Types of nonverbal communication and body language: Part Two

There are many different types of nonverbal communication. Together, the following nonverbal signals and cues communicate your interest and investment in others.

Facial expressions

The human face is extremely expressive, able to express countless emotions without saying a word. And unlike some forms of nonverbal communication, facial expressions are universal. The facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust are the same across cultures.

Body movements and posture

Consider how your perceptions of people are affected by the way they sit, walk, stand up, or hold their head. The way you move and carry yourself communicates a wealth of information to the world. This type of nonverbal communication includes your posture, bearing, stance, and subtle movements.

Gestures

Gestures are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. We wave, point, beckon, and use our hands when we’re arguing or speaking animatedly—expressing ourselves with gestures often without thinking. However, the meaning of gestures can be very different across cultures and regions, so it’s important to be careful to avoid misinterpretation.

Eye contact

Since the visual sense is dominant for most people, eye contact is an especially important type of nonverbal communication. The way you look at someone can communicate many things, including interest, affection, hostility, or attraction. Eye contact is also important in maintaining the flow of conversation and for gauging the other person’s response.

Touch

We communicate a great deal through touch. Think about the messages given by the following: a firm handshake, a timid tap on the shoulder, a warm bear hug, a reassuring pat on the back, a patronizing pat on the head, or a controlling grip on your arm.

Space

Have you ever felt uncomfortable during a conversation because the other person was standing too close and invading your space? We all have a need for physical space, although that need differs depending on the culture, the situation, and the closeness of the relationship. You can use physical space to communicate many different nonverbal messages, including signals of intimacy, aggression, dominance, or affection.

Voice

We communicate with our voices, even when we are not using words. Nonverbal speech sounds such as tone, pitch, volume, inflection, rhythm, and rate are important communication elements. When we speak, other people “read” our voices in addition to listening to our words. These nonverbal speech sounds provide subtle but powerful clues into our true feelings and what we really mean. Think about how tone of voice, for example, can indicate sarcasm, anger, affection, or confidence.

As always,

Stay classy, readers!

Posted in Nonverbal Ques and Body Language | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Power of Nonverbal Communication and Body Language: Part One

Nonverbal communication, or body language, is a vital form of communication. When we interact with others, we continuously give and receive countless wordless signals. All of our nonverbal behaviors—the gestures we make, the way we sit, how fast or how loud we talk, how close we stand, how much eye contact we make—send strong messages.

The way you listen, look, move, and react tell the other person whether or not you care and how well you’re listening. The nonverbal signals you send either produce a sense of interest, trust, and desire for connection—or they generate disinterest, distrust, and confusion.

Nonverbal communication cues can play five roles:

  • Repetition: they can repeat the message the person is making verbally
  • Contradiction: they can contradict a message the individual is trying to convey
  • Substitution: they can substitute for a verbal message. For example, a person’s eyes can often convey a far more vivid message than words and often do
  • Complementing: they may add to or complement a verbal message. A boss who pats a person on the back in addition to giving praise can increase the impact of the message
  • Accenting: they may accent or underline a verbal message. Pounding the table, for example, can underline a message.

Next time we will finish up discussing types of nonverbal communication and body language.

Until then,

Stay classy, readers!

Posted in Nonverbal Ques and Body Language | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Seven Verbal Communication Skills: Part 2

As discussed last week, we are focusing today’s blog on the next four ways to have successful…

4. Be clear: More often than not, people hear and perceive things differently. Therefore, you should ask them “Did I explain this clearly?”

5. Compromise: There are always ways to decrease the tension associated with conflict. For example, if you ask “What is in the best interest of the team as a whole?” it would allow people to have different perspectives on your request, and they will be less likely to take any conflict personally.

6. Be interesting and interested: Even though most of your professional communications will be business related topics, it is essential to share your personal side. Let your peers and supervisors know about your interest and your family and be courteous enough to ask them about theirs. Allowing them to see into your experiences by sharing a few short personal stories will make them feel more connect to you as a person.

7. Listen: Listening is one of the main ways to demonstrate your respect for your peers and supervisors.  I’m not saying that it is easy, because everyone tends to have other things on their minds.  One of the most effective ways to help you better concentrate would be to keep a good eye contact without seeming creepy or staring. Also be sure to make a comment or ask a question about what they are saying to show them that you paid attention.

Remember that communication is the key to success in everyday life as well as a professional setting.

Once Again… Stay classy, readers!

Posted in Effective ways to communicate | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Seven Verbal Communication Skills

Effective communication in a professional setting cannot be underestimated.  Managers and supervisors recognize this and put forth an effort to avoid conflict and negativity in the workplace. Two of the most common communication barriers that we as college students face are: not being aware of effective communication skills and being in a hurry. Due to the fact that effective communication in a professional setting is essential to our success in our future professions, it makes sense to improve our communication skills.

On the bright side, we can learn some basic communication skills and use them today to improve the quality of our professional relationships with both professors and peers as well as future coworkers and customers.

According to Dr. John Daly, a communications professor at The University of Texas, there are seven communication skills for a professional setting: personal contact, develop a network, always be cordial, be clear, compromise, be interesting and interested, and most importantly listen.

1. Personal Contact: This allows for people to better understand you and where you are coming from. For example many companies find it is more effective to spend the extra money on sending sales representatives across the country rather than making a phone call. People better relate to one another when they are able to read each other’s body language. This also allow for you to smile and shake someone’s hand when you first meet them, creating a powerful connection.

2. Develop a network: It is nearly impossible for someone to achieve success alone. In fact success in any professional setting requires a team effort. It is up to you to make the extra effort to get to know managers (professors) and coworkers (peers) and to become more active in your community.

3. Always be cordial: If you show common courtesy, this allows people to know that you care. Be sure to use the words “Thank You” to show your appreciation, which is the number one thing we want from our peers and supervisors. Another term to use is “Would you please..” instead of “Please” to make you sound less curt and more civil.

In the next blog, we will continue on with the next four communication skills, which will help us improve the quality of our professional relationships.

Stay classy, Readers!

Posted in Effective ways to communicate | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Communication Is More Important Than We Think

Hello, Strangers! My name is Christian Garcia, and I am a second year student in the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. The sole purpose of this blog is to improve communication skills in everyday settings as well as a work environment. Many students take for granted how important it is to be able to adequately adapt depending on different types of interpersonal communications.

Growing up I was constantly surrounded by many different social groups and as such it was necessary for me to develop superior communication skills. However, for some, communication is not such an innate skill.  Not many realize that communication is more than verbal exchanges, but everything from body language to clothing worn can communicate non-verbal cues.

Let’s be honest, who has not found themselves in a situation in which a communication error has led to a problematic exchange? With a little practice and knowledge such mistakes would be a blunder of the past.

And remember, as cheesy as it may sound, though the world has many different languages, a smile is universal.

Stay classy, readers.

Posted in Welcome Message | Tagged , | Leave a comment