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Nonverbal Communication: Speaks Louder Than Words

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Body Language

Body language is the unspoken dialogue of human evolution, a timeless force shaping interpersonal connections. 

Every word we speak, step we walk, gesture we hold, manner we sit, and way we stand broadcasts a compelling narrative to the world. These actions, whether deliberate or unconscious, are potent reflections of our innermost thoughts and emotions, showcasing the intricate dance between our conscious intentions and the subtle cues of our subconscious self.

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UCLA's Professor Albert Mehrabian found that 55% of communication is through body language, 38% from tone of voice, and just 7% from our words.

At ALETHEIA International, we approach the art of reading body language with meticulous care. While the human body is in constant conversation, emitting endless signals, not every movement translates into clear meaning. Our focus is on deciphering the true narrative: the precise emotional intent that the body communicates, ensuring our interpretations are both accurate and insightful.

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Posture

The way we position and carry our bodies, is a powerful component of body language that reveals insights into our internal state, personality, mood, and even our self-esteem. 

Our posture is one the elements of body language that can convey a message about our internal mindset, our personality and our mood.

Our body posture is also a significant indicator of our self-esteem.

While not every posture carries a message — sometimes sitting, standing, or lying down is just that — at ALETHEIA International, we focus on the nuanced details.

 

We interpret how a slouched stance, crossed arms, open arms, or an upright neck can signify various emotions and attitudes, always considering the context to understand the underlying message fully.

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Gestures

Gestures form a key part of body language, where movements convey messages, often subconsciously. 

All hand gestures are hand movements, but not all hand movements are gestures. The meaning of gestures can vary in different countries and cultures.

While some gestures like waving or pointing are universally understood, others, known as 'illustrators' and 'adaptors', have more nuanced interpretations. At ALETHEIA International, we delve into these specific gestures.

Illustrators accompany our speech, enhancing or clarifying the verbal message, such as using hand movements to describe an object's size or location. They vary with the speaker's intensity and the context of the conversation.

Adaptors are gestures we use to adjust our physical comfort or manage our responses, like shifting in a seat or adjusting clothing. While they can indicate underlying emotions, they often simply reflect a need for physical comfort or are habitual responses to various situations.

Our expertise lies in distinguishing these gestures within their cultural and situational contexts, providing insightful interpretations beyond the universal signs.

Paralanguage: Voice Characteristics

Paralanguage encompasses vocal elements such as tone, voice volume (loudness, softness), pitch (high, medium, low), intonation (melody, inflection), pacing (changing, rapid, slow speed), emotional vocalisations, accents, and word fillers (uh-huh, eh, ahem, etc.).

It offers essential context for understanding the verbal content of speech, emphasising not only 'what' is said but also 'how' it's communicated.

Given that these elements vary across cultures, at ALETHEIA International, we consider not only an individual's vocal attributes but also their cultural background, which enriches our ability to discern emotions within a broader context.

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