Have you ever been in a meeting and felt like all eyes were on you? Maybe you weren’t even speaking, but you could sense that others were looking at you for ques, a reaction, or simply because you were a part of the project being discussed.
Whatever the case may have been, it is likely that your nonverbal communication determined what others perceived.
There are many aspects of nonverbal communication including eye contact, gestures, touch, facial expressions, and body movement. And by using nonverbals, what we are essentially doing is sending a message without using our voice, which can play a significant role in how we relate and connect to other people.
So how do we make this form of communication work for us in the most effective way?
I think that it first starts with finding what works for you. What are you most comfortable with? What reflects your personality in the most authentic way? If you are more expressive, maybe you feel comfortable using hand gestures. If you are more easy-going than most, maybe you enjoy using facial expressions to create a friendly environment.
Regardless of what we choose as our go-to nonverbals, it is still important to know how to use all styles and to be flexible. For example, if you are meeting with a new client, making eye contact to make a good first impression will be essential even if you are naturally shy.
The next step and the key to using any nonverbal successfully is confidence. Once you are aware of how to use a certain signal, you can then commit to it in your own way, and with your own style to be even more convincing.
So don’t be afraid to experiment and practice with different forms of nonverbal communication. Once you find what works best for you, you can command attention and assert presence in any space even if you aren’t using your voice.
Born and raised in Texas, USA, Chelsea from an early age took an interest in learning about people of different cultural backgrounds. After studying International Relations in college, she sought out various opportunities to travel and work in different settings. Inspired by the history and culture of Japan, she decided to move to broaden her career in the summer of 2018. Currently, her hobbies include cooking, hanging out in neat coffee shops, design, and continuing to study Japanese! She loves feeling settled in Japan, spending time with friends, and believes that every moment is a precious opportunity to learn something new.