Breath of Clarity

Comment #2: Verbal and Nonverbal Behaviors

Original Post by Liz Dowling:

Finessing your verbal and nonverbal skills during a conversation can offer trust and build a strong rapport between your team. Staying engaged in a conversation can be done through various non-verbal cues such as, eye contact, nodding, positive facial expressions and through body language (Lyon, Alex.3:40). These cues influence others during conversation (Lyons, Alex, 3:40). In addition, verbal feedback including, I hear you, I know where you’re coming from and yeah are examples of providing empathy (Lyon, Alex. 3:40).

In (Joy’s) Ted Talk, her advice of three styles of advice provide empathy and provide opportunities to extend conversations. Using the notice and wondering style, you offer corrective feedback during hard conversations and motivation. This is currently not a style I utilize but could benefit from for hard conversations. Another style mentioned, the liklihood and when, approaches with a less authoritative and can be utilized for requesting deadlines on projects or tasks. I have utlized this tactic while managing before. The last style, really?, is a where to extend conversation and request more information and potentially lean a hand on asking for more help. This is a strategy that I should utilize more in my work.

When looking at the four styles of personalities, drivers, social, factual, and helpful, Joy advised providing comments in their personality language. I think I do this subconsciously as I get to know someone and learn their personality, yet this is something I can definitely improve upon. For example, when speaking to a driver, it’s best to communicate quick, brief updates on the program’s success. As a factual person, I probably appreciate more brief, to the point backed with data. Exploring personalities at greater detail has opened my lens to evaluate and better communicate based on their personality needs.


Lyon, Alex. Year (n.d.) “Effective Listening Skills.” Communication Coach Alex Lyon. YouTube. Nov. 20, 2017. Video, 5:26.

Navarro, Joe. 2015. “Keynote: The Power of Nonverbal Communications.” CMX. YouTube. Nov. 4, 2015. Video, 34:10.

Baldridge, Joy. Year (n.d.). “Difficult Conversations Made Easy.” TEDxUCCI. YouTube. April 11, 2018. Video, 14:49.

My Comment:

Hi Liz,

Great point that staying engaged influence others during conversation. The extent to which we implement active listening skills is not only a matter of making the speaker feel heard and respected after the fact. It can also change the content of the conversation as it impacts the speaker’s confidence in real time.

The phrase, “I know where you’re coming from” is so powerful as it shows the listener is focusing on the source of the speaker’s feeling and therefore making a particular effort to dive deep into understanding. It also communicates that the listener is giving the speaker the benefit of the doubt by concentrating on the intention of the words.

I also enjoy using “I hear you” for moments that I aim to provide a neutral reply while still communicating that I am engaged.