Nonverbal communication is essential to successful relationships in the workplace - these silent signals have the potential to offer contradiction or clarity when interacting with coworkers.
There are many methods and approaches to both understand and translate information. It is impossible for humans to say absolutely nothing. We are always saying something. It is useful to observe and to understand what is being conveyed. Since effective communication is determined by nonverbal cues, it is critical to understand what's not being said.
In many situations people say what they think intellectually rather than what they feel emotionally. There is some truth in the old cliché "actions speak louder than words." Body language, carefully observed and interpreted, can tell a lot about what others are feeling. Nonverbal communication is learned and practiced often on an unconscious level.
Nonverbal communication is the art of giving or exchanging information without using any spoken words and includes gestures, facial expressions, body language, posture and glances. As is the case with verbal communication, nonverbal communication and body language are open to misinterpretation and must be understood within the framework of one's lifestyle, family, cultural background and other factors that may be vague or unclear. It is important to note that these factors influence both how people encode nonverbal messages as well as decode them.
What Does it Mean?
-- Head Held High
-- Picking Lint
-- Hands on Hips
Head nodding or tilting your head to the side shows interest, active listening, and concern. A head held up indicates confidence, however, if the head is held too high, it can indicate aloofness or a patronizing attitude, for example, looking down your nose at someone. Picking lint off of clothing, whether or not this particular behavior is conscience or unconscious can be an indication that the person disagrees with you but can't be bothered to argue. And finally, hands on your hips can convey a defiant attitude or standing with hands on hips, feet apart, and head tilted can represent a readiness or cooperative spirit.
In the workplace if you want to improve your body language or nonverbal communication make yourself comfortable with the other person. Avoid being too close or too far away physically. In our culture that space is about two feet. Be relaxed and attentive. To gain acceptance with the other person you want to communicate with, lean slightly toward the other person. Avoid slouching or sitting rigidly. Maintain frequent eye contact but avoid staring, glaring, or looking away. Give nonverbal communication while the other is talking, such as a simple nod of approval. Keep your gestures smooth and unobtrusive. You don't want to let your gestures compete for attention with your word.