Nonverbal communication is like a secret code. Not many are aware of it, but its significance is all-powerful.
Once this secret is unleashed, a wide array of possibilities becomes prevalent.
Imagine you are a leader in a learning and development company. The organization’s goal is to make people perform from average to extraordinary.
Developing employees is more than just lecturing them on the Dos and Don’ts, policies, and such. It takes more than verbal communication to inspire them to enhance their work standards.
As Peter Drucker once said, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”
If you want results, it’s time to release your secret weapon.
So, what is non-verbal communication? It’s the process of transmitting and receiving messages without using words, either spoken or written. Nonverbal communication is how people communicate information about their emotions, desires, intentions, ideas, and attitudes without using words.
Why is it important in the workplace setting?
Communication is one of the most critical aspects of forming long-term professional partnerships. Throughout the day, you communicate with your coworkers, either verbally or nonverbally. People around you, on the other hand, are more aware of your nonverbal clues.
You might not be aware of it, but you are more likely to use nonverbal communication more often than verbal communication.
This article aims to inform you how significant nonverbal communication is in the workplace. With this knowledge, you ensure that you are using it for the best possible outcomes.
Examples of Nonverbal Communication and how to use them
Understanding and connecting with colleagues at work is one thing, but reading nonverbal body language can be particularly difficult. Whether you work in person or remotely, whether in learning and development or any other field, knowing how to communicate effectively nonverbal indicators is critical.
One example is the use of facial expressions. The human face is extraordinarily expressive, with the ability to transmit a range of feelings without uttering anything. Unlike certain other forms of nonverbal communication, facial expressions are generic. Happiness, sadness, rage, surprise, fear, and disgust all have similar facial expressions across cultures.
When your job is focused on people’s performance, your facial expressions are important because they convey different kinds of emotions to the people you are developing. For example, without having to say it in words, you can show your appreciation for a job well done with a smile.
Another great example is eye contact. Keeping your eyes on the person you’re speaking with rather than on your computer, paperwork, cell phone, or anywhere else lets them know you’re listening to their input.
If you are talking to an employee, that person will definitely feel valued and appreciated. If they are aware that they’re being heard, you can only expect improved performance from them.
Next is the tone of voice. Volume, the degree and type of emotion you transmit, and the emphasis you take on the words you choose all contribute to tone. Your tone sends and clarifies meaning when speaking with others.
Not only can your tone affect how people see you, but it can also impact their desire to listen to you — especially at work. An employee who is not open to performance growth can consider your severe tone to determine that you mean business, thereby prompting them to be more willing to accept your help.
Finally, we go to gestures. A person’s gestures reflect their thought process; they can also show emotions. Therefore, gestures serve as windows to understanding.
Without ever opening one’s mouth, gestures convey a substantial quantity of information. It saves time because instead of taking too long in explaining something, clear gestures propel quick actions.
You can check out other examples through this link.
Why Nonverbal Communication Matters in the Workplace
Nonverbal communication has an impact on any kind of interaction. Whether you’re giving a presentation at a meeting, developing employees, or simply chatting with your coworkers in the hallway, non-verbal cues are essential.
Let’s look into some of them.
It provides clarity
Sometimes, it’s harder to say it in words. When training employees to garner performance improvement, it’s easy to get lost in all the explanations and ideas said. Nonverbal cues make it easier for employees to understand what they need to know and what they are supposed to do.
It helps understand emotions
Emotions run high even in a professional setting, but we can put these feelings into perspective. When generating perceptions of a person’s internal emotional state, factors such as a smile, a shoulder shrug, raised eyebrows, or slouched body posture are taken into account.
It identifies workplace issues
For some employees, it’s difficult to share struggles. If you encounter an employee whose performance is not up to par due to some unknown issue, you rely on actions and behaviors to determine the root cause of the underperformance.
This goes to show that nonverbal communication works both ways. You can use it yourself or you can look at how others use it.
It increases motivation
You can boost employee morale through nonverbal cues. Positive nonverbal communications, such as a smile, a pat on the back, etc., can improve employee happiness, lower absenteeism and turnover, and promote productivity.
You may read this to further learn why nonverbal communication is essential.
Nonverbal communication is crucial in how we transmit meaning, information, and feelings to others. Facial expression, eye contact, tone of voice, and gestures are just a few examples of nonverbal communication. Each one is key to enhancing the workplace culture.
When there’s clarity, understanding, problem identification, and motivation, you know that you have a great working environment. Your target of honing the knowledge and skills of employees is hit. Learning and development are achieved.
You can spread the secret – nonverbal communication is your ultimate weapon for workplace efficiency and effectiveness. You can only expect a good outcome from going beyond mere words.
If you’d like to improve your communication skills, check out my online course Communication Skills for the Global Workplace. Click here.