Word of the Week: Nuance

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  1. A subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression or sound.
Tree RootsRoot: From the Latin word nubes.  In Latin this means “cloud”.

Did you know:

Nuances of body language often conveys as much meaning as spoken words.

Nuance in non-verbal communication

Sometimes what you don’t say is even more telling than your words themselves. Body language gives nuance to communication and sends and receives messages just as effectively as verbal communication. Some examples of non-verbal communication include:

  • Touch
  • Glance
  • Eye contact (gaze)
  • Volume
  • Vocal nuance
  • Proximity
  • Gestures
  • Facial expression
  • Pause (silence)
  • Intonation
  • Dress
  • Posture
  • Smell
  • Sounds (paralanguage)

Uses for Non-verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication can be used to:

  • Repeat the verbal message.
  • Accent a verbal message.
  • Complement or contradict the verbal message.
  • Regulate
  • Substitute for the verbal message.

Think about all of the ways in which you use non-verbal communication to add nuance to your message. Do you smile when giving a critique to soften the blow? Do you gesture when speaking to emphasize your point? Perhaps you glance up and give the waiter a nod when you’re ready for your check at a restaurant. Body language adds color to verbal communication. How are you coloring your interactions today?

This week, your word is Nuance

Let’s see it in a couple of sentences

  • Expressions can have many nuances, with a raised eyebrow or small smile speaking volumes.
  • I grasped the subtle nuance of the actor’s performance.

 Go forth, friends. Words are powerful. Use them well.

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