How Your Nonverbals Can Help

Earlier this year I wrote about the passing of my father-in-law.

In that post, I mentioned nonverbals as something we teach here at work that you really can use everywhere you go.

Call it body language, signals, or cues, from how you approach someone in the first place to how you show your acceptance and empathy when you get there, the nonverbals you project can make a huge difference in the outcome of the situation.

Even if it’s just holding someone’s hand as they lie in a hospital bed.

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Something like this.

Here’s another way to look at this:

Behavior is communication.

We say that phrase a lot around here too.

Just as you should be watching your own body language, pay attention to what the other person is showing you.

Most of this we pick up without even thinking about it, but when you take the time to observe, you’ll see tons of visual cues that help you know what the other person is feeling or intending.

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But not this!

Okay, great. So what do I do about it?

The best answer I can give is…to send you elsewhere!

I thought this was a great post written by a friend and colleague, aptly titled “Behavior is Communication.” The subject is dementia, but I find that most if not all of these tips work for different situations.

Do Just One Thing Today [VIDEO]

Sometimes it’s hard to find a way to make a positive difference in the world around us. Our days are packed so full, from work to parenting, caregiving to volunteering, that we barely have enough time to breathe, let alone always summon our smiles and words that someone might need at a crucial moment.

With that, it’s not always easy to remember someone isn’t just their behavior or other things you see on the surface. We need to take that step back and look at the whole picture–the whole person. We need to understand what we bring to the situation. What lies beneath our own behavior?

Compassion and change start with each of us. This video shows us one way to do this. And I have to say, I am grateful to have been part of its creation with my company. From the first Aha! moment to the final edits, it was an exhilarating, challenging, hair-pulling, rewarding experience.

And I hope it helps someone today.