Interpreting Non-Verbal Cues
Most of what we communicate to one another comes not in the words that we speak, but in the form of facial gestures, body posture, voice inflection and eye movements. Our brains interpret these signals on a subconscious level, and use them to add clarity to the spoken message. You can train yourself to pick up on these gestures consciously. In so doing, you not only gain invaluable insight into the integrity of a given message, but you also begin to perceive unspoken feelings that could prove crucial to the effectiveness of your communication.
Many of the cues that we’re about to study can be correctly interpreted across a wide range of friends and strangers. They transcend racial, economic, cultural, and other factors that otherwise tend to nullify the common assumptions that we make about one another. That being said, many of these things can also be faked. So to truly understand what someBODY is saying, you’re best bet is to develop some baseline observations.
You’ve been staring at your kids for over ten years, now observe them. Take just a second to watch them when they are happy, sad, pensive, and anxious. Identify cues they give when lying, when playful, when they want to hide something and when they’ve got something to say. It’s one thing to have a mother’s intuition, its another thing to know that you’re son makes exaggeratedly direct eye contact when he knows that he’s lying. Consciously noting these cues will someday give you the added confidence you need to pry a little deeper, console a little more, stand strong on an issue, or maybe back away a bit. They are a key element of every master-communicator’s toolbox. So what’s next…? (click here)