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Non-verbal Communication

November 06, 2012
Group owner Richard Martine

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Non-verbal Communication

By: Richard Martine   Post Date : November 06, 2012
Communicating on a one-to-one basis or to a group of people is something we usually do everyday. Most of us take for granted that what we say is received and understood by the listener. That is not always the case. One of the reasons for this is the fact that how you say something - the non-verbal communications or the wordless signals that you send - can often conflict with the message you are trying to impart. This is particularly important to understand since research has conclusively shown that the majority of our interpersonal communication (person to person or persons) is non-verbal. The non-verbal communications of the sender and receiver experience can gives instant feedback to both parties regarding the effectiveness of the verbal message.

Understanding the complexity and variations of non-verbal communications will (1) enable you to better understand the inter-personal communication that is being sent to you including their emotions, (2) enable you to send verbal communications that the receiver fully understands, and (3) reduce the psychological distance between the sender and receiver. It is also important to understand that non-verbal communications can enhance the desire of the listener to connect with your message and can build or enhance a level of trust and interest between you and the listener. Conversely, your non-verbal communications can create in the listener a sense of confusion, disinterest and/or distrust.

Among the elements of non-verbal communications are:

* Body language (kinesics) - posture, leaning forward to listen more intently, slouching, looking away, etc.

* Gestures/movement- hands, arms and legs

* Facial expression a smile, frown, open mouth, furrowed brow, etc.

* Eye contact - making eye contact with the person or persons you are speaking to will enhance your credibility, help to build rapport, etc.

* Odor - the smells, fragrances that emanate from you

* Para-language - sighs, grunts, other non-verbal sounds

* Proxemics - the distance between yourself and the listener(s)

* Voice dynamics - tone, pitch, rhythm, timbre. Volume, inflection, etc.

* Adornment - your manner of dress and accessories

* Physical contact/touch - deliberately or inadvertently touching the person your are communication with

In today's competitive job environment it is important to remember that as soon as you enter the interviewer's office your non-verbal communications are being evaluated. If the interviewer senses a disconnect between what you say and how you say it your chances of getting an offer of employment will be severely limited.

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