What is nonverbal communication in business? More importantly, what is successful nonverbal communication? How can you improve your business communication, both in what you say and how you listen?
Can you tell even without the coworker saying a word?
If so, you have first hand experience in nonverbal communication.
Understanding Nonverbal Communication
When voice and verbalization can fail or feign, non-verbal communication is difficult to hide. Both macro and micro expressions, postural changes and body movements can and often are unspoken communications.
An example of macro expressions would be gesturing, signing (such as the OK sign in North America), and smiling (both real and fake smiles). Macro expressions are overt, easily recognizable. They are gestures like a smile, frown or inquisitive look.
Some macro expression can be unconsciously intentional or subliminal indicators of nonverbal communications. Have you ever seen someone scratch an itch in their face with the second finger while they were facing someone. Was it a subliminal message?
The micro expressions are much more difficult to see. They happen in less than a fraction of a second. To see them requires either training. A few people have the ability to see them naturally.
Both micro and macro expressions can have multiple meanings. There is a lot of conflicting information as to what some expressions mean. Effective understanding of micro expressions requires looking at the expressions in combination with other nonverbal communication in business.
Cultural differences that are open to interpretation, which makes this even more challenging.
Next, consider the aspects of nonverbal communication.