The Hierarchy of Nonverbals and Conversing

The Hierarchy of Nonverbals and Conversing

Brenden Moran 08/02/2018 8
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What are the fastest ways to alienate people? Research and common sense says that people read more into how we say things and what our nonverbals are than our word choice.

I went up to a coworker recently and asked them a question. Without looking up they answered me, huffed about the ‘problem’ I relayed to them, interjected before I had finished talking, and without noticeably ending the conversation stopped talking to me. It took me a little bit of pondering but I realized that this had less to do with one person and more to do with a hierarchical system that is designed to privilege people in high positions with good communication and disadvantage people in low positions with poor communication. 

For those who don’t know me, I am someone who is in a low position on the company hierarchy scale-not that this is a bad thing. My pay is lower, my prestige is lower, and what others expect of me is lower. Every company needs these workers-but what separates a good company and a bad company? Or a good worker versus a bad worker?

Imagine for a moment with me that the same coworker who paid me no respect was sitting in front of their boss? Would they make eye contact, finish their thoughts, be more flexible in their opinions, withhold judgment, and position themselves facing their boss? It’s likely. But with people of little or less importance, do we relax and let ourselves become lazy in the way we treat them?

I am as guilty as the next person in that I do not always act admirably when communicating with someone. Sometimes I make the classic mistakes that I mentioned above; mistakes that most people write off as unimportant. But are these important?

Company culture is hailed by many as one of the most important aspects of a company. And I think the way in which people communicate is one of the most important factors that contributes to company culture.

So what do we do? No I’m not going to give you ten steps or rules to follow-because I trust you know them by now. Simply take the time to engage with other people in a meaningful way. Give them your attention and your respect. Forget the hierarchy of the organization and imagine that this conversation is the only thing you have going on in your day. Even if it is a passing conversation-engage meaningfully. Your customers and your peers will greatly appreciate the compliment you pay them when you relay through your entire body that they mean something to you.

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  • Chloe Elder

    This was a great article !

  • Michael Johnson

    Keep up the great work!

  • François Sinclair

    It's good that you were able to admit your mistakes. You should work even harder to impress your company.

  • Hannah Bauer

    Inspiring! Proves that culture can make all the difference in the workplace.

  • Joshua Gregg

    I'll never understand the companies that don't get this concept.

  • Julia Kennecke

    Thanks for sharing this with us

  • Tom Waggoner

    Thank you Brenden for the amazing and valuable content you provide to us

  • Francisco Cardenas

    great advices

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Brenden Moran

Society Guru

Hello! My name is Brenden and I'm a professional writer who is passionate about discussing ways in which businesses can perform better and how they can treat their employees like rockstars. After completing a degree where I studied Communication, Liberal Arts, English, and Sociology, I am currently writing my first book and searching for a place where I can start making a meaningful impact. If you ever want a genuine conversation, don't hesitate to reach out and start the discussion! I'm always available to chat about awesome ideas.


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