Tiniest of Behaviors

Nuances are subtle behaviors and communications that are full of meaning. We constantly communicate via nuances and unconsciously give and receive their inherent meanings. They usually show up as the tiniest of behaviors, so tiny they are unnoticeable. But their impact is conversely quite huge. They are indicative of people’s beliefs, how they view the world, how they regard themselves, and how they regard others. Including you. 

It is easier to read other’s nuances than our own. If you are self-aware you might observe your own nuances and what they might reveal about you.

Below is a quote from an email sent out by Linda Kohanov of EponaQuest Worldwide ("Speaking without Words: Harnessing the Invisible — The Practical Magic of Sentient Communication” dated Jan 06, 2019 3:25 pm Copyright 2019 by Linda Kohanov).  

"When the space shuttle Challenger exploded in 1984, NASA determined that a low-tech piece of rubber known as an “O ring” was the root cause. Similarly, in human interactions, our tendency to overlook the little things—all those seemingly inconsequential nonverbal cues, inconvenient feelings and unconscious reactions—lead to unexpected eruptions at work, home, school, and in larger social contexts.” 

Sometimes “inconsequential nonverbal cues” along with verbal clues lead to closer connection and moments of appreciation.

Here are some examples of nuances, along with things to ponder should you catch one.

“Um.” A person simply says “um,” which means they are about to say something and would like your attention.
  — Were they more directly engaged with you, would they need to get your attention?
  — How many other ways do they get their wants and needs met?
  — Possible response: “I hear you saying ‘um.' How could you be more open and specifically ask for my attention?"
  — Your (re)action or response: “______________________________________________________________________"

Persons Um

A person looks at you with a benign smile and arms open, palms up.
  — How are you receiving their open-hearted love?
  — How might you take a moment and send appreciation back to him or her?
  — Possible response: Simply mirror the behavior. Or, “If I feel you right, I feel the same toward you.”
  — Your (re)action or response: “______________________________________________________________________"

 Standing in the kitchen coffee cup in hand, your partner or family member softly grunts like an infant reaching for an out-of-reach binkie.
  — How honestly and openly does that person ask for something they need or want?
  — Possible response: “Is that your way of asking for help? Might you be more specific and direct?”
  — Your (re)action or response: “______________________________________________________________________"

In talking with someone, all their sentences and questions begin with the word And.
  — How connected and comfortable do you feel with that person?
  — What might be their reason for that, conscious or not?
  — Possible response: “And I notice all your sentences begin with And. How aware of that are you?"
  — Your (re)action or response: “______________________________________________________________________"

After saying good-bye or expressing your own need to someone, they continuing talking to you after you’ve begun taking leave or attending to yourself.
  — How respectful is that person of your needs? Or wants. How tuned in are they with others?
  — Possible response: “I will catch you next time [or in a minute] on that."
  — Your (re)action or response: “______________________________________________________________________"

You are with or around someone, interacting or not, and they in-a-good-way authentically sigh.
  — How does that impact you and your internal state? 
  — Possible response: Simply mirror the behavior and notice its impact. Experiment with this one by being the first to sigh.
  — Your (re)action or response: “______________________________________________________________________"

Person Sigh

Talking with someone on the phone and a certain sigh or “Well” of theirs indicates they are finished talking for now.
  — Have you been dismissed? How cleanly does that other communicate? Have you ever felt powerless in their presence?
  — Possible response: “By the tone of your voice, I sense we might be finished here. Is that what you intend?"
  — Your (re)action or response: “______________________________________________________________________"

Persons Well

How observant are you of nuances? How might you spot them? Or how could you better listen for them? How can you be aware of them and discern their true meaning? How open are you to asking the person about their intention or real message?

What are some of your own nuances that you’ve observed? What do you think they mean? Do they cause disconnection or connection? How open are you to consider better options for communicating?

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© Kris Kramer Coach 2019