Did you know 90% of communication is nonverbal!? Think about a debate, such as during the election. You may mute the television and you will be able to tell who won and who lost based on the body language of the candidates.
Remember people are watching your body language. When talking to an employee, they will notice everything about you, if you cross your arms, if you smile, or if you yawn, they will draw a conclusion on who you are from your nonverbal communication.
Subtle smiles are important. A subtle (and possibly practiced) smile looks friendlier and shows more confidence than your natural expression. This may help establish rapport with the employee.
Remember, standing straight and using good posture reflect confidence. Eye contact communicates that you are truthful. However, a hand over your mouth while talking may suggest you are lying.
Be nice to everyone, kindness makes the world a better place. If you anticipate that the conversation may result in the employee crying, have tissues available and ask if the employee needs a break from the conversation, but it is important to continue the conversation until its necessary conclusion.
Advocacy, December 2016, “Your Body Language during Trial can be just as important as what You Say” Allison Leotta