Understanding Nonverbal Communication in Business

By understanding nonverbal communication in business you will be better able to manage staff, work with customers and manage challenges with people.

Mastering nonverbal communication in business involves learning both micro and macro expressions. Many expressions can have multiple meanings. Start by focusing on the basics and the fundamentals. Here is an overview of each of the various modalities of nonverbal communication.

Understanding Nonverbal Communication in Business Basics

The Eyes Don’t Tell Lies

Although the eyes do not tell lies, we may not hear what they are saying. Here are some basics. A correct reading is dependent on first getting a baseline reading of the person. It does not work all the time either.

Heads Up Tells You What?

Odd head movements or out-of-place expressions such as smirking with a sad face are likely indicators of deception. Some emotions are harder to falsify than others: happiness is easier to fake than disgust or fear. A real smile vs a fake smile is more difficult.

Dishonesty may be noted in the head being turned away from the person who the deceit is aimed toward.

Handy Tell Tale Signs

In dishonesty, arm movement will be limited and stiff. Positioning will be toward their body, It is a subconscious reaction to decrease their body size becoming a smaller target.

Hands may touch their face, throat or mouth. They may touch or scratch their nose or behind the ear.

Crossed arms could mean that a person is cold. Likewise it could mean that they are closed minded, even defensive to what your proposing.

If they also cross their legs while standing, it is a sure bet you are pushing too hard, they are in some way threatened or are not open to what you suggest.

Posturing for a Lie

A dishonest person may place objects between them selves and the person they are trying to deceive.

These are not definitive indicators of truth. They only will provide clues that if added to other signs may provide insight into what is being communicated. A baseline reading of the person is necessary.

Leg Up On the Competition

As mentioned above, crossed legs can be a defensive move, one indicating a closed mind or unopened to what you are suggesting.

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