Importance of non-verbal communication

Eyes talk. Non-verbal communication is nothing but all about your ability to relate to another human being and set up a meaningful interaction. Understanding how people picturise your intention while you talk is crucial and how it differs from what you want them to picture is vital.

With this blog, let us understand the importance of non-verbal communication.

Why are Communication Skills highly in demand?

There is a widespread phrase-” Actions speak louder than words ” Apart from doing what you say, it is suggested to display your emotions appropriately in your speech for good communication. We generally display non verbal signals unconsciously without the usage of verbal communication. Having reasonable control over both can make you a master of your speech.

Most of us think communication is about talking fluently and using the correct words, but it’s not. For the first impression, psychology says it hardly matters what the person is talking about. It is the nonverbal communication skills that come into play while speaking to someone.
Most experts agree that 70% to 93% of communication is done in nonverbal signals.

Types of communication

Conveying your intentions through words is called verbally communicating or verbal communication. It includes asking questions and telling answers using language as a medium. Further, it is classified into oral and written communication.

1. Verbal communication –

  • Following are some categories of verbal communication:-
  • Face-to-face conversation
  • Over the telephone
  • Video calls on zoom, skype, google meet, etc.
  • Content writing
  • Chatting/messaging/texting
  • Presentations
  • Public speech
  • Elevator speech
  • Texting/chatting is also a part of verbal communication as it involves the usage of words and phrases to converse.

2. Non verbal communication –

  • Conveying your intentions without words. This is where body language comes into play. Non-verbal communication includes-
  • Facial expressions
  • Smiles
  • Voice tone
  • Eye contact
  • Posture
  • Hand gestures
  • Head movements
  • uSpeek provides you self-assessments & instant reports on scores of the number of times you made eye contact with the camera/audience, gestures, speed of your speech, tone of your voice, power of your words, movements you create, good and poor posture, facial expressions and many more body language parameters.

3. Visual communication –

  • Visual communication is achieved with the help of:
  • Images
  • Pictographs
  • Infographic
  • Visual representation of data
  • Videos

4. Listening-

last but significant form of communication.

Active listening is the key to successful communication along with verbal and nonverbal messages. The most effective way of communicating is through your ears.

Remember that nature has given us two ears to listen more and one mouth to speak less!
Listening skills are influencing skills that define a personality. So don’t forget to listen every time you are about to speak.

Non-verbal communication- significance

Sometimes, words are not enough.

Empathy works better. For example, there is a situation where you don’t know what to say, but if you know well how to act and empathize, and it comes naturally, you own the day!

Almost all non-verbal communication skills are our subconscious reflexes. Therefore, in order to get what we desire, our nonverbal behaviors play a significant role.

Listening to the unsaid pretty much sums up the importance of non-verbal communication.

  • It is helpful to overcome cultural and language barriers.
  • No discrimination is involved; for instance, nonverbal signals, hand gestures, and facial expressions never get biased with literacy rate, differently abled, hearing disability, etc.
  • One step closer to building trust with the other person than using words for the same.
  • Workplace efficiency goes up.
  • It adds value to verbal communication.

Did you know the 7-38-55% communication rule?

The famous thinker: Albert Mehrabian believed that the impact of non-verbal communication is often misunderstood, so he conducted a hypothesis back in 1967 with the help of 30 undergraduate students to test their understanding of positive language – liking, neutral language- neutrality, and negative language – disliking.

The study made them listen to an audio of 9 words having different voice tones other words. Their responses concluded that voice tone is a more robust measure of emotion than the literal meaning of the word itself.
He created the formula as follows:-

Total liking = 7% verbal liking + 38% vocal liking + 55% facial liking

Empathetic gestures in non-verbal communication

Empathy is a critical element of non-verbal communication skills. It not only refers to understanding how others feel but also appreciating it genuinely. How to become an empathetic personality by heart?

  • By putting a change to nonverbal behaviors like facial expressions, eye contact, body movements, etc
  • By avoiding displaying mixed feelings and hurting others’ feelings.
  • By getting in touch and being sensitive to other people’s emotions.
  • By noticing the unsaid.
  • By respecting other people’s opinions.
  • By caring about how they might feel.
  • By expressing feelings and facts from the other person’s point of view.

Examples of empathetic gestures and facial expressions:

1. Brow talk- Raising eyebrows while making eye contact.

2. Handshakes, smiles, and positive facial expressions.

3. Make a clone out of another person’s body language if needed to make them feel comfortable.

4. Relax your face and shoulders before entering the room.

5. Be omnipresent and express non-verbal signals.

Here are some words or phrases you might rephrase while talking professionally at your organization.
‘My weakness’ can be switched to ‘My areas of development are..’

The word problem is itself a problem and creates a negative vibe in the conversation so try using ‘possible options or solutions’ instead of that if you can come up with something else. If not, the issue just needs to be worked upon. But never use ‘problem’ in your explanation.

Many think using ‘constructive criticism’ is an optimistic approach; however, it can be improvised to ‘growth.’

‘Facing many hurdles’ is similar to ‘the problem is.’ Make it lean towards a positive side by saying, ‘Facing challenges.’

The word ‘situation’ is much more neutral as compared to ‘Bad news.’
Try mixing your non-verbal skills with appropriate words for achieving effective communication.

Usage of ‘I’ statements

‘I understand your concern’ sounds much more empathetic than ‘understandable’ in nonverbal communications.
Using I statements depicts your opinion powerfully, giving it a personal touch. It transmits assertiveness, self-confidence, and respect. For instance: ‘I respect your opinion,, but I think …’. For a positive relationship, it is essential to be self-assertive. This way, you will take care of yourself and others as well.

Basic statistics of communication

In a business environment, 70% of your time is spent communicating with others. Other skills are worth it, but how will they matter if you cannot communicate well?
Let us look at these statistics:

  • ~50% is spent reading, writing, and responding to emails. If you are efficient here, half of your stress is released then and there.
  • ~10% is spent in meetings. There comes a different level of anxiety when they schedule a meeting tomorrow, and you’re a speaker. Isn’t it?
  • ~10% is spent presenting, one-on-one reviews, calls, etc. Presentations can impact your day or sometimes a whole week.

You ought to be effective in attending interactive meetings, responding to and initiating emails, and giving your reviews, calls, and presentations to do well. All this comes under the gambit of communication.

For starters, we have a free web app, uSpeek. Don’t wait to start your free trial. We recommend you register and start getting personalized and contextualized feedback today. Within days you will see yourself improving; thus, your career graph rising.

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