When we interact with others, we continuously give and receive wordless signals. All of these nonverbal behaviors – the way you listen, look, move, and react- send strong messages, some positive and others negative. In many instances, what you say and what you communicate through your body language may be two totally different things. When confronted with these mixed signals, your audience has to choose whether to believe your verbal or nonverbal message. Often, nonverbal communication is the winner because it’s a natural, unconscious language that conveys your true feelings and intentions.
If you want to become a better communicator, it’s important to become more sensitive to your own body language and nonverbal cues, in addition to those of others. And there are so many types of nonverbal communication! Here are a few examples:
Facial expressions: the look on our face can express countless emotions without saying a word.
Body movement and posture: perceptions of people are often affected by the way they sit, walk, stand, or hold their head.
Gestures: waving, pointing, and using our hands when we’re arguing or speaking animatedly can be easily misconstrued.
Eye contact: looking someone in the eye can communicate many things, including interest or even hostility.
Space: we all have a need for physical space, but the need differs based on the situation, the closeness of the relationship, and culture.
Voice tone and inflection: as mentioned in the last article, it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it!
Nonverbal communication plays such an important role in the workplace. It tells people whether or not you care, if you’re being truthful, and how well you’re listening. For more information about the role nonverbal communication can play in your office, please call Leah M. Joppy and Associates at 301-670-0051 or email us at email@example.com and let’s discuss some team activities!