Guest Contributor - Kari Heistad
When new parents first bring home their baby, they are faced with many new communication challenges as they try to understand and meet the needs of their new born. Without verbal communication parents must rely upon observable types of communication, in the form of facial expressions, cries, and body movements. Parents have a vested interest in learning to decode their child’s nonverbal communication, as it will help them to raise a healthy and happy baby.
While your colleagues in the workplace communicate both verbally and non-verbally, understanding how to interpret their nonverbal communication can be a great advantage. Keep in mind that the meaning behind body language and facial expressions may vary from culture to culture, so it is always good to check for understanding.
- What nonverbal communication do we use as a team to communicate with each other during meetings or in casual conversation?
- How do we interpret arms crossed and leaning back in a chair differently if it is a senior leader vs. a peer?
- What nonverbal communication differences do we have across cultural, gender, or departmental lines? Across other areas of difference?
- What are practical ways that we can pay attention to the non-verbal messages that we are sending and receiving?