Actions speak louder than words 07282011

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  • Actions Speak LOUDER Than Words
  • Communicating via Nonverbal Cues Body language impacts a great deal of how we communicate and can reflect quite accurately how we feel Nonverbal cues act as powerful supplements to verbal messages How body language adds to what we say: Shows emotions Illustrates verbal points Replaces verbal messages Signals changes in conversation 2
  • 3 So, How Does The Body Speak? Like any spoken language, body language has words, sentences and punctuation Each gesture is like a single word and one word may have several different meanings Additionally, the tone of voice, the rate of speech and the pitch of the voice all add to the words that are being used
  • Types of Non-verbal Communication 4
  • The Face vs. The Body Facial expressions Offer the most nonverbal information Clearly indicate emotions and feelings Show how people react in response to information, conversation or other actions Body Actions and Posture Orientation Position Posture Gestures Head Movements 5
  • Do you know what you are saying?
  • People react to what you say and do 7
  • What do our actions say about us? 8
  • What do our actions say? (continued) 9
  • Your words should match your actions 10
  • Eyes Eye contact Encouraged in America, Canada, Europe Considered rude in some Asian/African countries Raising eyebrows Means Yes in Thailand and some Asian countries Means Hello in the Philippines Winking eye Signals sharing secrets or a joke in America and Europe Considered a flirtatious gesture in other countries Closed eyes Signals boredom or sleepiness in America Im listening and concentrating in Japan, Thailand, China
  • Head Movements Tossing the head backward is Yes in Thailand, the Philippines, India, Laos Rocking head slowly, back and forth is Yes, Im listening in most Asian cultures Nodding the head is Yes in most societies but means No in some parts of Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkey Note: Nodding can have more than one meaning
  • Body Positioning Body orientation = angle at which speakers body turns toward/away from a listener Open Positions Elbows away from the body Hands apart Legs crossed Closed Positions Crossed arms or legs Leaning Forward, backward or sideways tilt of a person to another person 13
  • Posture Positioning of the upper body Relaxed posture has slightly drooping shoulders and an arched back A neutral posture has a straight back A rigid posture has an unnaturally straight back with the shoulders back 14
  • Arms Some cultures use their arms freely For others, it is considered impolite to gesticulate with broad movements of the arms Folded arms commonly interpreted as a form of excluding yourself I am taking a defensive posture I disagree with what I am hearing Arms akimbo stance signals aggression, resistance, impatience or even anger Arms behind back and hands grasped interpreted as sign of ease and control Arms in front and hands grasped viewed as a sign of mutual respect in some Asian countries
  • Hands Of all the body parts, the hands are probably used most for communicating non-verbally Hand waves are used for greetings, beckoning, or farewells The Italian good-bye wave can be interpreted by Americans as the gesture of come here The American good-bye wave can be interpreted in many parts of Europe and Latin America as the signal for no Handshaking is a form of greeting in most Western cultures In the Middle East, a gentle grip is appropriate In some Asian cultures, a gentle grip and an avoidance of direct eye contact is appropriate
  • Fingers The O.K. signal means: Fine, or O.K. in most cultures Zero or worthless in some parts of Europe Money in Japan Considered an insult in Greece, Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Russia and some other countries Thumb-up means: O.K. good job or fine in most cultures Up yours! in Australia Five in Japan; One in Germany Avoid a thumb-up in these countries: Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Russia, and most African countries
  • Fingers (continued) Pointing Pointing with the index finger is common in North America and Europe But it is considered impolite in Japan and China where they favor using the whole open hand Malaysians prefer pointing with the thumb
  • Legs and Feet In Asia and some European countries, putting feet up on a desk or any other piece of furniture is very disrespectful Sitting cross-legged, while common in North America and some European countries, is very impolite in other parts of the world In most Asian countries, a solid and balanced sitting posture is the prevailing custom and sitting cross- legged shows the sign of disrespect In the Middle East and most parts of Asia, resting the ankle over the other knee risks pointing the sole of your shoe at another person, which is considered a rude gesture
  • How Close is Too Close? Intimate Touching 6-18 Personal Close: 1 to 2 feet Far: 2 to 4 feet Social Close: 4-7 feet Far: 7-12 feet Public Close: 12-25 feet Far: 25 feet or greater
  • What happens when you invade someones space? Reactions to an invasion of personal space can vary Feel troubled Get defensive Become aggressive Retaliate
  • Effective Nonverbal Communication 22 Maintain direct eye contact Direct eye contact shows openness and interest and makes you look honest and trustworthy Use appropriate facial expressions for the subject matter you are discussing Have good posture and stance Use appropriate gestures but dont overdo it Make sure that the tone of your voice is appropriate for the conversation Give acknowledgment responses to show attentiveness and interest
  • Positive Nonverbal Indicators Meaning of Nonverbal Indicators Examples Openness, Confidence Opening hands with palms up, unbuttoning jacket, maintaining eye contact, smiling and leaning forward Cooperation, Eagerness Smiling, maintaining eye contact, rubbing palms together, standing with hands on hips Professionalism Sitting up straight, maintaining eye contact, leaning forward, taking notes Evaluation, Interest Placing hand on cheek, stroking chin, leaning forward, tilting head slightly to one side, arching eyebrows 23
  • Reading Nonverbal Cues Recognize that people communicate on many levels Become accustomed to watching body language and your ability to read nonverbal cues will grow with practice Every gesture, facial expression, hand/feet and body movement communicates something If a persons words say one thing and their body language says another, you are apt to listen to the nonverbal communication and that is usually the correct decision Body language may vary between individuals, and between different cultures and nationalities It is essential to verify and confirm signals you are reading 24
  • Dont Assume You could be wrong 25
  • Resources Skillsoft Skillbrief, Types of Nonverbal Cues (accessed via on 04/06/2011) Body Language: Guide to Reading Body Language Signals (accessed via on 04/13/2011) Skillsoft Skillbrief, Verbal and Nonverbal Communication with a Positive Attitude, Communication Skills for Successful Management (accessed via on 04/06/2011) Skillsoft Skillbrief, Cultural Differences in Nonverbal Communication (accessed via on 04/06/2011) Rugsaken, Kris, The Body Speaks: The Importance of Body Language, National Academic Advising Association Conference (2005) Murugan, Seema, Non-verbal Communication (accessed via on 04/13/2011) Tyler, V. Lynn, Intercultural Interacting (1987) 26