Body Language

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Body Language and Nonverbal communication

Nonverbal communication is defined as “the conscious and unconscious reactions, movements, and utterances that people use in addition to the words and symbols associated with language.” Nonverbal communication is very important since 50 percent or more of the message were trying to get across is conveyed by verbal communication. The first verbal message to be aware of is facial expressions. The face is what people first focus on so it's obviously important to be aware of what message were giving off with our face. Suspicion and anger are often shown by tightness along the jaw. Smiles are proof of agreement and interest, but don't bite your lip because that signals uncertainty.

Next to consider are eye movements. In western Europe and North America., avoiding eye contact is considered a negative message conveying dishonesty and deceit. By increasing you eye contact your showing honesty and self-confidence. Don't stare too much though because your risking making the receiver feel threatened, uncomfortable or even like your interfering with their power. If you notice the person your talking to is in a blank stare away from the conversation or looking at the clock or the exit door, the conversation is either boring or is about to end.

Placement and movements of hands, arms, head, and legs would be next to consider. It's good to remember that jerky and quick movements are thought to show nervousness and stress. If you want to display openness, confidence and cooperation you should uncross your arms and legs. Nodding shows agreement on a matter. Playing with your hair and rubbing your neck show increased nervousness and apprehension. Gradual and smooth movements show confidence and calmness.

Next to consider are body posture and orientation. Shifting from side to side and fidgeting are considered to convey a negative message showing apprehension and nervousness. Sitting forward or leaning forward in a chair may...
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