What My Facial Expressions Say

I am passionate about communication. Specifically how powerful communication is to all we do both personally and professionally. Its the basis for my business and a topic I speak about often. The implications of communication, both good and bad, are huge.

Did you know that what we say is only 7% of communication. The remaining 93% is between tone (38%) and non-verbals (55%). That's pretty powerful! Have you ever noticed someone who say's one thing but their tone depicts something different? How about someone who says they are excited about something but have a look that says otherwise? 

I often watch people's total communication. Does what they say match with their tone and non-verbals.  I study and research non-verbal communication. I read books on the topic and try as best I can to ensure that I am delivering the correct message when I am working with others. 

Imagine my surprise when I was continually asked by my kids what was wrong-why was I angry. I told them that I wasn't angry just thinking. This happened a few more times before it dawned on me- my non-verbals were giving off the wrong message.

Here my kids were thinking they did something wrong, when in fact, I was just contemplating. The first thought that came into my mind when I realized this was "how often do I have this face when I am with a client, part of a working team or speaking in front of a group". Being angry or upset is NOT the message I want to deliver.  How fun would it be to sit in a coaching session with me and as I am thinking of something you wonder what the heck you did to make me angry....talk about an awkward moment. 

I had to immediately correct this but that's easier said than done.

In order to correct this, I have to be deliberate in training my brain to relax my face when I am thinking. I have had to ask others around me to tell me if my face looks angry when I stop talking.  I am constantly trying to pay attention of my eyes- are squinting or not? I am so aware of this now that I am almost a bit obsessed.

I am slowly noticing that I don't have to course correct in the moment as often. I find my face is more relaxed when I ponder what I want to say. It has been a lot of work to get to this place, and I think it will be one I have to practice constantly.

Changing some of your non-verbals can be easy.  How you walk into a room. Sit at a table. Shake hands or greet someone. Others can take time. Like mine. When its ingrained in you or something you have done for a long time, it takes awareness, practice and patience.

I am thankful that my kids got me to recognize how I was showing up.

Has anyone given you feedback on your non-verbals? If they aren't in alignment with what you want to be communicating, what are you doing to correct? 

To your growth, development and amazing potential,


Founder of Through-The-Hayes, Lisa believes that career growth should be exciting, rewarding, and most of all, easy to weave into our lives. Her passion and expertise are focused on guiding individuals to be their best so they are ready to take on any professional challenge they face.