Non verbal communication
I have already explained what non-verbal communication is in my previous article on body language.
We have seen how non-verbal communication is one of the three components of communication and it is linked to body and facial mimicry.
In practice, we speak of non-verbal communication when the message we “communicate” comes from our body and not from words.
It is not important if we speak with a single person or to an entire audience, everything that is transposed through our gestures, our body, posture, facial expression, from our clothing, all this is precisely part of body communication or non-verbal.
If we also add to the body language aspects such as the quality of the voice, the way of speaking and characteristics such as rhythm and intonation – excluding only the spoken words more – then we will speak more generally of non-verbal signals.
Why non-verbal language is so important
Let’s think about what happens to ourselves. When someone speaks to us, we obviously pay attention to the words spoken by our interlocutor, but the judgment we make derives more from non-verbal signals than from words.
And this happens automatically without our realizing it. Non-verbal languages are a very powerful form of communication that takes place on an unconscious level and which would be a very serious mistake to ignore or underestimate.
All clear so far? Of course it’s clear – you’re thinking – all things already known!
It is true they are concepts that even those who have never studied communication will have heard at least once. But then a question arises:
why when we speak, especially in situations of a certain importance, do we pay attention to the words we say and do not pay any attention to our non-verbal communication?!?
And yes, because non-verbal messages are valid even when we are the ones who speak.
When they judge us shy, lively, introverted, extroverted or do not believe it, it is not certain for what we said but for how we said it in verbal language.
All of this is even more true when you are in tension like during an exam, a job interview or when managing an important negotiation.
Non-verbal communication: mistakes to avoid
Here are 7 classic non-verbal communication errors to avoid. Read, study and try to analyze yourself during your next communications. Are you also subject to these attitudes of body language?
67% OF PEOPLE DURING A JOB INTERVIEW DOES NOT ESTABLISH AN EYE CONTACT WITH THE INTERVIEWER.
Looking each other in the eye during a conversation is an indication of respect and interest in what others say.
This does not mean that you have to stare at the other for the duration of the conversation, we will appear too confident (demonstrating a superiority complex) and the opposite effect would be obtained by making the other person feel uncomfortable.
On the other hand, looking little at our interlocutor can mean insecurity, shyness or worse still little interest.
Keeping eye contact steadily and frequently, especially while the other person is speaking, is the best solution and indicates active and interested listening.
47% OF PEOPLE NEVER SMILE DURING A JOB INTERVIEW.
Yet we know well that people who smile are perceived more positively than those who don’t smile.
Smiling has a positive influence on both the perception that others have of us, and for ourselves since when we smile our brain releases endorphins and this makes us feel good.
33% OF PEOPLE DURING AN INTERVIEW HAVE A BAD POSTURE.
Staying straight indicates availability, attention, presence of spirit. This does not mean that you have to be upright, the secret is to try to be as relaxed as possible but without bending your shoulders and torso.
26% OF PEOPLE HAVE A WEAK HAND.
In the sphere of non-verbal communication, an important role is played by handshakes. We all have had different experiences; there will have been times when the handshake has been so strong that it hurts us, other times enveloping and other times weak with the soft hand.
The latter almost always indicates weakness and immediately leaves a bad impression.
Playing with hair
21% PLAY WITH HAIR OR NERVOUSLY TOUCH THE FACE.
Nervously touching your hair, twisting it around your fingers, can be a sign of tension, of interest or simply of boredom.
It depends on the situation but most of the time it is interpreted – especially in formal communications – as insecurity and nervousness. Better to avoid.
21% CROSS THE ARMS ON THE CHEST DURING LISTENING.
Even if sometimes we fold our arms only because it turns out to be a comfortable position, the impression we give is that of closure as if we applied a defensive shield between us and our interlocutor.
Better to keep your arms naturally at your sides.
9% USE TOO MUCH MANY HANDICRAFT.
Gesturing with your hands can be an art for some. We Italians are famous worldwide for our gesture.
But each gesture must have its own meaning and must visually reinforce what we are saying in words.
Shaking hands continuously and quickly while speaking indicates insecurity and nervousness.
Communication and non-verbal language, conclusion
We all communicate and communication is always a two-way process.
We communicate with our employees with customers and suppliers, with recruiters at a job interview, with their parents, with their partner.
A correct and conscious non-verbal language could lead to an assumption, promotion, personal success and in all cases to live a better life.
So the next time you face an important communication, prepare yourself and remember to take care not so much of what you say but how you say it and avoid the above errors.
Non-verbal Communication and Personal Development
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