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Nancy Vera - Nonverbal Communication: It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It

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Presented by Nancy Vera, MS, on March 13, 2015 at the fifth Center for Health Literacy Conference: Plain Talk in Complex Times.

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Nancy Vera - Nonverbal Communication: It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It

  1. 1. Helping Government Serve the People ® Nonverbal Communication: It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It Presented by Nancy Vera
  2. 2. Communication is essential to understanding and connecting to the world around us. Discussion topics include: 1. Context, body language, and cultural differences 2. Congruent delivery of verbal and nonverbal messages 3. Techniques for addressing body language Welcome 2
  3. 3. Benefits of Good Communication Good communication can: • Reduce conflict • Strengthen relationships • Help people adopt ideas • Increase productivity • Improve quality of work • Create a positive and trusting work environment
  4. 4. Nonverbal Communication What we say without using words – mostly visual cues Allows people to: • Reinforce verbal information • Convey emotional information • Define or reinforce a relationship • Provide feedback • Regulate the flow of communication
  5. 5. When communication is authentic, communication is congruent. Incongruence occurs when verbal and nonverbal communication do not match. • Verbal communication tends to be sent with intent and can be strategic. • Some nonverbal behaviors are harder to control. Communication Relationship 5 If nonverbal communication does not match verbal communication, the “listener” will believe what they see (nonverbal).
  6. 6. Facial Expressions Paralinguistics Body Language, Postures, and Gestures Proxemics Eye Contact Haptics Appearance Artifacts Types of Nonverbal Communication 6
  7. 7. Paralinguistics “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” – Peter Drucker Nonverbal communication can act as verbal communication “punctuation“. My name is Nancy. My name is Nancy? My name is Nancy!
  8. 8. Body Language Posture sets the tone. Are you: • Sitting/Standing • Shaking your head? Gestures can reinforce what you say • Wave • Point • Head nod • High fives Be Aware: The meaning of gestures varies by culture!
  9. 9. Gestures Are Not Universal
  10. 10. Proxemics Depends on the individual, the situation and culture The invasion of space can communicate: • Dominance • Avoidance • Indifference • Aggression • Affection How can invasion of personal space effect communication? How do you tell a person they are invading your space?
  11. 11. Eye Contact Can be solely used to communicate a nonverbal message Conveys a variety of meanings • Upset • Redirection • Interest in subject matter • Confusion
  12. 12. Three C’s of Nonverbal Communication Context Clusters Congruence • Environment • History of Relationship • Individual Roles • Combination of cues • How do they fit together • Do the words match the tone and body language? - Beyond Words, Jeff Thompson
  13. 13. Top 10 Tips for Improving Nonverbal Communication 1. Pay attention to nonverbal signals 2. Look for incongruent behaviors 3. Concentrate on voice tone 4. Use good eye contact; avoid distractions 5. Ask questions about nonverbal signals 6. Use signals to make communication more effective 7. Be aware of how signals are clustered 8. Consider the context of the situation 9. Remember some nonverbal signals are not universal 10.Practice, practice, practice
  14. 14. Questions? 14 Thank you for participating!

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