You can almost hear the clock ticking in the background. The deadline for your presentation is just minutes away and you are nowhere close to finishing it. The reason? A talkative colleague who loves sharing his stories with you and being in the limelight just won’t quit! He is done for the day and decides to visit your cabin and share a bit of his day with you, failing to pay heed to the presentation slides open on your computer. We face such people everyday – be it in the driveway to the office, in the lobby, during lunch break, or even in more formal settings like a meeting or negotiation. The question then is: how do you tell such people that you are no longer interested in what they have to say or that it is someone else’s turn to make a point? The easiest way, of course, is to just word it out. But as humans, we tend to want to follow the “display rules” of our society and not be so direct and upfront. In this case, there are various non-verbal strategies one can use – some subtle and some not so subtle. Here they are:
Non-verbal communication works well with most of us since, as humans, we are attuned to picking up cues from people around us. Language came to us much later in our evolution and so we still use non-verbals much more frequently than words to indicate our minds and desires.