Are You Communicating As Effectively As You Could Be?
If you’re noticing some friction when you interact with your employees, the answer may not be what you’re saying, but your non-verbal cues such as body language and facial expressions while you’re saying it.
Misunderstandings can be frequent in a work environment. Multiple sources such as Forbes, Psychology Today, and several university studies all agree that 90-93% of communication is conveyed through non-verbal gestures and body language. Furthermore, first impressions are formed on average in only 30 seconds and our long-term opinion of someone is typically established in the first 3-5 minutes. Considering this information, as leaders, it is critical that we become aware of what we are truly communicating to others while we discern how to read the non-verbal indicators of our team members.
All Communication can be broken down into 3 major parts:
- 7% are the words we speak (words only)
- 38% are our facial expressions and vocal tones used when speaking
- 55% are our body language
Below are a few Leaderships Non-Verbals that will serve to improve your influence, credibility, and your ability to interpret the true messages of your team members.
Sitting or Standing Posture
A study by researchers from Columbia and Harvard Universities, correct posture in both standing and seated individuals experienced a decrease in cortisol and an increase in testosterone. The effects from this study caused participants to feel happier, more confident, and bolder in taking important risks in their work.
Some important facts to help you understand the importance of posture:
- Poor Posture is often perceived as an indication of ill-confidence. Correcting your posture can affect your credibility in how you are seen and/or heard.
- A good posture can even help with voice projection making you sound more confident and speak with greater authority whether visually or audibly.
- According to WebMD, good posture improves breathing and creates spine alignment. The health benefits are, less neck and back strain, fewer headaches, and a stronger sense of well-being.
- The average weight of a human head is 10-12 pounds and the pressure it creates on the spine can be up to 30 pounds when tilted forward too long causing massive stress on the spine.
- Standing or sitting tall in your chair requires that your head is level with neck and back straight.
Practice often when you are sitting walking or standing. The more you do, the better you will feel and the more natural it will become.
Smile Often and Authentically
A simple smile has the ability to relieve stress both for you and for those you want to connect with. It also releases the neurochemical, dopamine improving mood and relaxing stressed facial expressions.
Even a fake smile can do this. However, beware, oftentimes a fake smile is picked up by others as insincere and even suspicious. A genuine smile will lift the upper cheeks and slightly wrinkle or close the eyes. Allow your smile to be authentic and you will avoid being misinterpreted. Noting the authenticity of someone else’s smile can help you read whether someone else is genuinely pleased or happy. Smiling is a powerful tool in establishing trust and openness, especially in building new relationships.
Master Your Own Outward Image
Self-Mastery is at the top! In body language, personal care, and emotional intelligence. Personal hygiene and hair or clothing styles also play a role. Even in today’s trend of more casual dressing, there will always be a good impression left when someone takes great care in their appearance. A lack of care can even indicate emotional stress or even depression. An in-depth study in executive presence, emotional intelligence, and body language will serve as a powerful investment for you to make as a leader, an influencer, and an effective communicator.
Performance Coaching from IPV Consulting can help you master non-verbal communication in the workplace: both in communicating effectively and accurately interpreting the feelings of others. Performance Coaching is effective for anyone seeking transformative thought processes, including senior and mid-level executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals at all levels. Learn more and schedule an appointment here.