Nonverbal communication in Switzerland
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Basic nonverbal communication rules are not very different in Switzerland than in other Northwestern European countries. Leaning forward means agreement, whereas leaning backward indicates suspicion. Crossing the arms is a sign of closure, meaning that the person disagrees or is bored. People nod their head vertically to mean yes and sideways to mean no. When talking, the Swiss won’t become excited and will never do big gestures. If they keep quiet, that doesn’t mean a lack of enthusiasm.

The Swiss will never reveal right away what they are really thinking. They are too scared to say something that you may not be ready to hear or that might make you uneasy. They will first try to gain your trust. Then they will beat around the bush a little to determine the best way to tell you what is really on their mind. When they explain something to you, they will try to judge by the reaction of your face if you approve, asking for an answer by smiling. You should definitely participate in this little game if you want to have a more in-depth conversation with whomever you are speaking.

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