The success of every business depends on how well it communicates with its clients, partners, and shareholders. Poor communication between your business and other parties is likely to result in lost opportunities that could cost you millions. While most people tend to generally focus on verbal communication it’s important to note that the non-verbal aspect is equally as important and should not be neglected.
What Makes Nonverbal Communication so Powerful?
Communication specialists often say that verbal communication accounts for only 7% of all communication, and that 93% is wordless and stems from one’s tone and body language. This is true because whenever you interact with others you’re always sending wordless signals through your posture, facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, and intonation. These signals can either help you build trust and attract people to you; or they can confuse your audience and undermine the message you’re trying to convey.
This is why understanding non-verbal communication is very important. It helps you strengthen your communication skills by ensuring what comes out of your mouth is in sync with what you’re communicating through your body language. Here are 4 benefits of mastering non-verbal communication:
1. You Become Better at Reading Emotions
This mostly happens through facial expressions. With the right training you can be able to detect the onset of boredom, apathy, sadness, fear, happiness, or even anger and use this information to steer the conversation towards the result you want. The expressions for these emotions are the same across all cultures so you only have to learn them once.
2. It Becomes Easier to Detect and De-escalate Tension
In any business meeting there are likely to be disagreements from time to time. However, some disagreements can gradually escalate into intense quarrels that can end up disrupting the harmony of the workplace. By learning how to pick up subtle body movements and posture changes you can be able to detect any rising tensions and quickly de-escalate the energy to avoid strife.
3. You Become Better at Complementing Your Verbal Messages
This is important if you’re looking to create a strong first impression with your clients and prospects. For instance you can learn how to use good eye contact in first encounters, coupled with a firm handshake, to portray confidence when you greet clients. You can also learn the appropriate gestures to incorporate in your dialogue to complement your speech, and also learn how to avoid common distracting mannerisms such as playing with your hair, fidgeting, scratching, wringing your hands, and so forth, that dilute your message.
4. You Become Better at Detecting Lies
You already have an inherent ability to decode some nonverbal communication. You’ll know to keep your distance when someone moves towards you with a clenched fist. You’ll also tell if someone’s smile is genuine. With practice, you can decode more nonverbal cues to know their exact meaning. This helps you to detect when someone is lying. For example, you’ll know it’s not right when someone says yes but shakes their head from right to left.
The most accurate body part however to help you detect lies is the feet. The feet have been shown to reveal more because they are not easy to control and manipulate like gestures and eye contact. During conversations, the feet are also usually out of view so people don’t tend to focus on them as much. If you suspect you’re dealing with a person with no integrity then learning how to interpret leg motions during your conversations can provide you with a lot of insight about the quality of the information that you’re being fed.