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Non-Verbal Communication in Business

ArticleID 126  
Writer Isaac Thuku
Category Personal Article


Non-verbal behavior has a significant impact on human communication. It is estimated that two thirds of the perceived meaning in any communication situation is likely to be stimulated by non-verbal messages. On average, ninety three per cent of the meaning in interpersonal communication comes from non-verbal messages.

Communication doesn't consist of the transmission of meaning. Meanings are not transferred. Only messages are transmittable, meaning is not in the message; it is in the message user. Mostly, the information relayed to employees from the upper level management gets misinterpreted. The biggest reason is that the non-verbal message relayed doesn't correspond with the verbal message. Non-verbal messages need to be evaluated for them to relate directly with employee productivity in this communication era. Many people have misinterpreted a message in one way or another.

Managers, employees and team members usually send messages to those around them. The success of communication in an organization depends on how well managers, employees and teams can read non-verbal messages.

Non-verbal communication is responsible for more than half of the meaning of a sender’s total message and that when the language, para language and non-verbal codes conflicting messages, people tend to pay even more attention to the non-verbal communication. There is a reciprocal quality to non-verbal communication; the habits of posture, gesture and touch of one person tend to prompt similar acts from others thereby improving rapport and decreasing awkwardness. Effective use of non-verbal communication will make others comply with your requests. Research shows that sixty to seventy percent of the interpersonal communication involved in effective sales is non-verbal.

Facial expression for such emotions as happiness, surprise, sadness, anger and fear are fairly universal. The meaning of most non-verbal messages depends on the culture in which they occur. Nodding the head in the U.S. means agreement while in Bulgaria it means disagreement. There are many types of non-verbal communication, provided they drive the message home.

Facial expressions and eye contacts can be used to show the emotions of an individual. Raised or lowered eyebrows, nervous tics, clenched teeth and tensed lips give clues to a person’s feeling, enabling us to improve communication. It is very professional and respectful to look people on the eyes when talking to them. Lack of eye contact is regarded as disinterest or disrespectful.

Movements and gestures of other parts of the body dictate what someone is thinking. Poor posture can indicate boredom or dislike. How someone stands can indicate his level of self confidence or his current mood. A handshake shows friendliness and generosity. Gestures and body movements also include emblems. Emblems are intentional body movements and gestures.

How people wear can directly show what type of people they are. Clothing can determine one’s status, credibility and persuasiveness. In this era of modern technology, business dressing has changed depending from one company to another although many people prefer casual wear. Clothing has been largely involved with employee productivity, ego and behavior. Many businesses have a specific dressing code which distinguishes them form others.

Non-Verbal Communication in Business
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