Role of body language in communication

by Shweta Ramkumar

2mo • Edited •

One of my favourite pop songs by Ronan Keating has a famous lyric “You say it best when you say nothing at all”🎵 🎼 🎶

Whenever we are communicating with our patients as healthcare professionals, 90% of its effectiveness lies in what we don’t say verbally, but rather what we show through our body language

There is also a popular English idiom – a picture says a thousand words. My spin on it is that a person’s body language says a million words.

If you are listening to someone in person who is speaking with you verbally, its easy to forget the words they use but not how they carried themselves through their body language, which is likely to leave the most significant impact or impression on you as an audience.

The stakes are even higher when doing this with patients, as they approach healthcare professionals in a state of vulnerability, fragility and relying on your expertise, knowledge and professionalism in dealing with their ailments 💊 🤮 💉 .

Such situations become even more tricky when patients can’t see a healthcare provider in person and are having to rely on telehealth consultations. During my initial training at my current job in radiology, there was a lot of emphasis on how to fine tune our vocal and listening skill when interacting with patients to provide them with the best service and experience. Since I don’t have the advantage of ‘reading’ my patients’ face in person, I rely on how I project my voice, what tone I use, the pace at which I speak to them and how actively I listen in order to communicate with them 🎧 .

Having good body language is more than just the standard tried, tested and famously conversed about hacks and tricks. A significant component of it is also gauging how our patients feel based on their own body language and amending ours accordingly to show empathy, patience, compassion and to build trust amongst them.

I’ve put together five tips on how to effectively use body language when interacting with patients. These include :

-Eye Contact 👁️‍🗨️ 👁 👀

-Posture 👨‍🎤

-Facial Expressions 🙂

-Tone of Voice 🗣

-Active listening 👂

Role playing is the best way to practice and refine your body language skills to build a better rapport with your patients

If you’d like to further learn about how to master your body language when communicating with your patients as a healthcare professional, schedule a 30 minute discovery call with me to see how I can best support you

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Hi, I'm Shweta

I coach non-native English speaking healthcare professionals how to advance in their career and build better relationships with their patients and colleagues by expressing themselves more articulately and confidently in the English language.

I work closely with healthcare professionals who work with patients regularly. I help them improve their communication skills when interacting with patients and colleagues, teach them how to show up authentically, assertively and articulately in their field of work in order for them to ultimately gain credibility, validation and respect.

If you work in a clinical role in the healthcare industry and would like to learn more about how to better connect and communicate openly with your clients / patients, book a complimentary 30 minute discovery call with me to see how I can best support you.

Shweta Ramkumar - English Language Confidence Coach