UMBC Wellness in the Workplace

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August 2010: "Your body speaks louder than words."

Studies show that over 90% of communication is non-verbal and yet in relationship with others we tend to focus on our words as if they are all that matter. We are stumped when people in our lives question our intentions but if we stop and reflect we might learn something about how to deliver our message in a way that our partner can hear it. How often do we consider the impact that our presence – mainly our body posture, gestures, and tone of voice – has on our relationships?

This month, become aware of your body and voice in your interactions with others. As you communicate, pay attention to how you’re standing, sitting, or moving and the quality of voice you use. What are your habits and how are these habits received by your partner? You can usually tell if you pay attention to their non-verbals. Ask yourself “how would I like to be received?” and then consider what body you might need to inhabit in order to get that result. Practice getting out of your habitual body and experiment with other ways of being. What shifts do you observe in your relationships?