Body Language: A Key player in communication
Body language plays an essential role in communicating with people. Body language comprises the gestures and movements we make of the different parts of our body when communicating with people.
Body language is a form of non-verbal communication, which includes actions and mannerisms such as:
- Facial expressions
- Head movement
- Eye contact
All of these are universal to all humans, and people can perform them consciously or subconsciously to convey their thoughts and feelings towards countless things. In fact, body language is believed to constitute about half of what we are trying to communicate.
However, this can depend greatly on context; for example, a person does not always need to verbally say “no” to communicate that something is wrong or that they disagree with what a person is saying. Instead, they can shake their head from side to side to communicate the same thing.
Nonetheless, we all use various forms of body language in communication every single day, which is then interpreted by others. If a student is slouching in their chair in class and is making indirect eye contact, this will signal to the instructor that they are bored.
It can also be used to enhance our verbal communication skills, and these often complement each other very well. For instance, if someone is asking for directions in a store on where to find a product and an employee merely says “over there,” this information is not entirely helpful to the customer because it is too vague.
At that point, the employee can be more specific with the location of the item by stating what aisle or department it is in; however, more often than not they will also gesture and point in the direction that the person should be headed in.
Even if the employee was not very specific, and they said “over there” while also pointing, it still would be more helpful than the original scenario with no body language at all.
You may not have realized it until now, but body language plays a major role in your everyday interactions, which is why it is one of the most popular topics within communication studies. In fact, it has been of interest for thousands of years – even the Ancient Greeks interpreted the meanings behind human physical behavior.
Body language is another means of communication. Sometimes it can send signals stronger than words. Body language is controlled by your subconscious mind, so a reader can actually understand if there’s a difference in what you are saying and thinking. In order to ensure that your words and body language complement each other, you need to read and practice a bit.
Impact of body language
Body language often has a great impact on transmitting messages to the listener. Facial expression and eye movements are very important while conveying your feelings. The smile on the face reflects confidence. If you are in a meeting and you are not moving your eyes over all the participants, you will fail to add impact. You need to maintain the intensity of your voice to match the heat of the topic. Good posture coordinates your verbal language. If you have the right body posture, you can easily control your voice. Your body weight needs to be equally balanced on the feet to have the correct posture. Try to notice your body posture when you are happy and confident. You will find that your body is equally balanced and consequently, you are taking a full breath at ease and your body is moving synchronously with your voice.
Body language plays an essential role in communicating with people. Body language comprises the gestures and movements we make of the different parts of our body when communicating with people. Many times, body language speaks more than words. Certainly, the body language must be in synch with the words.
Points to remember:
- Never be up-tied or stiff while making movements.
- Avoid body language that may be misunderstood or look unprofessional. E.g. Winking
- Consistent eye contact is a positive sign and must be used
- Avoid fiddling with things around. It may distract the attention
- Each body part’s movement signifies something and helps in interpreting. For E.g. Standing with hands-on-hips signifies aggressions, nodding signifies agreement and active listening, biting nails signifies nervousness.
- Unlike emails, body language does not give time to think. Hence they must be used appropriately.
Why body language
- Body language can instantly help to evaluate the interest of people
- It is a personal way of expressing emotions when words don’t help
- It can communicate interesting and nonmonotonous
Positive body gestures
Positive body gestures are a sign of confidence and security. They are a sign of active participation and leave a good impression. Positive gestures include:-
- Walking upright
- Shaking hands confidently
- Having a pleasant face.
- Nodding the head is a positive gesture
- A steady eye contact