Non-Verbal Communication Skills Not Working?
Non-verbal communication can be more powerful than a thousand words.
Have you ever received “the look,” from a spouse, parent, teacher, colleague, or boss?
Did you notice the feeling in the pit of your stomach or the clenching of your fists in response to that look or something they did?
Sometime we are unaware of the impact our actions, body language , or facial expressions have on others. It is in this not knowing or unconsciousness that we miss out on the opportunity to make a real connection with another person.
The good news is that simple awareness the next time you are interacting with another person can help you to be more conscious of the impact your non-verbal communication skills.
3 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Non-Verbal Communication Skills:
- Notice your emotional state when speaking or listening to another person. Emotions are a huge driver in how we show up mentally, physically, and emotionally. In other words … it’s hard to be a good listener if you’re upset about an incident that happened a few minutes or even a few hours prior. Your body is still flooded with stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol making it next to impossible to present and engaged in the moment.
- Don’t fake it! You can’t fake listening … your body language will leak out the fact that you aren’t interested. Besides, it’s difficult to maintain eye contact when you really don’t care. The other person will pick up on your non-verbal communication signals and try even harder to get your attention or simply give up and walk away. Which may be what you wanted to happen anyway. However the end results are that you both lose!
- Pretend it’s Grandma! Yes yo heard that right … pretend you are talking or listening to your 83-year-old grandmother as if it was one of the last times you were going to see her. I know it sounds crazy but it is amazing how empathy can improve your non-verbal communication skills. I’m not saying hug the other person good-bye at the end of the conversation with a weepy eye but at least be attentive!
The bottom-line is this … you can utilize your non-verbal communication skills to either increase or decrease your level of effectiveness.
And if you find yourself wondering why people just don’t seem to ‘get you’ or you find yourself having the same conversations over and over it might not be your words …
It might just be your non verbal communication skills not working!