Nonverbal Communication in the World of Business
Karam Merhi Professor Macphail SPC 1017 TR11 18 oct. 2012 Nonverbal Communication in the World of Business Communication that is neither a written nor a spoken language that creates a meaning is known as Nonverbal communication. According to bizmove. com, “People tend to believe actions more than words. ” Movies first started without any audio, so the actors and actresses used different kinds of nonverbal communication to convey messages they were trying to get across, for example, Charlie Chaplin movies.
Nonverbal communication plays an important role in everyday society and in the business world. Nonverbal ways of communication include facial expression, gestures, touch, paralinguistics (voice), body language, eye contact, and appearance. Facial expressions play a big role in nonverbal communication. First, facial expressions are used to emphasize specific words or phrases when people are talking. According to Susan Heathfield, “No matter your position at work, improving your skill in interpreting nonverbal communication will add to your ability to share meaning with another person” (Heathfield).
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In a business industry, when an employer is looking to hire someone, the employer would usually see how the future employee reacts in various situations. Expressions such as a smile, a yawn, and a frown are all portraying a message. When two people are having a conversation, they exchange expressions. Most of the expressions exchanged convey the same messages even if both parties are not from the same culture. Many Asian cultures try not to use facial expressions very often. On average, too much smiling is not good and is considered a sign of shallowness. Gestures are the next important role in nonverbal communication.
Next, Gestures are similar to facial expressions they can tell you a lot of things about a person. According to Kendra Cherry, “Deliberate movements and signals are an important way to communicate meaning without words” (Cherry). Some of the most common gestures are pointing and waving. All of the other gestures are mostly related to culture. According to professor Macphail, “Different gestures have many meanings in various cultures” (Macphail). In the United States they use the index finger to point while in Japan and many other Asian cultures they use their entire hand to point at something.
Touch is another “code” of nonverbal communication. For example, A manager of A company, pats one of his employees on the shoulder and the employee felt as if he broke into her personal space. This says that women don’t like it when men “touch” them, even if it is just a small pat on the shoulder. In the business world, the employer only shakes hands with other people because it is proper and professional in a business. Also, in Indian culture people usually greet each other with a “Namaste” (two hands put together). Many other cultures try to stay away from touching other people (in a business sense) in public as little as possible.
Even though most people think that nonverbal communication does not involve any talking, well they are wrong. Paralinguistics (voice) is just like verbal communication that is different from an actual language. According to bizmove. com, “Researchers have found that the tone, pitch, quality of voice, and rate of speaking convey emotions that can be accurately judged regardless of the content of the message. ” In the business world, the employers know when the employees are lying because the employers can tell by the tone of voice the employee is using.
According to Cherry, “Posture and movement can also convey a great deal on information” (Cherry). In a business world, if an employee is leaning forward while a speaker is speaking, it means that the employee is interested and wanting to learn more from the speaker. When someone is leaning back on his or her chair it means that he or she does not really care what is going on. In Japan, bowing shows the person’s rank in the Japanese society. In Turkey, keeping one’s hands in his or her pocket is disrespectful (andrews. edu). It is always a good thing before going to another country for a business trip to study the proper business etiquette.
Furthermore, Eye contact is yet another big deal in the business industry. According to bizmove. com, “It can convey emotion, signal when to talk or finish, or aversion. The frequency of eye contact may suggest either interest or boredom. ” This means that eye contact is very important when speaking to someone, listening to a speaker, or showing interest. When it comes to business never lose eye contact. According to professor Macphail, “Eye contact tells a lot about the speaker” (Macphail). In the Western cultures looking directly into someone’s eyes shows respect.
But in Japan, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East to show respect one has to avoid eye contact with the elders. As a matter of fact, Appearance is a key to success. When it comes to business, if a man is dressed properly in a decent suit and a woman is dressed properly in a decent dress, or pencil skirt and a blouse, is considered as proper appearance. If a man goes to work in shorts and a top, the man is saying that he is not taking the job seriously. “All cultures are concerned for how they look and make judgments based on looks and dress. ” (andrews. du) This is saying that everyone thinks twice when they are getting ready for work or for an interview. Also, Facial expressions, gestures, touch, paralinguistics, body language, eye contact, and appearance are all aspects of nonverbal communication in general and in the professional business world. No matter where a person is in the world these aspects are examined closely and should be done in a proper fashion. From the 1914 to 1931, the film industry only made silent films because of no audio being available at the time, so they had to use miming. Nonverbal communication is a crucial element in getting a message across to another person.
Works Cited (n. d. ). Non-verbal communication. Retrieved from http://www. bizmove. com/skills/m8g. htm Cherry, K. (n. d. ). Types of nonverbal communication. Retrieved from http://psychology. about. com/od/nonverbalcommunication/a/nonverbaltypes. htm Heathfield, S. M. (n. d. ). In Listen With Your Eyes. Retrieved Mar. 1, 2011, from http://humanresources. about. com/od/interpersonalcommunicatio1/a/nonverbal_com. htm Nonverbal communication modes. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. andrews. edu/~tidwell/bsad560/NonVerbal. html, Prerana. Personal Interview by Anchal Udani. 29 Mar 2011.