Interpreting Business Nonverbal Communication

Having a basic understanding of business nonverbal communication is essential to "get the message" others are sending us, and to understand what messages we are sending.

It's worth your while to learn how to read some basic nonverbal behavior and gestures to help you communicate more effectively. You may be sending nonverbal messages that you are not aware of and people may be reading them in ways you are not expecting.

So read on and start observing what you and other tell each other at work without words.

As you learn more about nonverbal communication in the workplace, keep in mind that interpreting nonverbal communication is far from an exact science.

One can’t come to absolute conclusions just by observing nonverbal behavior and gestures. One has to take into account the entire message: the words, the tone of voice, the facial expression, the gestures, and the setting.

Body language at the workplace, is almost the same as body language anywhere else, people speak with their voices, faces, and bodies.

Much of the body language has multiple possible meanings and nuances, depending on the exact movement. There are literally hundreds of possible eyebrow movements, it would be impossible to keep track of them and stay engaged in the conversation. Your intuition will probably be more accurate than memorizing a list of eyebrow positions and their meanings.

Despite these limitations, reading and interpreting nonverbal communication in the workplace is relevant, because it complements the verbal messages you are getting.

Just remember to look at the entire message before you come to any conclusions about its meaning.