Non-verbal communication includes facial expression, tone, gestures, and touch between or among communicators. Those non-verbal signals give clues and meaning. For example, people may nod (shakes down) their heads vigorously when they say “Yes” to emphasize that they agree with each but a shrug of the shoulder and a sad facial expression when saying “1 am fine thanks” may imply that they are not really fine at all. Non-verbal communication is based on culture or custom.
Recognizing Nonverbal Communication
There are typically six types of non-verbal behaviors.
- Facial expression: By examining people’s faces, we can understand people’s feelings or emotions. If someone is sad in Nepal, generally, his face becomes black.
- Gesture and posture: It is related to body position. By examining body position, we can determine people’s feelings. Gestures and posture reveal people’s confidence, nervousness, assertiveness, talent, intention, etc.
- Vocal characteristics: A speaker can intentionally control his tone, pitch, intonation, etc. Such information helps the audience to know his desire and intention.
- Personal appearance: It is related to the physical appearance of the body or face. It is somehow a mixture of both facial expressions and gestures.
- Touch: Touch helps to convey the message of comfort, relaxation, love, hate, and affection. If a manager hugs an employee, an employee feels happy. Here hugging (touch) is also non-verbal behavior.
- Time and space: Like touch, time and space allow us to understand intimacy, closeness, etc. As a manager speaks in the meeting, peon stays at door. There certainly happens far distance. It clearly shows the junior and senior environments. If we see two couples walking in twilight, it indicates that they are happy. If we see them near the funeral fire, we guess that they are in a sad mood.
Using Non-verbal Communication Effectively
Non-verbal communication is important in the workforce because it affects the work environment. When you communicate non-verbally, you can expose how you feel. If your non-verbal communication is negative, it makes your co-workers uncomfortable. To improve your non-verbal skills, you must first identify the areas where you are talking. If you give a presentation at work, you should establish eye contact with the audience. It tells your audience that you have confidence in what you are presenting. Similarly, the facial expression is universal. This tells people that you are happy, sad, or in a good mood. It also creates an atmosphere of warmth and friendliness. Likewise, you should also pay attention to your proximity. For example, a person who is behaving aggressively is probably standing very close to the person. In meetings, you should maintain your posture. For example, swinging your leg back and forth while sitting in a meeting tells that you are impatient, bored, and uninterested.