Body Language – What Is Kinesics

What Is Kinesics?

This is the study of the way certain body movements, and gestures, form non-verbal communication. It is the study of human body language, including:

  • Facial expressions
  • Eye contact
  • Gestures
  • Body position
  • Movement.

Different cultures have different rules about how to use body language and what is appropriate and what is not. For example, in Eastern cultures, meeting another’s eyes is often seen as rude or aggressive. However, in Western cultures, eye contact is generally expected as it shows a person is interested, and engaged in the conversation.

Why Is Understanding Kinesics Important?

Kinesics is important because it allows individuals to communicate nonverbally through body movements. Body language can often convey more meaning than words and is important for interpreting messages accurately. Understanding kinesic communication is important for improving communication skills, building social relationships, and interpreting hidden cues or meanings. By paying attention to the kinesic cues we can improve our understanding of others, leading to more effective communication and improved interpersonal relationships.


10 examples of kinesics:

  1. Smiling – to express happiness or friendliness

  2. Frowning – to show disapproval or unhappiness

  3. Tilting your head – to show curiosity or confusion

  4. Standing up straight and maintaining good posture – to convey confidence or professionalism

  5. Pointing your finger – to indicate direction or emphasis

  6. Shaking your head – to signal disagreement or disapproval

  7. Touching someone on – the arm or shoulder to show empathy or support

  8. Covering your mouth while speaking – to indicate a secret or something that should not be shared

  9. Raising your eyebrows – to indicate surprise or interest

  10. Tapping your foot or fingers – to show impatience or nervousness

These kinesic cues are just a few examples of the many nonverbal messages that individuals can use during communication. Studying them will help you improve your communication skills and your effectiveness when communicating with others.

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Posted in Business Communication Skills, Cultural Anthropology, Leadership, Leadership Series, Life.