Importance of Body Language in Communication

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  • June 18, 2019
  • Personality Development
Importance of Body Language in Communication

Body Language

A firm handshake , a slight nod ,or  movement of your eyes can clearly  portray a wide range of emotion without utterance of a single word . Body language is one of the most crucial aspects of everyday communication . As the pioneer researcher of body language Albert Mehrabian has stated that  the impact of a message relayed during communication  passed on to the receiver is 7% verbal (words only) 38% vocal ( tone , inflection and other sounds)  and 55 % non verbal .

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Non-verbal skills are invaluable for professionals in getting a message across effectively as well as impactfully . Be it an interview , a negotiation or a farewell speech body language can play strong roles in relaying the content and cement the quality of your business relationships. Hence it has become a common practice for even top – level  business executives to  hire consultants or trainers to coach them in sharpening , enhancing and polishing  their non verbal communication skills. Neumorus institutes in and around Pune have included body language in their soft skills curriculum, which is actively sought by professionals young and old alike .

Effective communication takes preparation, practice, and persistence, which can be imparted through a well structured training program  and enthusiastic learning approach both of which are promoted in soft skills program of seven mentors .   Here are few checkpoints to keep in mind for effective and attractive body language .  

  • Shake that hand well .;- A handshake is a well known gesture performed on both initial greeting and departure in all business contexts and social events . A simple gesture of grasping one another’s hands can determine if you would have a dominative , submissive or equitable relationship with the other party . Not only that a firm handshake leads the person engaged in the act to interpret you as a confident and well put up individual . Initiating handshakes is also seen as a sign of good and effective leaders . Although its a widespread gesture of confidence it is advisable to not initiate the same if the person on the other hand is of higher stature in the hierarchy , instead use a small head nod as a form of greeting . Also do keep in mind that too much pressure exerted on someone’s hand may cause them pain and discomfort hence do not be too forceful.
  • Facial expressions :- Your facial expression can convey a  message even before you can utter a word  it is the most common visual cue used to send forth messages nonverbally .It can complement the message being conveyed for example , smiling broadly  while congratulating someone for their success will convey the message that you are happy for them or it can contradict the message conveyed verbally for example scowling while saying you are fine . Facial expressions convey your mood and feelings regarding  a situation understanding them and controlling them can enhance the delivery of your message
  • Arm signals and Hand gestures :-  Gestures are bodily action used to deliver unsaid messages or to add impact to the verbal message being delivered . If observed carefully you can notice that all eloquent speakers use a frequent pattern of hand gestures a recent study has revealed that hand gestures can increase the effectiveness of communication upto 60 percent . Furthermore use of hand gestures not only lets you to speak more quickly and efficiently but also helps your listeners to memorize your content, hence driving the point home .

At  the same time work on your content before speaking or else you may end up overcompensating your talk with gestures in addition to it  Keep your hand gestures closer to your body anything too far apart might come out as loud .

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  • Haptics :- Is communicating through touch , Touch can be a powerful medium to intensify the message being delivered; a pat on the shoulder to show appreciation or hand on the head of a grieving person to comfort them , or touching the elbow of a person while shaking hands can convey powerful feelings without  stating them . Nevertheless, if not administered carefully touch can offend a person easily , it can lead to negative impression or even dire consequences. 
  • Proxemics :-  Proxemics originates from the word “proximity’ which means distance. Every human being has a ‘air bubble’ around themselves which they claim as their territory or personal space . This space can be classified into four zones namely public,social, personal and intimate . We tend to let people into these zones according to the relationship we share with people . Unexpected breaches of personal space can lead to negative reactions, especially if we believe that someone has breached their space voluntarily.
  • Posture:- Posture can be used to determine a participant’s degree of attention or involvement in the process of communication . It can also bring forward, the difference in status between communicators and the level of confidence in a communicator.

Examples of bad posture include slouching, towering, jaw thrusting, crossed legs , frequent shifting of weight  and arm crossing. Where as  good posture includes standing erect and leaning forward. This creates a perception  that you are approachable, receptive and friendly

  • Eye Contact :-  Engaging in effective eye contact is a desired skill for effective communicators .Our eyes bring in the visual information we need to interpret from people’s movements, gestures, and eye contact. A communicator can use his or her eye contact to determine if an audience is engaged, confused, or bored and then adapt his or her message accordingly. Our eyes also send information to others. Engaging eye contact with others also communicates that we are paying attention and are interested in what the communicator  is saying.

Do remember these nonverbal cues can determine how effectively and correctly your message is communicated. I.e. It’s how you looked while saying it ,not what you actually said .  

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4 thoughts on “Importance of Body Language in Communication

  1. Good information ?
    It will be interesting to learn this

  2. Compact yet effective blog for beginners… I liked it… 🙂

  3. Very useful and practical points are provided in this blog and surely this is very useful for improving our body language…

  4. Thanks a lot ☺

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