3. Pay Attention to Nonverbal Communication
Nonverbal signals are sent through body pose, gestures, and even eye movements, said Buchner-Howard, adding that up to 93 percent of communication consists of non-verbal behaviors. But even nonverbally, a grasshopper isn’t always a grasshopper. She told a story of a student who always would look away instead of making eye contact. Thinking something was wrong, she asked the student, who was from Mali, if there was something she could help her with. The student explained that in her culture, she was not allowed to look directly at people.
For in-person communications, be aware that our body-space needs also vary from country to country. Americans need about 2 feet to 2.5 feet of space; Middle Easterners, about six inches. “And the kissing,” she added. “If you’re in France, don’t forget there’s a third one coming.”
Helpful Hint: Even for Skype and other types of video calls, be aware of the body language you use, she said.