When Words Aren’t Enough

{2:00 minutes to read} In my last blog, I talked about how your smile broadcasts information to the world. The same is true for the rest of your body. In fact, it is estimated that 93% of our communication is non-verbal (this figure includes tone of voice).

We’ve all heard of body language, but not many people realize that it is the focus of much scientific research and academic rigor. Simply defined, body language conveys non-verbal information about your feelings. Some body language is universal, while other aspects are different depending on the culture — but just because it is often cultural does not necessarily mean it is voluntary. And just because some body language is involuntary does not mean you can’t tweak it to make yourself more approachable. 

The universal “words” in body language include: 

•Nodding your head yes;

•Shrugging when you don’t know something; and

•Facial expressions conveying fear, disgust, happiness, sadness, surprise, and contempt.

Some gestures and postures may not be universal but are nonetheless easy to understand. When you see someone at a cocktail party with their arms crossed against their chest, are you very likely to start a conversation with them? If someone hugs you, are you likely to have negative feelings about them? 

When we zoom out and look at the world, we can find examples of the rich differences in non-verbal communication from culture to culture. 

•Some cultures regard the left hand as unclean;

•Other cultures tend to avoid eye contact; and

•Many cultures have an aversion to shaking hands, especially with the opposite sex. 

Understanding other people’s body language and culture — as well as the information you are conveying in between your own words — is a powerful tool in the business world as well as your personal life. As your life coach, I can share my own experience as a student of body language, and help you design a frame of mind to tap a spring of positive body language — as well as an understanding of other people.  

Fabienne Swartz

JD (Belgium) CDFATM
Strategic Intervention Life Coach
500 Mamaroneck Av.
Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
(914) 798-6940

Contact info

Address : 500 Mamaroneck Avenue, Suite 320, Harrison, NY 10528

Email : fabienne@fabienneswartzcoaching.com

Phone : (941) 420-9693