Picture your coworker coming into the office after lunch: his face is red, his jaw is clenched, and he doesn’t speak to anyone.  He throws his phone onto his desk, collapses into his chair and stares out the window.  You calmly ask, “Is everything OK?” He snaps back in a harsh tone, “Everything’s fine!”

Mixed messages, right? Oftentimes when a person sends nonverbal and verbal cues that don’t match, the recipient believes the nonverbal cues.

Now, in the example above the recipient gathered that everything wasn’t fine with his coworker because of his nonverbal cues.  Let’s say you’re in a situation at work where you need to convey confidence (which should be all the time!), what nonverbal cues can you use? Here are some suggestions:

  • Good eye contact
  • A firm handshake
  • Intentional physical gestures
  • Proper attire (this can vary depending on your corporate culture)
  • Authoritative posture and presence
  • Appropriate facial expressions
  • Assertive communication techniques
  • Appropriate voice tone
  • Complete, focused attention
  • Awareness of others’ nonverbal cues

Others will more readily believe what you say when you lead with powerful nonverbal cues.