Most of us have a good grasp on verbal communication. It isn’t difficult for us to ask questions or give cogent instructions. We also know to actively listen, to comprehend what is said to us and act upon it. But learning how to decipher nonverbal communication takes some skill. Someone may be telling us what we want to hear but their body language, which is rooted in the subconscious, could present us with conflicting information.
While words are important, it’s not always what gets said that gets the true point across. Click To Tweet
The eyes have it — If a person won’t make or keep eye contact with you, they may be hiding something. Consistent eye contact means a person is making a concerted effort to connect with you. If you ask someone a question about their past experience, take note of which direction they look. When someone is attempting to remember something, they look up. If someone is trying to fabricate a story, they tend to look down.
Physical defenses — When someone is resisting you or your ideas, the subconscious mind tries to protect itself physically. You see this when someone defensively crosses their arms or legs while listening to you. If their feet are pointed towards the exit, the person can’t wait to leave. Conversely, if someone leans forward while listening to you, they are truly paying attention. If their hands are relaxed, palms open, they are being honest when they speak.
Mirroring — If someone seems to be subtly mimicking your movements during a conversation, they’re not mocking you. This means they feel a connection with you and feel receptive to the things you are telling them. Mirroring is an excellent indication of a good conversation.
While words are important, it’s not always what gets said that gets the true point across. To find out what someone is really trying to tell you, stop, listen, and look!