We often think of communication as spoken or written words. However, every time we communicate with another person they also display nonverbal communication in the form of body language. Body language is reflected in how they move, their facial expressions, how they stand and gestures.

You may encounter provider’s who are verbally saying “yes” but her body language is saying “no”. Recognizing body language will help you be aware of how your message is being accepted.


One of the difficult tasks you are asked to carry out is conveying to a provider her need to change a particular behavior. When doing this the provider often become defensive. Once a provider becomes defensive, instead of listening to your message she will often be formulating her defense.
Signs that a provider may be coming defensive:

 Turning her body away from you

 Looking down

 Crossing her arms

 Showing little facial expression

 Clenching her hands


When encountering these nonverbal cues you need to examine your own body language. You want to make sure that your body language is not confrontational. Often when we anticipate negative actions from a provider we show this in our own body language. Adjusting your attitude before you confront a provider will help you to display body language that is open, receptive and comfortable. Putting your provider at ease will make her more receptive to your message. Carefully watch her reaction to what you are saying. Look for the above cues. If you find the conversation is turning negative, check you body language. Your receptive body language should reflect the following:

 Eye contact – not staring or looking away.

 Hands relaxed, in your lap or open on the table

 Body facing the provider and tilting very slightly towards her

 Relaxed facial expression, smile

Knowing your provider will allow you to be aware of what is normal stance her or a sign that she is becoming defensive.

For example: A provider may be in the habit of standing with her arms crossed even during a normal conversation.

Being aware of these simple things can help you to successfully get your message across.