Body Language in Training and Development

Making Eye Contact

The article “Business and Social Etiquette – How to Make Eye Contact” discusses the dynamics of making eye contact, including cultural and personal orientations, communication through making eye contact, as well as country-specific interpretations of this mode of communication. The article is clear that cultural and individual/personal orientations must be put into consideration when making eye contact because some cultures and religious groupings may view it as aggressive, rude or inappropriate particularly when it involves members of the opposite sex (Wolfe, 2014).

In making the right eye contact, the article underscores the importance of looking directly into the other person’s eyes for several seconds, blinking normally, nodding, and mimicking the facial expressions of the speaker to demonstrate engagement with the conversation. The article acknowledges that making eye contact in the United States and Europe is acceptable in family or professional interactions because it is interpreted as a sign of interest, attentiveness, and self-confidence (Wolfe, 2014).

Competency: Communication

The article “Leadership Competency Development Guide” presents summaries of books, academic journals and other resources detailing what individuals need to do to develop competency during communication. Drawing from the various summaries, it is evident that competency in communication (defined as the ability to listen to others and to communicate in an effective manner) entails (1) ensuring that speakers understand the implications of body language, (2) promoting communication at all levels and respecting the opinion of others, (3) ensuring the correct use of nonverbal communication, (4) facilitating a comfortable sitting arrangement during meetings, (5) ensuring persuasiveness and assertiveness during communication, (6) ensuring the correct types of impressions are made during communication through etiquette, dressing habits as well as verbal and nonverbal cues, and (7) ensuring adequate capacity to handle negative emotions (HR Modernization Project, 2011).

The article also discusses various issues related to writing an effective presentation outline, planning an effective presentation, writing a presentation, and rehearsing your speech. In techniques to ease anxiety during communication, the article underscores the need to, among other things, relax, concentrate on the message, maintain own personality, and employ pauses so that the message gets across as clearly as possible (HR Modernization Project, 2011).

Nonverbal Communication

The article “Nonverbal Communication: Improving your Nonverbal Skills and Reading Body Language” not only discusses the various elements of nonverbal communication (e.g., facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture and voice tone), but also demonstrates the roles played by this mode of communication (repetition, contradiction, substitution, complementing, and accenting) and what individuals need to do to ensure they are effective in nonverbal communication. It is important to note that nonverbal communication is an important component in determining a whole range of issues (e.g., seriousness, trust, respect, attitudes and expectations) since it cannot be faked (Segal, Smith, Boose, & Jaffe, 2014).

The article also underscores the need for speakers to connect their verbal communication patterns to their nonverbal communication cues to enhance legitimacy and achieve the intended goals of communication. Additionally, individuals should learn how to manage stress and enhance their emotional awareness to communicate effectively through nonverbal means. Stress management entails dealing with stressful and overwhelming events to avoid misreading other people, while emotional awareness entails identifying with your own emotions and those of others with the view to accurately reading their communication and creating trust in relationships by sending nonverbal cues that match up with your verbal communication. Lastly, the article mentions that individuals should enhance their ability to read body language and nonverbal communication by paying attention to inconsistencies, looking at nonverbal communication signals as a group, and trusting their instincts (Segal et al., 2014).


HR Modernization Project. (2011). Leadership competency development guide. Web.

Wolfe, L. (2014). Business and social etiquette – How to make eye contact. Web.

Segal, J., Smith, M., Boose, G., & Jaffe, J. (2014). Nonverbal communication: Improving your nonverbal skills and reading body language. Web.

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