Communicating with Nonverbal Cues: Examples of Body Language - Deepstash
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Communicating with Nonverbal Cues: Examples of Body Language

Through body language, people can both consciously and unconsciously communicate and convey emotions without uttering a word. Understanding common cues can help you present yourself positively as well as read how others are receiving you.


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What is body language?

Body language refers to the nonverbal cues that communicate how people feel. Body language is often performed unconsciously; the facial expressions you make or how you hold your body can send a message to people whether you’ve verbally expressed it or not—and if you aren’t self-aware, whether you intend to or not.

But you can also be conscious of your gestures to reinforce your messaging. By holding eye contact, monitoring your tone of voice, smiling or holding your posture proud and tall, you can convey positive messages like good humor or competence.


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Maintain good eye contact

Maintaining good eye contact shows you're engaged and actively listening to what someone is telling you. However, if you stare too intensely, it can have the opposite effect by making the other person feel too targeted. Assess their body language in response to determine if they feel comfortable.


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Open palms

Having an open palm implies openness and honesty. The idea of “open arms” applies here, where you are comforting and accepting of what you are receiving. Much like being closed off suggests apprehension or guardedness. If you are hearing great ideas, receive them openly.


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Head nod

In addition to showing a speaker that you agree with their message, nodding your head shows others that you're listening to what they have to say. When you pair a head nod with a smile, you’re more likely to engage them with inclusive enthusiasm.


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Firm handshake

When you offer someone a firm handshake, it shows your confidence and respect. If you're the first one to reach out for a handshake, it further expresses your confidence. Firm does not mean intimidating (or painful), however. As with most physical communication, you want to be confident and present, not off-putting or forceful.


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