Why Are Your Nonverbal Cues So Important At Work/In Business?

Because nonverbal cues are sent primarily from the “emotional brain” rather than the neo cortex they create more honest and revealing messages. Nonverbal cues can help business people determine others’ motivations and analyze business interactions with much more richness; depth and insight than can come from simply relying on spoken or printed words.

Professionals who understand nonverbal cues can evaluate what their clients, customers and co-workers are really telling them in order to know how to better meet their needs—to give a better price, offer more (or fewer) details, or wrap it up and go for the close. 

For instance, in a sales setting, a prospect may be saying, “Yes, go on,” but if her arms and legs are crossed with one foot bouncing towards the door, her nonverbal signals are sending a different—and much more reliable—message than her words. Her body language may be saying, “I’m not pleased with this” or “I’m not too sure about the way it’s being presented” or “Speed it up, I’m ready to get out of here.”

Employers can evaluate the messages their employees are sending to customers, clients or fellow workers and know whether that employee is hurting or helping business. And employees can learn to read the subtle signals a boss is sending in order to adjust their behavior accordingly.

 In power-differential relationships, such as with superiors and subordinates, successful interactions depend on both parties being able to use and read body language. Superiors need to know how to make their subordinates comfortable while communicating their desires in order to get results. Subordinates need to know how to read the boss’s subtle signals to discern the best way to approach professional situations.
Read the words below and notice how notice the meaning can change dramatically depending on your nonverbal cues such as vocal delivery and your facial expressions and gestures.

“I’m so sorry.” 

“It’s no big deal. “  

“You did it.” 


“Please let’s forget all about it.”  

“Whatever you want is fine with me.”   

“The deadline is Sept 26th.”

Did you notice a difference? Did you see how you communicate your message with more than your words? The true meaning of a message comes from the timing, the situation or environment, the facial expression, gestures, posture, space and voice – not the words.  Many times people use the right positive words with a negative delivery and hide behind the words.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.