Body language every nurse should know


Feeling bullied or intimidated by your manager? Find out what these 3 nonverbal cues really mean:

1. Spread fingertips planted on a table

A significant territorial display of confidence and authority is when a person plants their fingertips spread apart on a table or other surface.

2. Spread-out arms

Arms spread out over a chair also point to feelings of comfort and confidence. These displays, when used or recognized appropriately, greatly enhance communication effectiveness.

3. Arms akimbo

Another widespread territorial behavior used to assert dominance and project an image of authority is known as arms akimbo. This nonverbal behavior involves a person extending both arms out in a V-pattern with the hands placed (thumbs backwards) on the hips. This is an especially common display among military or police officers, and they use it a lot when talking to each other.

For women, this nonverbal technique can have particular utility. It’s an effective way for anyone, especially a woman, to demonstrate that she is standing her ground, confident and unwilling to be bullied. A more inquisitive and less authoritarian variety of this display is when the fingers are pointing forward.

Patients | Coworkers | Manager | Patient’s Family | Different Cultures | Improve Your Workday

Vlad Zachary
"America’s Professional Coach" Vlad Zachary is a leading expert in career and professional coaching with award-winning and world-recognized publications. He is the CEO of, founder of, and the author of the DVD Mastering the Job Interview and several e-books on healthcare, communications, psychology and career development.

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