Improve your emotional intelligence - Step 4 control non-verbal communication
Saturday - March19 , 2011 Filed in: Spirit
Sometimes, what we say is less important than how we say it or the other nonverbal signals we send out. In order to hold the attention of others and build connection and trust, we need to be aware of and in control of our nonverbal cues. We also need to be able to accurately read and respond to the nonverbal cues that other people send us.
Our nonverbal messages will produce a sense of interest, trust, excitement, and desire for connection–or they will generate fear, confusion, distrust, and disinterest.
Part of improving nonverbal communication involves paying attention to:
- Eye contact - The way you look at someone can communicate many things, including interest, affection, hostility, or attraction.
- Facial expression - The human face is extremely expressive, able to express countless emotions without saying a word. The facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust are the same across cultures.
- Tone of voice - When we speak, other people “read” our voices in addition to listening to our words. Think about how tone of voice, for example, can indicate sarcasm, anger, affection, or confidence.
- Touch - Think about the messages given by the following: a firm handshake, a timid tap on the shoulder, a warm bear hug, a reassuring pat on the back, a patronizing pat on the head, or a controlling grip on your arm.
- Timing and pace - Your ability to be a good listener and communicate interest
If you are planning what you’re going to say next, daydreaming, or thinking about something else, you are almost certain to miss nonverbal cues and other subtleties in the conversation. You need to stay focused on the moment-to-moment experience in order to fully understand what’s going on.