Although we all have heard about the importance of nonverbal communication in business and in life it's important to remember that nonverbal communication is essential in the process because of its impact. It replaces, reinforces, or contradicts a verbal message and it always affects your communication skills?
The Basics Of Effective Communication
First, the nature of the term excludes the use of objects. Second, nonverbal communication is not a language. Because body language is not a precise term or exclusive for effective communication we use the term nonverbal communication because this form includes all the additional forms of communication we wish to achieve but cannot convey through our voices alone.
The Use Of Nonverbal Communication
The use of the nonverbal correctly and intelligently suggests that the sender of a message is actually sending a complete message as opposed to an incomplete message. If you were sad but didn't want to bother your coworkers or friends with your issues they might recognize your emotions through nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions, but you would tell them that you were fine and they didn't have to worry.
Assuming you really weren't fine, just sad, the recipients of your message would understand that you are going through hard times but wouldn't press you with unwanted attention.
The Importance of Effective Business Communications
In my job, as I'm sure it can be said for most professions, workers will utilize both methods of communicating at the same time. Employees will often professionalize their voices using vocalics around colleagues, superiors, and customers in an attempt to emphasize their professional demeanor. They will speak clearly and without slang to appear more professionally adept. Around customers and superiors employees will wear their finer clothes and maintain a well groomed appearance to communicate their personal and professional standards. Looking good speaks loudly to an employer as does being on time.
When communicating with customers it's not always the language that sells the product or service it's often the circumstances around the language, or the nonverbal language. Often people use nonverbal communication not to communicate directly but to emphasize their language. The use of hand gestures, touch, odor, and repetition among many other forms help to reinforce a message trying to be conveyed. In fact many cultural communications work based predominantly on the nonverbal.
Issues In Business Culture and Communications
Ironically, often these same nonverbal cues which are spoken to a customer are simultaneously being delivered to supervisors who interpret the communication in a completely different light. To them an employee who uses all methods of communication including nonverbal methods is viewed as an intelligent person in control of his or her life and a valued asset to the business culture.
In fact employees who demonstrate good tact in nonverbal communications often exude excellent ethics in business as both coworkers and customers alike understand each other better. Business ethics end up being an very important part of any institution and effective communication is sometimes all that is needed to convey integrity.