Importance of verbal and nonverbal communication
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Communication is key when it comes to a workplace's efficiency and success. Without it, projects would not be completed, and important interactions with potential clients and customers would not be made. Nonverbal communication is just as important, giving cues to supervisors, coworkers and clients about your understanding and attitude. Understanding the importance of nonverbal communication will make you more aware of what you say - without opening your mouth.
Nonverbal communication can show your supervisors, coworkers and clients how you truly feel about a situation. If your supervisor asks you to come in on a Saturday to complete a project, and you say "yes" - with an obvious eye roll - he will know that you are displeased with the weekend work, even if you agreed to it. Often, your gestures say more than your words and, thus, indicate your true feelings in the workplace - especially when your verbal communication and nonverbal communication contradict.
On the other hand, nonverbal cues can reinforce your opinion in many workplace situations. If you are pitching a new idea to a client and seal the deal with a firm handshake and a smile, those nonverbal cues will confirm to your client that you are excited about the opportunity to work with him. Your confidence, then, will leave the new client feeling comfortable with the decision to go with you. In these situations, it's important that your verbal and nonverbal communication match.
Related Reading: How Nonverbal Communication Can Help in the Workplace
Nonverbal communication in the workplace can indicate your understanding of directions, project goals or assignments from your supervisor or coworkers. In a meeting, a simple nod of your head can indicate that you agree with a comment made by a coworker or accept an assignment from your supervisor. In fact, in these situations, nonverbal communication is often preferred, as it sends your message without disrupting a meeting or interrupting another person who is speaking.
Nonverbal communication can indicate your overall happiness with your job. If you grimace through your work day, slouched over your computer, and look bored with your arms crossed in meetings, you won't look very happy to your coworkers and supervisors. Conversely, if you make efforts to smile at coworkers as you pass them in the hallway, sit with good posture and make eye contact during meetings, you will appear interested and engaged in your job.