We had one of the funniest conversations we have ever had this week. We were in a meeting with a talented and powerful leader, Sharon, talking about moving forward on some challenging initiatives. In that discussion, we talked about the fact that during challenging times it’s important to stay connected with your colleagues so that things are not misinterpreted, especially since things are moving fast.

In the middle of the conversation Sharon said, “Oh yeah, I really have to do that because I have an ARF.”

“An ARF?” we asked.

“Yeah, an Angry Resting Face,” she said.

I must admit, we roared with laughter. Neither of us had heard that expression before and it was perfect. And she is right. Even we had thought she was angry during some of our conversations, when in fact she was just listening very intently.

So today we want to remind you of the importance of understanding your non-verbal communication. Whether you like it or not, everything is a communication. If you are listening deeply and people think you are mad or hurt, it’s a problem. If the way you stand conveys that you aren’t approachable, and that’s not what you intend, then people need to know the difference. Or if you find that people think you are always in agreement because you nod when they are speaking, then that’s a problem, too.

We would love to hear from you about your ARFs, as well as any other non-verbal messages you have sent or seen that are confusing to those you are interacting with. These examples will help our Morning Business Coach community explore their impact and identify where miscommunication can happen.

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