Non-verbal communication can simply be defined as the use of clues to communicate an idea from one audience to another. It is important to note that non-verbal communication places a greater deal of emphasis on the process of encoding and or decoding a lot more than the message itself as opposed to verbal communication. This is because non-verbal communication lends itself to the use of language beyond grammar.
The most common myth associated with body language is that it is defined by the use of signs to communicate. This is a false notion because sign language in itself is a system that has multiple complex grammar systems.
The second myth that is associated with body language is that it is dependent solely on movement. This is yet another false notion because it includes the use of multiple clues to pass on messages beyond kinesis. This means that body language also involves the absence of movement also.
If this is so, this means that we must explore what brings non-verbal communication to focus for us as receivers of non-verbal communication clues.
Non- verbal communication has been said to be more impactful than verbal communication because it allows communicators to encode messages that are culturally and sometimes emotionally appealing. Many times, non-verbal communication plays a supporting role for verbal communication by placing emphasis on certain words and even making a call to action.
Types of body language include facial expressions, gestures, body posture and eye movement. All of which are not universal. Rather, they are interpreted on a cultural basis.
Another way to put this is to say that body language is subject to cultural interpretation and sometimes, bias.
For instance, in some cultures, body contact may be perceived as a form of endearment; while in other cultures, body contact may be perceived as a sign of aggression or disrespect.
As a service provider: it is important that you and your staff are conscious of the use of positive cultural clues to communicate your business’ message effectively. Some universal non-verbal clues that are sure to keep customers positively engaged include:
- Welcoming returning and potential customers with a smile
- Respect for personal space
- Ensuring that the personal hygiene of service providers is not questionable
- Keeping personal issues or prejudices away from the workplace
- Being attentive to the social clues i.e general preference indicators
This means that service providers can consider non-verbal communication i.e. body language as the friend and make use of positive social cues to engage customers and foster a sense of endearment towards their business’, products and services.
Don’t forget to share this with your friends, employers and employees.
Please indulge us by leaving a comment. We love to know your thoughts on this too.