The power of body language is so important. It unlocks the innate skill we all have to be able to read people. The majority of our communication is nonverbal. Listen to someone's tone of voice when they say they're excited to have their in-laws over for the holidays. It can mean genuine excitement, or the exact opposite, dread. Watch the body language of a suspect on the news who has been accused of a heinous crime. When people lie their body leaks clues of that lie. You're pitching a proposal in front of your boss and halfway through you see them lean back in their chair with their arms-crossed. Nonverbal communication will help you to be able to change the direction a topic was going to better not only yourself, but your situation.
Let me share a story
I work in a counseling clinic and last week a patient came in and was asking me all these questions that aren't within my role at the clinic. On the outside I continued to be respectful and kind but on the inside I was beginning to feel irritated because she was taking me away from helping other patients. I then noticed her body language. She was extremely nervous. She kept using self-soothing techniques such as rubbing her hands over and over and her shoulders were sunk in, with her body leaned into herself. We do this subconsciously when we're feeling small, we make ourselves small. Her tone of voice was very soft it was difficult to hear her. It made me realize there was more going on and my patience for her did a 180. She later had to leave our clinic early and was sent straight into a mental institution due to severe depression. Body language is so effective in a healthcare environment. It helps you figure out the whole story when verbally a person may only be telling you half.