Effective communication

Non-Verbal Communication as a Tool to Unite People 

Why Body Language Matters

Reading time – 9 minutes.

Summary

  • Self-efficacy is important for personal performance in every sphere of life. 
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Introduction

Interpersonal communication is the use of words to convey information or messages. When trying to establish contact, we share specific meanings using words, but not only—nonverbal cues such as gestures, facial expressions (intentional or unintentional) supplement the message.

We know that good conversation is the basis for successful relationships: personal or professional, involving friends, family, colleagues, or even strangers.

In this article, we explain why using non-verbal communication is a powerful tool. It can help you connect with others, express what you mean, and build better relations.

What is Non-Verbal Communication?

When we interact with others, we continually receive and give wordless signals. The way we sit, how close we are, and how much eye contact we have all convey a strong message—the tone, speed, speech volume, gestures, and how we behave to influence our communication. 

Even when we are silent, we communicate nonverbally. This process of passing information is working all the time. 

In most cases, the thoughts you express and the things you transfer with your body are different. We apply nonverbal because it is our natural signal system. Unconscious language often conveys our true feelings and intentions. Based on these mixed signals, the listener decides whether he wants to believe us or not. 

Nonverbal Communication (NVC) includes the use of facial expressions, body movements, and postures.

Researchers argue about the importance of non-verbal communication. Many of them claim that it can convey more meaning than verbal expression. Scientists say that most people trust facial expressions and gestures more than words. They percept them as hidden information transferring.

Ray Birdwhistell confirms that 60 to 70 percent of human communication is nonverbal. Other researchers assure that this type of communication is unquantifiable. We focus on interactions between individuals and share contact under certain environmental conditions.

Written texts have a language that contains several non-verbal elements known as paralanguage. It includes words, phrases, sentences, and other forms of verbal and non-verbal communication.

It includes both conscious and unconscious processes of encryption and decryption. Encryption is the way to create a non-verbal message.

We use coded information to signal that we can consider universal. Its decryption uses the knowledge that we can have about certain sensations. 

What Are the Types of Non-Verbal Communication?

A facial expression is a universal tool in all forms of non-verbal communication. The human face can express innumerable emotions without saying a word.

All cultures use the same way to express thoughts and feelings nonverbally. However, they make that in different forms.

The way we move offers the world a wealth of information. Consider how people’s perception influences their sitting, walking, standing, or holding their heads. 

These gestures have a connection with our daily life and have an expression in many ways. Their meanings can have a big difference depending on culture and region. So it is essential to consider it and avoid misinterpretation. 

The way you look can also say many things to others. It can evoke interest, affection, hostility, or attraction. One of the significant forms of non-verbal communication is eye contact. The focus on the eye-contact is predominant for most people. Keep conversation flow and try to understand the other person’s interest and reaction.

Physical expression depends on culture, attitude, and circumstances. We can use it to signal intimacy, affection, aggression, or dominance. Think of the nonverbal messages transmitted by people who follow you. Do you feel uncomfortable when others are too close or get the space around you?

When you speak, other people hear the tone of your voice in the same as your words. It is not about what you say but how you say it. You should pay attention to how loud and fast you speak.

You cannot control the signals you send without thinking about them profoundly. The harder you try, the more unnatural they are likely to become. You may know how to shake hands or sit down to show confidence. The truth is that such tricks only work if you feel really safe and self-confident.

Many people can send negative signals without knowing it. When it happens, it affects the connection and trust. It impacts how others see you, how well they respect you, and how much they trust you. 

Peculiarities, Methods, and Misinterpretation of Non-Verbal Signs

Non-verbal communication in business includes all means of information and combines the performance and an extralinguistic component. Non-verbal communication means facial gestures, timbre, voice tonality expression, as well as intonation.

A complex of non-verbal communication techniques increases the effect of information perception. It helps to persuade a person to achieve the expected result. Non-verbal communication in business communication is a tool of influence.

Why would you need to know about the pitfalls of the non-verbal signs? Non-verbal means of communication increase the effectiveness of negotiations. However, it gives only basic techniques and their combinations. They have focused mainly on the situation, people’s goals, and values.

If you use the non-verbal communication techniques right, you can manipulate the partner. You can also evaluate his personal, business, and professional qualities. Gestures, facial expressions, and other indicators will help you to understand others. He can be a liar or a truth-teller, a professional, or an amateur. These aspects will help you to assess intelligence, leadership, and behavior. 

How does emotional intelligence show itself in actions? What can you see during the interview? When you understand that, it will help you to influence, manipulate, or test the qualities. We do it based on gestures and signals. We can choose the right methods of non-verbal interaction in business communication. Books and training about non-verbal techniques, psychologist consultation with practicing will help you.

There are the following methods of non-verbal communication in business communication.

Kinesics is about postures, gestures, movements that complement speech or make it expressive. This method helps to maintain the listener’s attention and emphasize the essential points.

The tactile method involves touching to build a person’s confidence. Incorrect use of the technique provokes misunderstandings between the parties. For example, some people perceive a pat on the shoulder as a sign of trust, while others see it as familiarity.

Prosemica is about a spatial relationship, where distance plays a leading role in non-verbal communication in business. Some people are comfortable with each other. Others become constrained, unable to formulate sentences. It is essential to find the border that a person feels okay and then start a dialogue. When people lie, they try to take up as little space on the chair as possible. They press their arms to their body and push their legs to one another.

Sensory is about sensory perception, including tastes, smells, colors, combinations, and room temperature. Psychologists believe that situation influences the course of the conversation and its results. For example, a conversation in the office can have a psychological barrier. A conversation in a cafe can be more comfortable and trustworthy. 

Chronemics. Time is another important thing to consider and play to your advantage. Even a few minutes of delay affects the outcome of your business meeting. Chronology is more in interviews or during negotiations with the business partners.

Prosody and extralinguistic are a method of para verbal communication. They include voice timbre, intonation, and rhythm of speech.

Nonverbal techniques will help you to understand people and their true intentions. Why can non-verbal signs be false in interpretation? Non-verbal communication in business cannot be the only tool. Many factors influence it. 

The same gestures can have different meanings. Only the real-time investigation of personality should influence your decision and behavior. What factors affect the non-verbal? The same gestures have different meanings among peoples.

Health status: the look and the voice changes during illness. Some people have increased excitability and emotionality. The level of culture is a mix of gestures. Etiquette and good behavior depend on a person, his intelligence, and general development.

Social status. The higher position a person has in the hierarchy, the less non-verbal his behavior. 

The acting ability. Some people play not only with words but also with non-verbal signs.

The age. The age factor plays the same role as status. The older generation slows down.

The absence of non-verbal language and facial expressions, and gestures of harmony shows a person’s lying. Keep in mind that it is impossible to assess non-verbality in talking on the phone.

A precise person’s assessment can be only from a psychologist, an expert in non-verbalism. Even if you learn the techniques, you can mistake them, which isn’t worth it.

Remember that gestures do not replace answers to questions and test results. Therefore, only in alive communication you can test the partner and influence him/her.

Non-verbal communication in business is essential. However, you should not memorize gestures to play the role of an ideal person. Be yourself, strive for growth and development. In the process of staff communicating and assessing, pay attention to the educational and intelligence level. 

What Are the Accurate Nonverbal Communication Cues?

Nonverbal signals increase trust and clarity because they have a connection with words. Generally, we need them to relieve tension, distrust, or confusion.

For example, a person’s eyes can message more than words. A boss tapping the person on the shoulder can enhance the impact of the message. If you want to communicate better, it is essential to become more aware of the non-verbal signals.

For example, a slap on the table and a hand on your shoulder can underscore your verbal message. It is in your hand, especially finger expression. To send clear non-verbal signals, you need to be aware of your emotions and their influence. That is where emotional awareness comes in. Recognize the cues that others are trying to send you. Know when your relationship is not in line with your personal needs, which allows you to change it or move on.

The effectiveness of meta-communication depends on signals and their realization.

Mind your actions and body position because they have essential cross-cultural meaning. It includes the tone of your voice, shaking your head, and so on. If you are proficient in your non-verbal language, do not let it fall.

Sarcasm is an excellent example of how to use inflection as a non-verbal cue. You can convey several different meanings by only emphasizing one word.

Even silence is a form of meta-communication. 

Constant and intensive staring can be more fearful than angry words and discomforts. Make good eye contact, insist on listening, and show attention, even if you don’t have to listen.

A gentle touch can be as crucial to a woman’s well-being as a firm handshake for men.

Different nuances affect others’ perception of your saying. It has expressions starting from your voice tone to your body language.

You may not need any words in some cases, and in others, your non-verbality may do harm, but anyway, you need them.

Conclusion

Non-verbal contact plays an essential role in information transferring and actions’ interpretation. It is important to remember the group’s activities when you follow some behavior.

Good or bad, non-verbal communication can help or haunt us, and it could say a lot about what a person is trying to say.

Recognize the power you have to influence the results of your conversation. It has no matter if you’re talking to the entire company at a meeting or in the office. Nonverbal communication can affect your interaction.

Use and manage non-verbal communication so that you could practice it in your message? Matching it with the words you speak helps others to trust you. It can also allow you to be more effective and trustworthy with different messages. 

Recommendations 

The power of non-verbal communication will help you deliver your message more clear. On the contrary, you can show your rest negative feelings and emotions. If you know how to control and use your body language rightly, you get many more benefits than you think. 

Remember that non-verbal communication is not about manipulation or lies. Use it correctly and benefit yourself and others around you. In this article, we prepared some helpful links for you. So, if you follow these sources, you can find a lot about non-verbal communication benefits. Also, make sure you are familiar with the tips for developing your nonverbal skill. You will notice the results very soon!

Final Remarks 

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Chief Editor
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