Non-verbal Communication & its Cues:
In the present globalized world it is incumbent upon everyone to have effective communication skills in order to compete with others. Effective communication skills constitute both the verbal and non-verbal signals. Verbal Communication refers to the communication which occurs with the help of words whereas Non-verbal communication refers to the type of communication that does not use words. As a matter of fact, non-verbal communication plays a significant role in our daily life. Surprisingly, more than 90% of all the communication we use every day while sharing information is supported by body language. Hence to become better communicator one should pay attention not only to the verbal communication but also to the body language and non-verbal cues of others. The present article discusses different forms of non-verbal communication in addition to its importance.
Non-verbal communication is ancient and universal. Non-verbal communication skills are a vital part of our everyday lives. Candidly speaking we communicate with much more than words while interacting with others. In the process we continuously give and receive countless wordless signals. Non-verbal cues play a significant role in every transaction of human communications. According to the studies by UCLA professor Albert Mehrabian, body language accounts for 55% of a first impression; 38% comes from tone of voice; 7% comes from our actual words. Hence one should have vivid idea about different cues of non-verbal communication and we should take care of these cues while passing or receiving them.
Non-verbal cues include gestures, eye contact, posture, facial expression, space, attire, appearance, distance and mannerisms etc. In this present article of mine I have discussed only four important non-verbal cues namely - gestures, eye contact, posture and facial expression.
1. Eye contact: Robert Whiteside describes eyes as ‘the windows of our souls and mirrors of our hearts’. Our eyes will convey the truest and sincere feelings while talking to others. People who do not maintain proper eye contact in the interactions will be suspected of being secretive. Hence, we must maintain eye contact while listening to someone. This will indicate that you are paying attention to what the person is speaking. As a result of this, effective communication is possible without any hurdles.
2. Gestures: another non-verbal cue is gestures. It refers to the use of fingers, hands, and arms for expression. Without using appropriate gestures a speaker cannot create a good impression in the minds of his listeners. It is important to remember that the gestures should be natural. Be always sure that your gestures are consistent with the verbal message and there is no contradiction at all between these two.
3. Posture: this is considered another component of non-verbal communication. Your posture talks about your personality. By looking at your posture the people will form an opinion in their minds about yourself that what sort of person you actually is – bold, confident and dynamic person or timid, submissive and servile fellow. Always have an eye on your body postures and correct them if they are not appropriate.
4. Facial expression: it is said that the face is the index of the mind. Whatever we think and feel in our heart and in mind may be found on our faces by the opposite people who are interacting with us. Facial expressions reveal our feelings and emotions. Having a cheerful smile on your face will surely give positive signals in the interactions. Do not forget one thing – your facial expression and verbal message should match with each other so as to avoid misunderstandings.