3 Ways to Understand Non-Verbal Gestures

By: Network Lead Exchange

3 Ways to Understand Non-Verbal Gestures




Non-verbal gestures are difficult for many people to understand. Network Lead Exchange explains some different ways to understand the various non-verbal gestures


There are plenty of professionals who lack the ability to understand the non-verbal gestures of people. With so many different cultures, it’s hard to understand how some non-verbal gestures are friendly while others are less so. For people who aren’t naturally gifted at understanding body language, there are some tricks that help even the biggest novices. Finding the sweet spot of non-verbal understanding is attainable for all.

Know Universal Language

A smile, regardless of culture, is an invitation to engage. Likewise, crossed arms or hands on hips denote confrontational postures. This is different than a thumbs-up gesture, because of cultural context. The universal body language is innate. There are biological connections as to why people make certain gestures. When all else fails, ask the question because people don’t mind being asked to clarify body language.

Develop Cultural Competence

There are many people working in diverse areas with an understanding of a sliver of the population. Cultural competence does two essential business functions. The first is it helps burnish understanding between two different cultures and build bridges via that understanding. The second is it shows respect to others. If working in a place as diverse as Miami, it’s important to understand the different types of cultures, because people of Cuban descent and Venezuelan descent have much different cultures despite both speaking Spanish. This extends to non-verbal gestures as well.

Watch the Eyes

It’s hard to explain how effective the eyes are at communicating a message. Eyes invite, reject, comfort, and condemn. Most people have great ideas about how the eyes work, and this is somewhat innate. Eye contact is a great way to build a rapport without speaking. There are several different meanings to the same eye gestures, so pair it with the other body language, and the answer reveals itself.

With many different gestures, it seems there’s a never-ending number of learning levels. Fortunately, networking builds this competency, especially with their vibrant groups @ NETWORKLEADEXCHANGE.COM.