).


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