Non-Verbal Messages at Work — What are you saying?

Lucille Bluth

Just as a smile can say a thousand words, so can a frown or a cold glance. We humans have many ways to send messages to each other. Non-verbal gestures can express everything from curiosity to concern to criticism.

This is especially true in the workplace. Ever experience someone rolling his or her eyes while you were talking at a meeting? Do you know what it feels like to have a coworker turn away from you as you walk by? On the positive side, have you enjoyed the warm feeling when a colleague shoots you a knowing smile? Have you felt encouraged when a coworker offered you an enthusiastic thumbs up?

Whether the message is positive or negative, non-verbal communication can have a powerful impact on your day.

So, here are two questions to consider:
What non-verbal messages are you taking in?
What non-verbal messages are you sending out?

The second question is the one you have most control over. Notice what you may be communicating with your face, your eyes, your hand gestures, and your stances. Do your best to present a positive, professional message – whether your colleagues reciprocate or not.

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