What’s in a message that could mean one thing other than what you had intended it to mean? A lot.

What we communicate consists of two parts: The verbal and the non-verbal. The verbal element pertains to the spoken part while the non-verbal portion refers to the silent cues that  we either knowingly or unknowingly convey when we open our mouth to speak.

Let’s focus on nonverbal cues communication which refers to all kinds of human responses not expressed in words.” Our gestures, our facial expressions, our eye movements, the way we stand, our distance from the other person- all these and more are form of our non-verbal cues.

Below are some pointers on non-verbal communication that you should keep in mind when engaged in human interaction.

1.    Be careful with your body language.

Learn to match your verbal message with appropriate head and hand gestures. Nod your head when you agree to understand what the other person said. Touch him or her to show your sympathy, appreciation or understanding.

2.    Watch out for the tone your voice.

Vary your tone when you speak. Speaking in a monotone will bore the other person. Adjust your tone to suit the message  you are imparting. Speaking in a pleasantly audible voice. Don’t talk too fast. Give the party a chance to grasp the meaning of your speech and absorb your ideas. Radiate enthusiasm, sincerity and certainty in your talk.

3.    Be aware of your facial expressions.

Normally, our expressions corresponds to what we say. There are times, however, when people misinterpret us because of the way we look when we talk. Exert effort at subduing unnecessary movements and mannerisms whenever you are conversing with others. Convey your interest to your listener by maintaining eye contact. Smile whenever he or she says something pleasant and favorable.

4.    Mind your posture and position.

Avoid crossing your arms or placing them in your hips. You risk being misconstrued as arrogant or imperious. Lean slightly forward to make the other person feel that you are listening intently to him or her. Don’t stand too far away from him or her either. He or she might take this as a sign of evasion or indifference.

Be conscious with what you say. But be very cautious the with what the way you say it. It could mean a lot to others whether you say a few words or a mouthful. Finally, keep these words in mind, “ Kinds words are like honey-sweet to the taste and good for your health” ( Proverbs 16:24).

By: Ms. Suzette S. Legaspi | Tomas Pinpin Memorial Elementary School Abucay District

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