Empowering your Habits Part 4 with Tracey Bosch


When we engage in everyday conversations, we become unaware of our body language and non-verbal communication; the funny thing is that the other person is facing the same dilemma. However, we need to re-access our behaviour because doing that will help us to send the right messages across.


On the 26th of October, Tracey Bosch returned to our screens for the fourth instalment of Empowering your Habits. The session’s focal point was analysing types of body language and eye contact, in other words, non-verbal communication. Let’s review some of the highlights regarding the subject:


What is non-verbal communication?


Non-verbal communication is our body language and everything we communicate besides the spoken word: posture, gestures, dress and appearance, facial expressions, and the like.


Question: What do we need to take note of when it comes to non-verbal communication?


The answer lies in the following observations; however, please note that it is not one size fits all.


Common gestures that we are unconscious about:


  • Biting nails – may mean insecurity.
  • Turning away – may mean disbelief.
  • Pulling ears – may mean decisiveness.
  • Hand on the cheek – implies meditation.
  • Drumming fingers – may mean impatience.
  • Touching the nose – may mean deceit or doubt.


Universal facial expressions:


  • Happiness – smile, and get crows feet on the side of their face.
  • Anger – frown, and eyes will narrow.
  • Fear – eyes widen up, and there is a raised eyebrow.
  • Surprise – fully raise eyebrows and mouth open.
  • Sadness – mouth turns down and slightly frowns.
  • Disgust – nose wrinkles, lips are apart, and eyes narrow.


Head position

Movement and Position:

  • Nodding – usually agrees with you.
  • Head up – listening to you without bias.
  • Head down – disinterested and reject what you are saying.
  • Tilted to the side – being thoughtful and creating trust with you. 
  • Head high – projecting confidence.
  • Chin-up – defiant.
  • Head forward – interested.
  • Tilted down – disapproving.
  • Shaking (from left to right) – disagree.




  • Smile: we usually smile when someone else smiles.
  • Height: some people mirror height by stooping or stretching their bodies.
  • Gestures: We usually copy the gestures used by other people.
  • Speech: we mirror another person’s tone, pitch, and rhythm.
  • Breathe: matching breaching rates will help create a bond and trust.




  • Looking down – may mean the person is having a conversation with themselves.
  • Looking up – may relate to recalling something.
  • Looking to the left – may relate to remembering. 
  • Looking to the right – may mean the person is guessing or lying.
  • Sideways right – this refers to imagination.
  • Sideways left – this relates to memory.
  • Direct eye contact – may convey sincerity and honesty.
  • Wide eyes – may indicate interest.
  • Rolled eyes – may mean frustration.
  • Frequent blinking – may mean excitement.
  • Infrequent blinking – may mean boredom or concentrating on what you are saying.


If you are speaking to a female, take note of the following:


  • Body position and posture – women generally have a closed body language.
  • Leaning – if she is leaning forward, she is interested, and if she is leaning back, she is displeased or uncomfortable.
  • Smiling – women usually smile more than men.
  • Eye contact – if she is maintaining eye contact, that means she is interested.
  • Mirroring – females do this more often than men.
  • Legs and feet – they position their legs and feet in the direction of interest.
  • Touching – women are more likely to touch.
  • Tapping – this means she is annoyed or uncomfortable.


If you are speaking to a male, take note of the following:


  • Body position and posture – men will generally have a broader stance to increase their size to become bigger and more confident.
  • Smiling – men will only do this if they are happy or want to engage someone’s interest.
  • Eye contact – men tend to dominate.
  • Mirroring – men will only mirror females.
  • Legs and feet – a man’s legs and feet point in the direction of interest.
  • Hands – men fidget more than women.


In conclusion, by always taking note of non-verbal communication, you will master composure and understand what the next person is thinking. To listen to the entire webinar, you can go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB_287H8nHc&t=350s or find out more about ORT SA; go to www.ortsa.org.za.