Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Nonverbal Communication Makes the Difference!
Good communication skills can help you in both your personal and professional life. While verbal and written communication skills are important, research has shown that nonverbal behaviors make up a large percentage of our daily interpersonal communication.
According to Albert Mehrabian’s research, 7% of what we communicate to others is the result of the words we say or the context of the communication; 38% of our communication to others is a result of verbal behavior which includes tone of voice, timbre, tempo and volume; 55% of our communication to others is a result of our nonverbal communication – our body posture, breathing, eye contact, facial expressions, and movement. The value of Mehrabian research relates to communications where emotional content is significant, and the need to understand it properly is high. This is often applicable in management and business, where motivation and attitude have a crucial effect on outcomes.
Try these three ways to improve communication:
1) Be aware of non verbal signals.Pay attention to body movements, gestures, facial expressions, and tone of voice. These signals send important information not carried in the words said.
2) Pay attention if the words and nonverbal behaviors do not match. Research has shown that when words fail to match up with nonverbal signals, people tend to ignore what has been said and focus on nonverbal expressions of moods, thoughts, and emotions. For example, someone might tell you they are happy while frowning and staring at the ground. You are not likely to believe what was said!
3) Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you are confused by the words and signals.
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