Nonverbal Communication as a way to Project Confidence, Competence, and Professionalism

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Learning to use Non-Verbal ways to communicate.

We will begin this week’s Healthcast with the reminder that one cannot – not communicate. (apologies to English teachers everywhere for the double negative).

It is our observation that many people who could be called “experts” and are at the top of their profession, still do not have the credibility or the success that their expertise deserves. We believe that much of this disconnect happens because of their non -verbal communication skills. They are deficient not in their knowledge or skill set for their profession, they are deficient in their presentation of themselves as someone to trust, and have confidence in because of those skills.

We will discuss how learning to use Non-Verbal ways of communicating confidence, authority, professionalism, and competence happens. Why do we learn it, how do we use it, can it make a difference in our success and happiness? Our answer is a resounding YES!

As newborn infants learning to interact with the world and having our safety, comfort and even our very lives dependent upon what psychologist’ call the “Object” and what we call the MOM, we learn to read our mothers non-verbals as a way to make us safe, get us attention when we are in need and  make her pay attention to us. We become seductive and manipulative and attempt to soothe and please her so that she will attend to us and to our needs.

Non Verbal Communications

  1. You cannot – not communicate
  2. Research suggests that only 7% of a direct communication is made up of the words you use.
  3. 38% of the communication comes from tones, inflection,  attitudes (paralinguistic), 55% facial expression and body language
  4. When there is incongruence between to words you hear and the body language, always believe the body language.
  5. People often say things to be polite, to fit in, to establish participation presence, not to communicate their feelings and thoughts or desires.
  6. Remember global non verbal knowledge must be nuanced by individually specific application.  
  7. Professionals learn to use non verbal reading skills to help them do their job.
    1. learn not to focus on facial expression but look at rest of body, particularly breathing, and foot/hand movement
    2. learn to listen between the lines of what is said and not said. How something is said especially with pauses and inflection is often more critical to understanding than the words themselves.
    3. Watch the eyes.  People  generally learn to mask their faces but not their bodies
  8. Learn to Project based on what you know.
    1. Confidence
    2. Eye contact
    3. Calm steady voice
    4. Posture
    5. Be able to articulate your credentials with strength and dignity not defensiveness and malaise.
  9. If you are the expert ( if you know more than everyone else in the room about what you know), be the expert. Project confidence, strength, professionalism by the way you stand, talk, walk, and look.

This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author.  

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