We’ve all heard of verbal communication. But what about non-verbal communication? What is it and why is it important? Non-verbal communication involves the exchange of messages or signals without the use of words, including eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, posture, and body language. A variety of factors are involved, including social cues, kinesics, distance, physical appearance, voice and touch. Do you think your non-verbal communication skills need a brush up?
Why is non-verbal communication important on and off the virtual platform?
Carefully reflect – do your communication intentions often go awry? Even our most carefully crafted statements can go up in smoke. According to Albert Mehrabian, a psychologist at the University of California, our nonverbal communication makes up a total of 93% of our communication. It makes sense why non-verbal communication is just as important as verbal communication.
One way to relay information and communicate in the workplace is through speaking otherwise known as verbal communication. If you find your verbal communication skills to be weak, lean on your non-verbal communication skills! With non-verbal communication, you can communicate to others through gestures, eye contact, and facial expressions. Your tone of voice can also be used to deliver non-verbal messages. All of this is equally important both on and off the virtual platform.
Workplace relationships and performance
In the workplace, communication is even more crucial than it is with family and friends. Trust can be impacted when nonverbal cues contradict verbal communication. Communicating verbally and non-verbally together requires constant awareness. Your intended message will be accurately delivered to the receiver. Using positive non-verbal communication in the workplace helps build a positive business relationship. Negative non-verbal communication can potentially cause disturbances and disagreements.
Communication plays a big part in an employee’s performance. An employee’s emotions can be affected by the attitude of leadership. Positive non-verbal cues can help increase performance and morale. Understanding and intentionally using positive non-verbal communication helps create an amicable workplace along with increased efficiency and effectiveness.
What is non-verbal communication and what are the different types?
Rather than using words, non-verbal communication consists of body language, appearances, and posture. It also consists of facial expressions, eye contact, voice tones, the way you dress, and the distance between yourself and the receiver. The impact of non-verbal communication on the virtual platform is easily overlooked. Communicating on the virtual platform involves more than just the click of a link. It’s best to be aware of your vocal presence, body presence, and eye contact.
To possess successful and effective communication on and off the virtual platform, consider the following:
- Gestures – While speaking, hand gestures impact your message. Remember that your hands are visible, even on the virtual platform. Avoid unnecessary actions such as tapping, playing with hair, fidgeting, or other distracting actions as these can cause a misunderstanding between yourself and the receiver.
- Facial Expressions – On the virtual platform, your video camera should be on to show respect and interest to the person who is speaking. It’s also best to maintain eye contact and smile or nod occasionally.
- Eye Contact – Eye contact is one of the most vital aspects of successful non-verbal communication. It helps show your interest in the message and helps gain the speaker’s trust. If you consistently communicate virtually, invest in a proper camera so that you are able to maintain appropriate eye contact. Try it out with a friend or colleague to get the right positioning.
- Presence and Posture: Sit comfortably and stand tall both on and off the virtual platform. Watch one of my videos on how to sit tall and exude confidence.