Dos and don'ts for communication: Become fluent in body language

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Social media, online shopping, and many other aspects of modern life have greatly reduced the amount of actual face-to-face contact between people. As a result, many of us forget that what someone is thinking or feeling is often communicated not in words but in body language. Your work as a dentist puts you in direct personal contact with patients, so you should learn to read what their bodies are telling you.


Study the subject diligently. Body language can be complex, and a person's ability to read it can range from rudimentary to masterful. You'll be able to find a number of online courses and videos on the subject. You may want to start with some basic instruction, then practice "reading" the body language of patients, staff members, and others in your life. When you discover how revealing this unspoken language can be, you'll probably want to continue your studies.


Don't forget about your body language. As a normal human, you also send out messages -- probably without realizing it -- with your body language. With training, you'll be able to control the subliminal messages you're projecting -- giving you a great advantage in dealing with conflict resolution, case presentations, and other interpersonal situations.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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