65% of the way we convey meaning in our messages is through nonverbal communication. Many of times, what one interprets from your behavior may not be what you intended. Nonverbal cues simultaneously complement and clarifies the verbal message that you’re conveying, which allows more of an accurate interpretation and understanding to the “listener”.
Here are a list of Nonverbal Communication Codes:
- Appearance – Influences perceptions of credibility and attractiveness (clothing such as; baggy pants, baseball caps, distinctive t-shirts; jewelry, tattoos, piercings, makeup, cologne, eyeglasses, etc.)
- Kinesics – Body movement, gestures and posture. This communicates interest in others, attitudes, information, status, credibility, and warmth
- Eye Contact – Conveys trustworthiness, sincerity, honesty and interest
- Facial Expressions – Reveals thoughts, expresses emotions and attitudes
- Touch – Communicates intimacy, affection and rejection
- Voice – Communicates emotion and clarifies the meaning of messages through pitch, rate (how fast or slow one speaks) and volume
- Environment – Provides context that alters behavior
- Space – Provides information about status, power and intimacy
- Territory – Provides cues as to ownership and occupancy of space
It can be a challenge to assess your own nonverbal communication behavior and to interpret others’, but this general framework of nonverbal communication codes can help in recognizing what areas call for improvement, as well as becoming more aware of the various forms of nonverbal communication.