Verbal and nonverbal communication Worksheets

NonverbalI loved the show Lie to Me. I was terribly disappointed when it was canceled after a few seasons. I secretly hope that they bring back the show at some time in the future…preferably tomorrow. The premise of the show is a company of nonverbal experts who can tell if someone is telling the truth or being deceptive. It enlightens the viewer to the concept of nonverbal communication.

Premise of Nonverbal Communication

We communicate more with nonverbal communication than we do with verbal communication. Roughly 65% of our communication is non verbal (hand gestures, facial gestures etc…). The conscious rules our spoken word, but nonverbal communication can be ruled by the conscious or the subconscious. We can lie easily with the words we say, but we have a very hard time covering up a lie when it comes to facial expressions and subconscious gestures.

There are many ways in which we communicate nonverbally, from demonstrating attraction to deception. The eyes tell a lot about a person and what they are communicating. So do facial features. And while the human race speaks various foreign language, the language of the nonverbal is universally the same. Even when we don’t understand someone speaking in a foreign language, we can often understand how they are feeling through their nonverbal cues.

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Becoming a Nonverbal Communication Expert

First off, it is not recommended trying to become a nonverbal expert. Studies have shown that even the professionals, those that devote their entire lives to reading nonverbal behavior, can detect deception with the same accuracy as a coin toss. Having said that, there are a few main points that could help you interpret nonverbal communication better. Careful observation is essential to master these:

1. Recognize Pacifying Behavior. These gestures are caused because the brain is uncomfortable and needs to stimulate nerve endings somewhere to pacify the brain. Common gestures are touching of the face and rubbing palms down the legs (when seated).

2. Establish a Baseline. How does the other person act normally in various situations? Do they always touch their face or rub their hands down their legs? If so, then that gesture may not signal anything. It needs to be a deviation from the baseline.


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