A stranger's continually staring eyes conveys either interest or dislike. Drooping shoulders is a sign of tiredness. A twinkle in the eyes signifies that the person is of the happy-go-lucky and enthusiastic types. A gentle pat on the shoulder conveys acknowledgment and support from the person. Can we not make out a lot about the person from his / her facial expressions and body language? We have not been taught the meanings of these gestures anywhere, but we can still grasp them amazingly. Simple nonverbal communication comes naturally to most of us. Gestures, body language, and facial expressions, are the major types of nonverbal communication, and form the crux of this kind of communication in our daily life. Studies reveal that we communicate many things non-verbally, and it is an important part of our daily communication. To gain an expertise in this field, we have presented a few activities for adults, that would help develop these skills to a considerable extent.
This game would be fun to play if there are many of you. Suppose there are nine of you involved, then divide yourselves in groups of 3 each. The task would be decorating a Christmas tree in 10 minutes! The winner would be the group who does it the best (the judge would decide which tree is the best and neatly designed). Wait a minute, this being a nonverbal communication activity, you cannot communicate with your team members as you normally do, and if you need anything, you have to communicate the same through gestures, eyes, hands... whatever else, but not through speech.
Group Activity 2
Cooking is a fun activity! Moreover, if you are doing it as a group, it becomes even more funny. In this task, the group needs to prepare a cake, right from scratch, within 30 minutes. This includes collecting all the material, and planning the further process too. This activity effectively develops nonverbal communication, as you need to communicate the procedure to your fellow team members. Only those who are experts in will be able to bake the cake well!
Group Activity 3
Most of you must be familiar with this activity - communication through enacting something! Suppose there are two groups involved in the activity. The group members have to decide on a phrase for the member of the other team to enact. There would be a time limit of 5 minutes given to the person to enact the phrase to his / her team members. Through the enacting member's gestures and expressions, the team has to guess the phrase right. And 10 points would be allotted for each right guess. The team which gets the maximum points in the end, wins! Acting is an effective way that develops nonverbal communication, because it makes you learn a variety of expressions and gestures.
Celebrate a Nonverbal Day!
To develop your nonverbal communication skills, plan a day when you would do all the communication only non-verbally. Observe people and their body language. The nonverbal activities should be conducted on this special day. On this day, watch a movie with the volume muted, and try to understand the expressions of the characters. Then check later how much you have guessed right.
To develop these skills in kids, make it a point that you habituate them to some gestures and eye expressions like anger and love. Humans naturally inherit this ability to understand the gestures and eye expressions. The study of body language and facial expressions is a complex study, but you can definitely master it with time and by actively participating in these activities.