When you are observing an individuals reactions while communicating it's important to pay attention to their facial and bodily reactions because only about 70-80% of communication is verbal, meaning that you are going to miss out on a large part of communication if you are not paying attention to peoples facial and bodily reactions.
Only about 70-80% of communication is verbal, facial and bodily reactions count for a far greater communication methodology. However there are opposing theories in this area. Some people with learning difficulties do not use words. They tell you things using their bodies.
Supporters must get to know these people very well and tell them things in their own special way.
The provision of appropriate accessible or easy information has been recognized as a
right for people with learning difficulties (Department of Health 2001a). However,
there is a large and growing group of people with learning difficulties whose needs
cannot be met by the use of techniques such as short sentences and appropriate pictures
or technological support. People with high individual communication needs do not
use formal methods of communication such as speech, writing or symbols. They
communicate in their own unique way through their bodies, facial expressions,
sounds, eye gaze or pointing. Pp. Sue Thurman
You can learn a great deal from studying someone's reactions while you are talking to them. Their facial expressions and body langugae may tell you whether they agree or disagree with what you are saying, and whether they are fascinated or bored by the conversation, for example. You can then use this information to inform how you proceed with the conversation.
The difference between the words people speak and our understanding of what they are saying comes from non-verbal communication, otherwise known as "body language." By developing your awareness of the signs and signals of body language, you can more easily understand other people, and more effectively communicate with them.
There are sometimes subtle – and sometimes not so subtle – movements, gestures, facial expressions and even shifts in our whole bodies that indicate something is going on. The way we talk, walk, sit and stand all say something about us, and whatever is happening on the inside can be reflected on the outside.
By becoming more aware of this body language and understanding what it might mean, you can learn to read people more easily. This puts you in a better position to communicate effectively with them. What's more, by increasing your understanding of others, you can also become more aware of the messages that you convey to them.