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Oct 16, 2017

Is Your Body Language Talking for You?

Are you making others feel shunned through your words or actions?

Scenario: The silent treatment

Setting: On a job site where different crews work on a building, one of the men, George, a skinny and short electrician, is getting the silent treatment…

 ***

Foreman: Team 1, time to break. Be back in thirty.

(George is moving as slowly as possible. He is in no hurry. He is not looking forward to this part of his day!)

Man 1: Hey, did you watch that program on TV last night? The redhead was real hot, no?

George (tries to chime in): I didn’t see that episode… I must have missed it.

Man 1 (ignores George and continues talking to the rest): As I was saying, she was hot!

(George sighs. He’s used to this treatment. Crew is laughing loudly and being very rowdy…)

George: Uhm, well, see if I care!

(George storms out while the crew continues laughing…)

 ***

Observation:

Ah, so very sad that we as a society need to stereotype a man like George. If you do not look or act manly or macho, you are instantly considered an oddball…

We actually know nothing about George or his personal background, only that he gets the silent treatment. As you notice, in this example, we communicate to those around us even without words. Ignoring someone is also a form of bullying.

This kind of treatment in the workplace is terrible for anyone to be subjected to day after day, especially when one has no clue what to do to fit in!

 ***

Body language speaks!

We react to body language as much as to tone and words. What is even odder is that we also react when there is a lack of all three, for example, when we are faced with dead silence—in such situations, we actually react too!

Body language is an integral part of our communication. Why do we forget that it is such a vital part of our daily delivery? Because we are not even aware that we are doing anything!

The silent treatment the electrician receives on the job is the most horrific of all deliveries in this little book. I could not leave this one out. He does not really know why he is getting the silent treatment, so he then has to start guessing why he is not good enough to fit into the workplace culture, which can be enough to make someone lose their belief in themselves.

Takeaways

Silence is deadly, in every shape or form!

Remember, your body language speaks…

Be aware of your body language and your facial expressions!

Pay attention how nonverbal communication affects you.

(Book excerpt from Watch Your Delivery. Follow the blog for more communication tips!)

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ABOUT GABRIELLA VAN RIJ

Gabriella van Rij [pronounced “Ray”] began her life as an orphan in Pakistan and without the determination and kindness of two strangers she would not have been adopted into her new family. Today, Gabriella relentlessly champions the Kindness movement and tackles the social issues that plague our society. With a brave and compassionate voice, she speaks at businesses, universities, corporate training events, school assemblies, community centers, places of worship, and on network shows. Her uplifting talks motivate, challenge, and provide the groundwork for lasting progress. She is an acclaimed author of three books. With All My Might is her mesmerizing memoir of one of the first cross-cultural adoptions. I Can Find My Might is part self-help, part practical resource for students, parents, and educators. Gabriella’s personal experience creates a boots-on-the-ground approach to bullying and self-acceptance that is nothing short of magical. Watch Your Delivery is Gabriella’s third and latest book on secrets to effective communication. Gabriella has been seen by millions on Dr. Phil, ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX. She also writes for the Huffington Post and the NY Daily News.