Nonverbal Communication In The Workplace

When people communicate effectively – ideas, thoughts, and opinions have more power. Communicating effectively is important in all areas of life, and especially so in the workplace.

Teams, as well as relationships rely on clear communication skills. No one is a mind reader, and being able to communicate effectively is key. Day-to-day we communicate primarily through verbal communication, but there is a leg of communication carried out in nonverbal mediums. It includes actions, body language, and gestures to convey various emotions. It also has one’s appearance, posture, and tone of your voice.

Nonverbal communication conveys information about a person’s needs, emotions, attitudes and thoughts. According to Forbes, nonverbal cues are 65% to 93% more impactful than verbal communication. We can also look at the 7-38-55 Rule: 7% of communication occurred via spoken word, 38% through tone of voice, and the remaining 55% through body language.

There are many types of nonverbal communication, all of which play a relevant role in the business world.

Making Eye Contact

When you make eye contact with your coworkers, especially those who are presenting, you are showing that you care and that you are paying attention to what they are saying. It makes them feel valued and appreciated when you can communicate your attention in a nonverbal way.

Whether having a one-on-one or sitting in group meeting, avoiding electronic devices and other distractions shows that you value their time and their communication.

Nonverbal Communication In Your Appearance

The way you present yourself in front of your team can say a lot without verbally speaking. Appearing neat and prepared in appearance shows that you are confident in your work and yourself. This can make an impression on those around you, even more so those who don’t regularly work directly with you.

One great example is when you are approaching your boss for a raise or promotion, dressing the part communicates and intensifies your presentation. This shows professionalism and dedication to your job.

Not only does your dress appearance make a statement, but also how you physically present yourself. Posture can speak to how you feel about a situation just as much if not more than your verbal responses. When you slouch and have your arms crossed, you indicate that you are uninterested in the topic. This, in combination with not making eye-contact and being distracted, shows your disinterest. You are telling your colleague that you are not interested in what they are saying and you do not value their time or insight.

Facial expression is probably the most important nonverbal communication as it conveys a lot of our emotions and feelings to others. For instance – When someone is mad, their facial expression may show anger, frustration or even sadness. This is easily picked up by others (depending on the context). Depending on what facial expression you are displaying can either help or hinder your message in a meeting or conversation; for instance, if you are angry, your facial expression may tend to overshadow your verbal message. But if your facial expressions show emotion, empathy, and excitement, you are emphasizing and projecting the message back to the speaker in a positive way.

In order to reverse that narrative, making eye contact, standing up straight, and slight head/hand gestures shows that you are listening effectively and respect the interaction.

Nonverbal Communication In Your Voice

While the tone of your voice is more on the end of verbal communication, how you get the message across can convey the message differently.

One piece of advice is to speak in a positive tone while in the workplace. The tone that you use to communicate reflects how you feel. Having a positive tone in conversations, shows respect to the individual and the ideas being presented.

If you are presenting on a topic that you are passionate about and want others to get on board with, using an enthusiastic and positive tone will also excite the audience and it will show that you care about this topic. This increases interest from your audience and their nonverbal communication will reflect back to you.

Remember to keep a positive tone within the workplace to communicate how you feel. Tone, as well as pitch and volume you speak at is also nonverbal communication. A calm and normal volume is more receptive than information communicated at a loud volume and an angry tone.

Nonverbal Communication Builds Or Breaks Trust

As you begin to understand the nonverbal communication of your colleagues, you will build stronger trust and bonds with them.

Working well together is a goal to strive for in all organizations.

With effective nonverbal communication, you are creating authentic relationships with others. If your nonverbal cues say one thing but your actions say something different – or vice versa – trust between your co-workers will become broken and cause tension. Through effective nonverbal communication you will develop trustworthiness, empathy, and form better connections.

The Importance Of Nonverbal Communication In The Workplace

In today’s world, nonverbal communication is more critical than ever. With teams working remotely, age gaps in the workplace, increased technology, and greater access to information, it can be easy to lose the art of communication.

Effective nonverbal communication – on all ends – can build trust and credibility, as well as maintain relationships. If you don’t already, start paying attention to the nonverbal communication that occurs throughout your organization. Here are five reasons why you need to focus on it:

  • It strengthens and delivers your message – good or bad – with clarity.
  • Nonverbal communication helps others identify your message’s important parts and key areas.
  • Managers can use nonverbal communication to show interest, boosting motivation and engagement.
  • It helps build your perception and image.
  • Mastering nonverbal communication helps you become an effective communicator at work and enables you to do your job effectively.

Maximize Your Workforce

According to research, written and verbal communication is involved in 90% of business transactions! This shows the importance of communicating clearly and effectively.

So how do you get there?

Through training and development with Converge we are able to elevate your workplace together. Our mission is dedicated to developing you and your organization. Whether through one-on-one coaching or company-wide workshops, Converge can help you and your team develop the skills needed to maximize your workforce! Reach out to us today to inquire more about how we can elevate your business.