How to Keep Verbal and Nonverbal Communication Respectful as a Leader

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You may have noticed that your body language communicates a lot about your feelings. When you disagree with someone, you might use negative body language to convey your feelings. Examples of non-respectful body language include crossing arms, staring out the window, or avoiding eye contact. To be respectful, keep your stance open and listen to their point of view. If you want to have an effective conversation, use these techniques to communicate effectively.

Body language is a powerful communication tool

Using body language can be an effective way to convey your thoughts and feelings to others. In some cases, body language may be even more powerful than verbal messages. Here are a few examples of how you can use body language to convey your message:

Smile – Your smile is one of the most effective forms of nonverbal communication. When people see your smile, they immediately feel welcome. It also makes others feel that you do not have any negative feelings towards them. Often, people with crossed arms appear closed off and unreceptive. Crossing your arms also makes you appear disengaged and angry. By contrast, a smile tells others that you are interested in listening to what they have to say.

People who know body language can use this information to guide others. Although a person’s spoken words are crucial to conveying their meaning, they are not the only source of information. Nonverbal communication can help you convey information without words. Your tone of voice, body position, and distance can communicate different meanings than words. Nonverbal messages are more likely to be trusted by others than verbal ones, which is why understanding the language of nonverbal communication is vital for maintaining respectable relationships.

Use eye contact to establish a connection with your audience and build trust and respect. Eye contact is also an effective feedback loop. People will remember people who make eye contact with them. A confident speaker will make people feel important, and people will respect their authority. If they are not, they will not listen. And the more eye contact you make with others, the more likely they are to remember you.

Avoid sighing or yawning

Sighing or yawning when communicating verbal and nonverbally can convey a range of emotions. In tense business meetings, yawning can communicate restlessness or a sense of uncertainty. Likewise, yawning when responding to a controversial suggestion can signal a need to explore unvoiced concerns or objections. Similarly, in animal species, yawning can act as a warning signal. Charles Darwin observed baboons yawning to warn their enemies.

Sighing and yawning are both unconscious and socially significant expressions of emotion. Their meaning depends on the timing and intensity of their delivery. In a study conducted with 23 adult chimpanzees, researchers found that most people associate sighs with negative emotional states. In other words, sighs from other people are perceived as a sign of sadness, while self-produced sighs are commonly interpreted as a sign of giving up.

One of the easiest ways to communicate effectively is by avoiding sighing or yawning when speaking. Humans yawn for several reasons, most notably boredom. Boredom triggers the body to send signals to its sleep generating system, which is responsible for sleep. Boredom also teaches the mind to keep in contact with the external environment.

Research on yawning is scarce, and its effects on human health are not yet fully understood. In addition to the effects on the individual, the frequency of yawning is not directly related to the severity of obstructive airway conditions. However, researchers are exploring whether there are dilator forces that influence the airway and should avoid excessive yawning.

Avoid tapping your fingers

When communicating verbally and nonverbally, avoid tapping your fingers. Different gestures mean different things in different countries. For example, many English speaking countries count with their index finger while most European countries count with their thumb. Different gestures can be offensive in certain locations, so be sure to research the meaning of common gestures before using them. Using your hands instead of your fingers can make you more understandable and more successful in conveying your point.

Avoid gazing out the window

Gaze is a powerful nonverbal communication tool. Research has shown that people respond differently to gaze. Some feel uncomfortable when stared at, while others find it comforting. The way you look can also reveal different emotions. Most people look away when speaking, then turn their gaze to their listeners. Others alternate between looking at and away when speaking. Eye contact is more likely when you like someone, and less frequent when you’re disagreeing. Unwavering gaze can signal threat or dominance.

Avoid yawning

Yawning is a normal and common human action, but there are no physiological reasons why we do it. It is characterized by an open mouth, long inspiration, brief interruption of ventilation, and short expiration. Though yawning has always been associated with boredom and drowsiness, newer studies indicate that yawning has some important purposes. Let’s look at some of these purposes.

Yawing is typically induced by boredom, which is a natural state of human behavior. It occurs when the main stimulus in the environment can no longer sustain a person’s attention. When this happens, the mind begins to yawn in order to maintain contact with the external environment. The chimpanzees in Vick and de Waal’s study showed variations in yawning patterns, with yawning varying more in groups of acquaintances than ingroup members.

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