By non-verbal communication we mean the process of communication without using words. There are three main aspects to this.
Body language. This is by far the most important and complex. 2
It refers to all the signals
that we give to others, often without realising, by our gestures, expression and movements and by our dress and personal grooming.
Signs, symbols and logos.
Gestures and Facial
Nodding and shaking the head Contact The amount of bodily contact between people tells us a lot about their relationship
Proxemics is the study of how people use
space and movement. For example, by going to the top of the table or the highest seat you can indicate to others that you feel superior to them. Similarly, how people use your and their personal space, moving closer to people they like and away from people they dislike, is also a strong body language signal.
By this we mean the direction in which your body is facing. If you face the person who is speaking to you, you give the impression that you are listening to him/her. On the other hand, if you face away, then it looks as if you have no real interest in them.
This is one of the clearest signs of
a person's feelings or response. If you sit forward and look at the speaker, you are showing involvement and active interest.
By contrast, if you sit back looking at the floor, you are indicating boredom. 10
A person sitting with folded arms is
probably being defensive, resisting any new ideas; someone leaning back comfortably, with hands on the back of the head, seems to be thinking in a free, relaxed way, which shows trust in the other people present.
A person who stands straight is probably
confident, whereas one who walks looking down is not.
But not every posture will mean the same thing in all circumstances. Sitting on the edge of a seat, for example, can show either interest or nervousness. It is up to you to judge and interpret the meaning by looking at other signs as well.
Movement During Speech
A more general kind of non12
verbal communication concerns movement of any part of the body. If someone is constantly fidgeting with their hands, crossing their legs, tapping their feet, or drumming their fingers, it is a sure sign of nerves or agitation. Learn to recognise
The time at which you arrive
for an appointment will send signals about your attitude.
Lateness can show either disorganisation, or it may be deliberate, because you are really communicating that you regard the other person as a fairly low priority in your
This is also true if someone
else arrives for an appointment with you and you keep that person waiting.
Dress and Personal Grooming
The way in which
you dress says
a lot about the way you regard the people you are meeting. In most organisations there are
"dress codes", usually just understood but sometimes actually written down, which regulate the way that you are expected to dress when at work.
Breaking these codes can