Nonverbal communication involves our whole body language including our appearance, posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact. Similarly, the tone of our voice may also send important messages to the receivers. Nonverbal communication skills are also important in today’s workplace, just like verbal communication skills .
Our nonverbal cues influence the way our message may be understood by the other parties. Nonverbal communication also conveys our feelings to the recipients of our message. In order to make sure our message is understood the way we intended, our verbal and nonverbal communication should be aligned with each other .
Nonverbal communication also affects the workplace relationships. Just as negative nonverbal communication may result in workplace stress and conflicts, positive nonverbal communication can help build positive working relationships among the workplace colleagues. In addition to workplace relationships, nonverbal communication also influences one’s job performance. Effective communication skills enable managers and leaders to give clear instructions to their subordinates. Similarly, effective communication skills also minimize misunderstandings among colleagues who may be working together on a team or frequently collaborate with each other. Leaders and managers can also motivate their subordinates through positive nonverbal communication and inspire the subordinates to work even harder .
The ideas discussed in the article have huge implications for the business community. First of all, it is clear the business leaders and managers should not develop only develop verbal communication skills but also nonverbal communication skills. The same is true for the employees also because the effectiveness of the communication process also depends upon how closely verbal and nonverbal messages support each other. The article also emphasizes the fact that communication is not just about listening but also observing. When one is delivering a message, the recipient of the messages should pay close attention to the speaker because not all the messages are delivered in verbal form. Similarly, the speaker should also make sure his nonverbal cues do not contradict his verbal messages otherwise he may not be taken seriously by the receivers of the message. If leaders and subordinates master nonverbal communication skills, it will significantly improve their working relationship as well as individual job performance which should benefit the business. Nonverbal skills will also enable the leaders and the subordinates to communicate more effectively with the external stakeholders.
Nonverbal communication skills will only increase in importance over time because today’s workplaces are increasingly becoming diverse. Some cultures place greater emphasis on nonverbal communication and such cultures are often called high-context cultures. Thus, the ability of leaders to manage increasingly diverse workforce and the ability of workers to work with their colleagues from diverse cultural backgrounds is also dependent upon their nonverbal communication skills.
This idea makes it clear managers and supervisors cannot perform their roles well without mastering nonverbal communication skills. Not only nonverbal communication skills make their more effective communicators but also enhance their credibility if the nonverbal cues support the verbal messages. The managers and supervisors may also have to improve their cross-cultural skills because workers from diverse cultural backgrounds may have different nonverbal communication styles just as they have different verbal communication styles. The pragmatic managers and supervisors would, indeed, embrace the opportunity to learn nonverbal communication skills and also encourage their subordinates to do so because they understand nonverbal communication may only increase over time. But some may resist the change as it will require them to gain additional skills. Moreover, they may also not like the idea of changing their personal communication style. Some may wonder whether the growing emphasis on nonverbal communication is a fad because more and more communication is taking place through electronic platforms such as emails and social media.
An average worker may need to enhance his nonverbal communication skills. Some workers may see it as an opportunity to further advance their careers because effective nonverbal communication skills may enable them to reach leadership positions. The workers who work in increasingly diverse work environment may also welcome the change as it would improve their communication with their fellow colleagues. But there may also be resistance from certain groups. Some may wonder whether it is actually possible to master nonverbal communication skills because different cultures have different nonverbal communication styles. Moreover, some may argue nonverbal communication skills are subconsciously acquired over time and cannot be taught. But forward thinking businesses and workers will embrace the opportunity to enhance their nonverbal skills because it will enable them to work well together and also deal with external stakeholders more effectively. Businesses with extensive overseas presence may also welcome the opportunity for their leaders and workers to improve their nonverbal communication skills.
It is important to understand communication doesn’t take place in verbal form only but also in nonverbal form. Good nonverbal communication skills enable leaders and managers to communicate with their subordinates more effectively. Good nonverbal communication skills also improve the working relationship among workplace colleagues. The importance of nonverbal communication skills will only grow over time as workplaces continue to become more diverse. In addition, more and more companies are expanding overseas. Forward thinking managers and workers realize mastering nonverbal communication skills will enhance their career prospects but there may also be a group which would resist the need to improve nonverbal communication skills. The opponents may argue more and more communication takes place through digital mediums. They may also wonder whether it is possible to teach nonverbal communication skills.
- Huntington, Marie. How Nonverbal Communication Can Help in the Workplace. 30 November 2015