Topic 4: Non-Verbal Communication

  • it either confirms or disconfirms the message. The receivers decide if truth is being told mainly by subconsciously judging the non-verbal communication of the counterpart;
  • it shows how confident people are.
  • And remember: It is the SENDER’S responsibility to formulate a clear message and deliver it in an understandable way.
  • Nonverbal communication consists of:
    • facial expressions (better smile than frown);
    • movements of hands and body (use open gestures, avoid crossing legs and hands, avoid hiding hands in pockets or behind the back);
  • body posture (stand or sit with erect body – in this way you will look more confident and your voice will sound better);
  • orientation of the body (always face your audience when presenting);
  • eye contact (try to have eye contact with all your trainees/mentees, but avoid staring);
  • body contact (a pat on the shoulder or the hand can show empathy and understanding, but it may be also misunderstood or may not be acceptable according to the cultural background of the trainees/mentees);
  • distance (the appropriate distance between speaker and listeners also depends on the cultural context);
  • head-nods (use head-nods to show that you are paying attention, that you listen or agree)
  • appearance (clean, well-groomed, appropriate clothes);
  • the sound of the voice (voice tone and variations, speed of the speech, stress and so on).

Non-verbal communication conveys emotions and attitudes towards others more effectively than words. For example, we can say something very positive to another person, but if we do it with a raised or agitated tone of voice for example, the other person is very likely to get offended. That is why it is very important to recognize how emotions influence our nonverbal communication and to learn to regulate it.

What is even less known and recognized is the influence of non-verbal coding on a person’s own feelings. If you take a posture that is typical for expressing confidence and feeling of success, very soon you are going to start to feel more confident and optimistic. If you make gestures of power and self-confidence very soon you are going to feel more self-confident.

The collage is created by the Reach Youth project consortium