One of the most fascinating parts of traveling or living overseas is the array of faces we see each day. The world outside of our hometown Oklahoma, has so much more variety. Over the years, we’ve come to love this diversification and recently read about what we can tell from a face. Our faces can communicate so much whether its pain, love, attraction, compassion and we’ve found that even when a language barrier exists that we can impact those around us with our expression even more than with words. Often we don’t even get a chance for words if our expression is sour but opportunities arise constantly when our face welcomes others.

Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, conducted several studies on nonverbal communication. He found that 7% of any message is conveyed through words, 38% through certain vocal elements, and 55% through nonverbal elements (facial expressions, gestures, posture, etc). Over the years, we’ve realized our expression has a lot to do with the message we want to communicate with others and whether we will ever have a chance. In the countries we travel, nonverbal communication is so important because we are unable to learn all of the languages in our region. Therefore, we work hard at communicating through our faces and actions.

Michael Argyle, in his book “Bodily Communication,” explains that non-verbal communication interacts with verbal communication.

We can reinforce, contradict, substitute, complement or emphasize our verbal communication with non-verbal cues such as gestures, expressions and vocal inflection.

How important this is in ANY relationship! A good example is avoiding eye contact when we tell someone we love them as this communicates something far different than do spoken words, just as a bright smile when we say congratulations reinforces the sincerity of our words.

What is your face saying today? To your family, at the store, to your neighbors, or those you work with? Are you approachable? If you desire to increase the light and happiness to those around you, your expression is the key that will open that door. It begins in our heart with our thoughts, gratitude, thankfulness, choosing to see the best in those around us. Often, I work with visiting teams who do not know the language in Cambodia. I often hear them vent frustrations about their inability to communicate with those they came to love. I always remind them of the impact their smile and nonverbal actions have on a community.

It still amazes me that whats in the heart comes out in our face.

For you singles out there, the Oral Health Foundation conducted research to finally prove that a smile is the most important physical attribute when it comes to attraction, second only to personality. Survey shows the winner is personality, with 90% of respondents rating this human attribute highly when it comes to attraction. A smile came second (56%), closely followed by the face (53%) and eyes (51%).

Based on this, what would you like to change about your nonverbal and how? Do you think that nonverbal communication is as important as they say? Please comment here or send me a message. I love hearing from you!

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