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Success & Career

Facial Expressions – The Art of Non-verbal Communication



Facial Expressions - The Art of Non-verbal Communication

As a Private Investigator, and a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist, I have to interview and interrogate many individuals for a variety of reasons. Some are victims, others are suspects – but in either case I need to learn the truth, and do so by placing reliance upon the one undeniable universal language as exemplified in the way our facial expressions and body language correspond.


Statistically, it is reported that 83% of what we learn is through what we perceive with our eyes, therefore it is imperative that we learn to understand what people are conveying non-verbally whilst talking; as it is a combination of both the non-verbal and the verbal that provides credence and accuracy, or otherwise,  to what it is someone is saying.


It is also pertinent to note that, even without training or specific awareness and almost instinctively, people will apply the same assessment criteria, even unwittingly, to your speech and actions as well, and therefore for the interrogator it is even more important to understand and be able to manipulate the talent to seek to achieve the stated objectives.


The Six Basic Facial Emotions:

The six basic emotions, generally are easily identifiable in all, and by all, are: happy, angry, sad, fearful, surprised and disgusted.


These emotions are universal and no matter what part of the world from which you come or what language you speak, your facial expressions will always be the same and replicated by persons who otherwise cannot understand a word you are saying. Nonverbal communication gives us the ability to respond to unspoken language, and help us connect to one another.


Whether you are attending a job interview or engaged at a networking event, interacting with persons of a like-manner, your Facial Expressions will convey much of what is going on within a person.


In essence, one’s face says much more than you think, and very often more than you can otherwise orally convey.


Positive ways to use facial expressions – How to Change your Mood!

Studies show how smiling can alter your mood – this is a great way to trick your brain into a happy feeling!


Research has shown that smiling doesn’t just make you look happy, it actually makes you feel happy!


Simply changing your facial expression by smiling, will instruct your brain to release endorphins – the good feeling chemicals to improve your mood. No matter what situation you’re going through in life, if you start to smile – even a fake or forced smile – the results are the same as if your smile was genuine. Everyone knows that when you smile you always look happier, more approachable and easier going.


Likewise there are disadvantages when your facial expression expresses a frown. Frowning sends signals to your brain that actually depress your mood. When you’re in a situation where you’re dissatisfied, your facial expression will let the other person know.


If you are trying to resolve an issue with a customer-service employee, or with your significant other, frowning during the discussion will have a negative impact on the other person. Not only will frowning make you depressed and sad, but it will cause the people around you to experience the same.


Start smiling to acquire the many benefits! J


How to Apply and Attune Facial Expressions:

In today’s society, more than ever before, being aware of and responding to one’s perceptions is essential, if not solely for security and peace of mind – for survival itself.


The techniques of observation have become a natural process. Babies and toddlers learn by observing adults, especially their parents, and soon learn to emulate their every mood and expression.


Somewhere in the evolution process, we have drifted away from the importance of observing and being attuned to the non-verbal communications of others.


When a famous person stands trial whenever the verdict is read the camera always centers on their face to see the facial reaction, to generally seek to exploit whether the show expressions that indicate they feel relived, guilty, angry, happy, and so forth. At moments of extreme pressure you cannot fake your reaction, therefore what you feel will be precisely what is portrayed on your face.


The Importance of Eye Contact:


Eye contact provides an important social and emotional information. The eyes can indicate interest, attention and involvement. People who maintain eye contact are perceived as more reliable confident sociable and honest people.


When you establish a good eye contact the other person perceives you as showing respect and you establish this by showing attention to the person or topic.


People pay more attention to their phones, television, iPod and so on rather than to each other. This often times sends the signal “I’m interested in something else” to avoid this type of non-verbal communication avoid your phone or other distractions and maintain a attention by eye contact. This is the best way to establish and maintain a healthy relationship of any kind. Besides a lack of eye contact can be interpreted as a disrespect, disinterest and simply an insult. Who would want to be around someone that makes them feel like the time they share with the other person is unimportant?


Even our smart phone has facial expressions – The Era of Emoji J

In today’s world, much of our communication takes place via electronic methods, like email and text messages. Yet even through and with communications via electronic devices in whatever format, we find the right facial emoji character to describe our feelings.


Minimally, there are over 65 different facial expressions feature on your mobile device.


Faces such as happy, sad, confused, angry, laughing or crying, otherwise designed to cater for every mood!  In reality, and almost without using a written word, you can now find the perfect emoji to convey your message with precise feelings, even with a simple cartoon-like caricature.


Electronic V. Face to Face

As electronic communications (talking without the benefit of looking in the eyes of the person you are communicating with) take a precedence as a primary form of communication in all walks of like – personal and/or professional – we are often left to try to substitute our inability to read what we cannot perceive with our eyes.


Our society is evolving to the point where two people in the same room would rather text each across that room as opposed to speaking directly to each other; and so the process of even relying upon non-verbal communications is at risk of surviving – in favor of emoji’s – giving rise to a significantly more fearsome element manifesting in its place; as by such (electronic) means, the ability to learn to trust through the skills of verbal and non-verbal communication is being lost.


The feeling of a true connection to one another is something we all seek.  Talking face to face and observing the emotions that the other person expresses is the oldest and most effective form of connecting and establishing a great relationship.

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Success & Career

5 tiny habits that can change your life and career



Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

When it comes to the daily grind, time seems to keep passing by – yet many things remain the same. We are so busy trying to get things done, keeping our heads above water, that we don’t take real time to think about things like balance, self-care, or making necessary changes.

Little do we realize that small tweaks at home and at work might create opportunities for us to have true balance, and even achieve that elusive success.

Let’s look at five tiny habits you can implement today to control the chaos – and start changing your life and career.


Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life and Career

1.) Embrace the concept of a “clean slate” at work.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

This involves implementing a few simple routines and organizational tools upfront. This will save you time in the long run, and will leave you feeling satisfied at the start – and end – of your day.

For example:

  • Create folders in your e-mail inbox by person and topic. Be sure to move applicable items there. The feeling of a clean inbox can reduce anxiety and enables you to find important material faster!
  • Write phone messages on a notepad next to you each day.
  • Return each call.
  • Note the status of what you were able to do, what needs to be done, and cross out which ones have been taken care of.
  • Complete your list before you leave work.

Nothing feels better than looking at the list and knowing that you have attended to every person, every item, and every task you started with. Yes, more may come in later. But these were your starting tasks.

You are leaving with everything crossed off, a clean slate for the day. You can start tomorrow with a clean slate as well. You’re more organized: able to look at a detailed history of each item you did, each person you spoke to, each item you completed.

A well-structured system and way of doing things is mentally good for you. It’s also a nice feeling to walk away with a complete sense of accomplishment for the day.


2.) Surround yourself with people who nourish your soul, NOT people who infect it.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

Think about the people you chose to be with. Don’t feel guilty about setting boundaries, no matter who they are. Be honest if someone is a “toxic” person in your life. Surround yourself with folks who build you up, support you, are honest but fair with you, and those who have your best interests at heart.

We of course need people who are going to tell us the truth. But remember that truth can be told with kindness. We can give ourselves permission to distance ourselves from, or let people go. These are individuals who make us feel bad about ourselves, or take every chance they can get to criticize our every choice.

There is enough negativity in the world. We don’t need to have it in those closest to us. You will be amazed at the difference when you give yourself permission to set healthy boundaries. So surround yourself with healthy relationships. Stop feeling like you must endure unhealthy ones.


3.) Clutter creates anxiety more than you realize.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

Whether it’s your home or your workspace, getting organized makes a huge difference in your state of mind. So start practicing tiny habits that create structure.

At work:

Get those piles into drawers and desktop storage. File folders are your friends! Label by topic, date, etc. Having things organized and at your fingertips will save you time and a great deal of anxiety.

Have trays for things that are needed on a daily or weekly basis. Organize your office supplies neatly. Remember that your desk is also a presentation of who you are.

You may think that those piles make you look busy – but they really make you look disorganized. Create your own system so that you can locate anything instantly. That, is more impressive than a pile.

At home:

Think more in terms of scaling down to get organized. Make it a goal to make you space your solace. Organize, donate, and find a place for everything. If you have not used it in a year, consider donating. If things belong together, group them. Get the right storage to hold things.

Group things where they make the most sense. Move things where they work and function best. Get rid of things that no longer work, are expired, are outdated, or that could benefit someone else more than sitting in a pile at your home.

You will not miss them. You will probably feel pretty good for sharing the love. Nothing feels better as having a fully functional home where you can live and breathe; where there is no clutter, and where everything has a place.


4.) Practice good, daily self-care.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

It may seem so simple, yet we all seem to fall short when it comes to this vital area that impacts our lives and our careers. If we practice tiny habits of self-care, we function better, perform better, and surely, improve our opportunities for success.

Good self-care includes things, such as:

  • Getting enough sleep each night. This includes going to bed and getting up at the same time, seven days a week. When going to bed, there should be NO electronics, including screens or cell phones, as they stimulate the mind and keep you awake.
  • Eating food that nourishes you – such as whole foods, not processed foods.
  • Drinking eight glasses of water each day.
  • Enjoying treats in moderation, no need to crash diet!
  • Be sure to wake up 30 to 60 minutes earlier than usual to ease into your day, and allow yourself to practice your morning routine.

Whether it be reading the paper, listening to a podcast, watching a TV show, yoga, or morning meditation, how you begin sets the tone for the day. So set aside time in the morning so you are not rushed. This is an essential part of your day.

If you start rushed, you are going to feel that way the whole day. Starting with balance, leads to a balanced day.


5.) Self-talk is one of the most powerful habits we can change.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

If we think about how often we thought something negative about ourselves, someone else, or about a situation, we would see how powerful negative self-talk can be. Now think about how better our lives could be if we stopped ourselves before doing it. It’s possible – but it takes effort and conscious work.

You simply need to pay attention and catch yourself. But as you do, the difference can be profound. You start to see how by removing negativity and replacing it with realistic thinking, you feel more balanced. Imagine the impact it can have on your work and relationships, to not see things in the worst possible light?

By implementing these tiny habits, you can bring about tremendous changes to your work and personal life. A few would only be one-time tasks. While others require minimal, but – hopefully welcome – effort.

If things are not working well in these areas of your life, why not give these tiny habits a chance? You will at least be a little more organized. And hopefully, be well-rested at the end.



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Success & Career

7 Ways to Organize Your Day for Success



Organize Your Day for Success

Nope, don’t panic. I’m not going to start by telling you to get up earlier! As an Integrative Nutrition® Health Coach, I firmly believe in bio-individuality. This is the idea that we are all unique: just as some people can’t tolerate gluten and some can, there are early birds and others are night owls. Neither is wrong – they’re just different.

So yes, just as our definitions of success look different, how we structure our days for success will vary as well. However, I believe that there are some things in common.

For the sake of having a starting point, let’s agree that success is showing up in your life (career, relationships, physical activity, etc.) in the most biologically effective way possible (i.e., you are healthy in every sense of the word).

So how would you organize your day for success? Here are seven ways to try:


7 Ways to Organize Your Day for Success

1.) Wake up without an alarm if possible (see also #7).

Organize Your Day for Success

Jolting awake to an alarm is a sure-fire way to feel like you’re off to the races first thing in the morning. Instead, learn how many hours of sleep you are naturally inclined to. Then try to get that every night.

Waking up naturally prevents that influx of fight-or-flight chemicals coursing through your veins: nobody needs that kind of stress at the start of the day! Chronic stress can wreak all kinds of havoc with your body, starting a cascade of poor health outcomes.


2.) Start the day with screen-free “me time”.

The moment you check your email or social media, you are giving others power over how you spend your time. There will almost always be an email that just can’t wait or a post that brings on a severe case of #FOMO. Before you know it, you’re sucked in.

Instead of reaching immediately for a device, consider starting a new practice that can take as little as 5 to 10 minutes (or less) or as much time as you create for it: breathing, meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, journaling.

The Web is full of resources for these – just don’t go looking for them first thing in the morning! Are you an early bird? Use this gift of time to work out, meal prep, read, etc.


3.) Create time blocks (see also #5).

Organize Your Day for Success

As much as we think we can multitask, research shows we really can’t. “Task-switching” – what we’re really doing when we think we’re multitasking – can cost us as much as 40 percent of our productivity.

The solution: block out specific times on your schedule for tasks that require your full attention. During those times, close all other tabs and turn off all your notifications – and I mean all of them!

In between these blocks and not before, take a break to check email, make some calls – take care of some smaller tasks. Set a timer that indicates your next productive block is starting.


4.) Schedule your workouts and meals.

We seem to have time for everything but what really nourishes us: fuelling our bodies well and moving them regularly. As a health coach, when you tell me, “I don’t have time to…” what I hear is, “I don’t prioritize…”

I see you rolling your eyes. Let me tell you: if you do that enough, they’ll stick back there. But seriously – it comes down to this: if you wouldn’t cancel on your work, your client’s needs, your spouse’s needs, your kids’ needs, why would you cancel on yourself?

Meaningful self-care is putting on your oxygen mask first so you can help those who depend on you. Organize your day and put those blocks on your schedule. Treat them as unbreakable appointments with yourself.


5.) Multitask…intentionally (see also #3).

Organize Your Day for Success

Yes, I know I told you not to multitask. Now I’m telling you it’s okay if you do it intentionally. What does that mean?

In my work, I talk a lot about primary foods – all the other things in our lives that nourish us (or don’t!) besides what we put in our mouths. Think: sleep, career, spiritual practice, physical activity, time in nature, etc.

The multitasking I encourage is the kind that helps us nurture ourselves on the primary level, NOT the type that tries to manage a staggering number of little tasks that make our schedules so overwhelming.

What this looks like:

  • Need to spend quality time with family members? Instead of adding an outing (with all the planning, preparation, and consensus-building it requires), combine it with another area that needs some attention: take suggestions on the week’s meals, shop together, do some meal prep, etc.
  • Missing time with your girlfriends? Combine it with a workout or better yet, a walk in nature.
  • Desperate to do a little meal prep for the week? Invite a few friends over to cook so that you all get to stock up for the week. (There might be wine involved?)
  • House feeling like a hardhat zone, but you’d rather read? Clean while you listen to an audio book.
  • Time constraints making you choose between a workout and your spiritual practice? Take a walk in nature or practice a walking meditation.


6.) Make a plan for tomorrow.

You don’t have to organize your day down to the minute (although that works for some people). Instead, write down 1-3 large tasks to be done tomorrow and prioritize those once you’re done with your “me time.”

Are the tasks unpalatable? Brian Tracy has written about this concept in his book ‘Eat that Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time’. He calls the tasks we are most intimidated by (and therefore put off doing) as “frogs”.

His recommendation: start your work – not just the day – by “eating a frog”. If all the frogs look big and ugly, eat the biggest, ugliest frog first.


7.) Get to bed on time to get the sleep you need (see #1).

Organize Your Day for Success

Once you know how many hours of sleep you need, organize your day and figure out when you need to get to bed. Make sure to end the day as you began it: NO screens for at least 30 minutes before bedtime!

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