Nonverbal communication is responsible for more than 55% of the total communication that we do in our day-to-day lives.
On the other hand, written and oral communications get their fair share from the rest of 45%.
Here, you must understand that the world of non-verbal communication goes beyond our ‘body language’. It is a form of ‘silent communication’ in which an idea, information, thought process, inclinations, or preferences are shown through facial expressions, gestures, postures, and other non-verbal means.
In this post, we will delve into the world of Non-verbal Communication to understand how significant it is in our personal as well as professional lives. We will also talk about different forms of non-verbal communication and how you can use them adeptly to optimize favorable outcomes in your life.
So, let us get started right away-
What is Non-Verbal Communication?
Do you know our laugher or giggling is the most common type of non-verbal communication?
It can be seen as an internal state that communicates satisfaction or the presence of bliss inside.
Such sorts of expressions permit others to feel your non-verbal articulation of delight.
Hence, different forms of expressions that we do through our gestures, postures, expressions, etc. without using any verbal means are understood as non-verbal communication.
Many specialists disclose that in our different forms of communications, just 7% is dictated by verbal forms, while the tone of your voice dictates 38% while a full 55% originates from absolutely nonverbal signals.
Let us now dive deeper into the world of non-verbal communication and understand why it is important-
Why Non-Verbal Communication Is Very Important
Till now you must have understood that non-verbal communication is nothing but silent communication.
When we talk about communication, it is a form of demonstration where information and ideas are traded through words known as verbal correspondence or by outward appearances, stances, signals, manners of speaking, and so forth.
Generally, we all use nonverbal signs while talking to someone.
This starts from the adolescence, or even from the time when we could not talk, as we used to speak with our hands.
While talking about non-verbal signals while communicating, Paul Ekman (an American psychologist and professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco who is reputed as the pioneer in the study of emotions and their relation to facial expressions) once said-
“Body Language and in particular facial expressions communicate more powerful than words.”
The facts confirm that when we convey our thoughts, it is the unique combination of verbal and nonverbal forms of communication.
For instance, while chatting with somebody, we speak a lot through our facial expressions.
We grin, glare, feel tragic, or become angry. – All such expressions give an idea about our thought process.
That is why; it is suggested to be mindful of our expressions, as the side-effect of the wrong expression may lead to some sorts of misconceptions that may prompt negativity.
Let us have a look upon some of the different examples of non-verbal expressions and their role in our personal as well as professional lives-
Examples of Non-Verbal Communication from our Daily Lives
In our day to day lives, non-verbal communication comes in play so many times. Let us refresh those memories here and now-
1. Waving Farewell, A handshake, Use of Eyes, Nodding, etc.
Such expressions are one of the most common examples of non-verbal communication.
Waving farewell, shaking hands, pointing fingers, and warning somebody by lifting your hand, are some of the hand signals which require no words. However, all such expressions are non-verbally connected.
Eyes likewise talk by giving a furious look, shy feelings, curious look, and sly look and so on. Gesturing your head is additionally used to hand-off a yes or no.
Even toddlers while figuring out how to talk utilize numerous nonverbal signals to let us understand their needs. So, all such gestures are quite crucial in giving non-verbal signals.
A stance to sit and walk likewise imparts a demeanor.
How we walk or how we cross our legs speaks a lot about our personalities.
You must have noticed that if an individual bends forward while shaking hands, it is understood that he is humble and has good etiquettes.
2. Use of Touches as a non-verbal signal
Use of ‘Touches’ is likewise a medium associated with nonverbal signals.
It is one of the very common practices which have been utilized to convey feelings identified with warmth, compassion, and so forth.
The most common instance of this the responses of newborn babies, as they perceive their mother, father, and other close members through their ‘touches’.
You must have noticed that when any stranger attempts to hold the baby, the infant begins crying. While on the other hand, when the mother puts her hand on the baby’s chest, it gives the baby the feeling of security and wellbeing.
So, touches are also one of the prominent forms of verbal communication that get practices in our regular lives.
3. Role of Appearances in nonverbal communication
We all have heard the saying that “the first impression is the last impression”.
So, our appearances are also quite crucial in giving non-verbal signals.
The colors that we choose, the kind of clothes we wear along with haircuts, stances and so on mirror our character.
That is why; we see that at different workplaces, staffs have a dress code.
In an interview, the shade of your garment says about your tendencies, walking style tells about your certainty, plus, your eyes and facial expressions talk about nervousness, anxiety, or confidence.
That is why; non-verbal communication skills are considered one of the most important features of personality development programs.
The use of tones while speaking to someone is also quite crucial in creating an impact upon the audiences. Delicate-tone, Shouting-tone, Slow-tone, and Grumbling-tones give a ton of importance to our nonverbal conduct.
Also, the interior or exterior of your office, staff appearance, amenities, and facilities, etc. work as the significant non-verbal signals. That is why businesses around the world pay heed upon such features to create a good impression upon others.
This optimizes the chances of getting favorable outcomes in our lives.
After going through different forms of expressions, postures, and gestures that work as a non-verbal signal in our daily lives, let us now have a look upon some of the most common types of non-verbal communication-
Types of Non-Verbal Communication
Such types of nonverbal are again integral to our day by day lives.
The way we use our hand or head for expressing an idea or meaning, it is understood as our gestures.
These gestures are not universal and their meaning may differ in different parts of the world. That is why being aware of the right gestures is very important if you want to get favorable outcomes from your nonverbal communication.
2. Posture and Body Movement
This is again a very common type of verbal communication, as we all used to get influenced by how anyone sits or moves or stands etc.
Our body movements and postures impart an abundance of data about our behavioral inclinations to the world.
Such type of nonverbal signals comprises all your physical movements along with sitting and walking stances while communicating with others.
3. Facial Expression
Do you know what the best part of our face is?
They are incredibly expressive and hence, with our facial expressions, we can pass on endless feelings without saying a word. This is why it was one of the most common examples of non-verbal signals in our day-to-day lives.
Furthermore, expressions of our faces equally recognized all over the world similarly.
So, expressions for bliss, misery, outrage, shock, anger and nauseate are the equivalent across societies all across the globe.
4. Eye to eye connection
Do you want to develop an instant connection with your listener?
Your eyes can do this for you like so smoothly like butter.
We all know that our visual sense is predominant in influencing our thought processes. – And that is why; eye contact is understood as a significant kind of nonverbal correspondence.
The manner in which you make eye contact with somebody can convey numerous things, including interest, fondness, threatening vibe, or fascination. Eye to eye connection is likewise significant in keeping up the progression of your interaction with anyone.
5. Personal Space
Have you at any point felt awkward during a discussion because of the closure with the other person?
If yes then you are well aware of this type of nonverbal communication.
Giving respect to other’s personal space is quite crucial in giving non-verbal signals.
However, personal space varies as per the relationship you have with your listener.
So, you should know the skill of utilizing personal space to convey various nonverbal messages, including signs of closeness and warmth, animosity, or courtesy.
In addition to these 5 types of non-verbal communication, your touch and voice-tone are also quite crucial in giving the right signals to your listener. By adeptly using these non-verbal signals, you can make or break your relations.
So, use them wisely and increase the number of favorable outcomes in your life.
Either you want to compliment or contradict or repeat your message, non-verbal communication signals can help you in the most effective manner possible.
Do you want to learn the best ways to use Non-Verbal Skills to support your words?
Then let us go through some of the best non-verbal communication skills that you can use for powering up your workplace communication-How to Use Non-Verbal Communication to optimize the impact of your Words
Pinky is an MBA in Marketing from the University of Mumbai. She loves helping people out in learning Marketing and sharing latest ideas and tactics for growing businesses.