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  • Jan Gleisner

A tiny piece of theory


Take one step and you announce your urge to move. Take two and you signal your direction. A couple more steps and you give away your physical ability, attiude, drive... You can't take a single step without expressing yourself - walking is part of your body language. Actually, all your actions tell something about you. Even when doing nothing when something is expected of you. Theese are non verbal cues going on. But don't worry about it: It goes for all of us, and most of us are more concerned about our own actions rather than others. Besides, your actions (or non-actions) does not mean anything without the norms within and around you. Let's break that down a bit.

Your actions are behaviors, based on your intentions, which in turn are grounded in your values, which have arisen from your assumptions about the world. Your behavior can be compared with the tip of an iceberg, visiable to everyone, while intentions, values and assumptions builds the rest of the iceberg, hidden under the surface and therefore hidden from everyone but yourself. But as you take action, you also start to share information about what's under the surface. Because your behaviors are so tightly connected to all what lies underneath, your actions work as indicators.

It's not all about you thou. What you choose to do has no meaning for others unless they too have intentions, values and assumptions. They look at you and compare, trying to figure out if you for example are a potiential friend or foe. Your verbal AND your non verbal communication is taken into account here, either you and/or they are aware of it or not. And they will take action out of their conclusion. By the way: Your behavior is not only what you do in the moment but also includes your appearance. Worn-out clothes, shiny accessories, plain haircut, bad breath or well kept skin. They tell too. And there is even more.

Silent communication can be seen as a tool, a way of both listening to and speaking with any human being on a wider channel. But as with any tool, it can be misused. And as with powerful tools it can become dangerous. When it comes to non verbal communication there is always the risk of miss-interpreting the signals - landing in the wrong conslusions about people. And as earlier said: Conslusions lead to actions, ergo wrong conclusions leads to wrong actions. And wrong actions we see enough of in the world. Therefore always have these two rules av thumb with you, while exploring the area of silent communication: When you read a person, do not rely your conclusion only on one indicator, but include as many as you can - crossed arms can express resistance as well as someone freezing. Also, try to get your own conslusions confirmed in one way or another, maybe by either telling or (in a harmless ways) testing them. Others conclusions you can simply choose to confirm or (in a constructive way) reject.

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#theory #behavior #assumption #value #intetion #attitude #ability #drive #bodylanguage #appearance

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