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Article: Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Part One Related Resources
Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Part One
by Karen Sieczka

Body language speaks volumes and can give insight into the true feelings of a person. Be aware of body language cues you project when speaking and pay attention to the signs others may give off. Some signals:

  • Arm crossing: May indicate defensiveness or resistance to an idea or subject.
  • Eye contact: Making eye contact shows interest. Looking away or avoiding eye contact indicates shyness, uneasiness or disinterest.
  • Head nodding: Indicates agreement and understanding.
  • Head tilt: Shows interest, friendliness and rapport.
  • Throat clearing: May indicate uncertainty, disagreement or deception.
  • Touch: Indicates comfort, caring.
  • Hand gestures: An open hand can indicate openness, sharing, or helpfulness. Clenched fists often reflect anger.
  • Leaning in/out: Leaning closer indicates interest; leaning away indicates discomfort with what is being said.
  • Fidgeting: May indicate boredom, impatience, nervousness.
  • Tone of voice: Tone of voice can reflect caring and concern but can also reflect boredom, anger and annoyance.

What does your body language say about you?

Take a moment to consider...

1. When you speak to someone and they have their arms folded across their chest, how do you think they are feeling?

2. How does it make you feel when someone does not make eye contact with you while talking?

3. Think of a situation where you had to deal with someone who was smiling. Did it seem to make things go smoother? Why do you think that is?

4. When someone is fidgety, what impression do you get of them?

Part Two has a role-playing session.

Karen S. Sieczka is the founder of Karen S. Sieczka Training and Curriculum Development.

Her background includes training, community education, research, and desktop publishing. Currently, she is writing Foundations of Leadership, a workbook on leadership development and has developed short trainings on employee enrichment issues. Sieczka also writes articles and tip sheets on various subjects including food, aging, literacy, and crisis communications issues.

She is available for freelance writing, corporate training, and desktop publications development.

Karen Sieczka may be contacted at or


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