Actions speak louder than words. You’ve heard this old adage before, and everyone has said it at least once. It has become a meaningful and truthful statement: actions do speak louder than words, and this statement will continue to be true for years and years to come.
Did you know that the majority of communication isn’t through speaking, but is through body language? 70% of communication is through body language, 23% is through voice tone and inflection, and 7% is through speaking. Because 70% of communication is through body language, it is important to understand and be conscious of your body and what it’s conveying to other people. Below are some tips on body language and what it relates to other people.
1. Tips for Body Language:
· Make sure you mirror the other person’s body; this conveys you understand them.
· Respect people’s personal space. The ultimate goal is to be close enough to be attentive but be far enough for comfort.
· To create a positive message, think SOLER.
S – Smile
O – Openness
L – Lean Forward
E – Eye contact
R – Relax
2. Voice Tone and Inflection:
Any sound you make, whether it’s vocal sighs, groans, coughs, the tone of voice, volume, intensity, and
emphasis on words can affect how you communicate your message or how your message is received
More Tips to Consider:
· Feelings are communicated nonverbally. It is impossible NOT to send a non-verbal message.
· Non-verbal communication can leave your message open to interpretation; it may reinforce
or contradict the message you’re trying to give.
3. Speaking: Be aware that the words you chose will be heard and interpreted.
When you speak:
· Be honest and specific
· Be sensitive to the other person’s reactions and their non-verbal communication
· Use a positive, moderate tone of voice
· Match your facial expression to your message
· Use “I” statements versus “you” statements
“You” messages send criticism, complaint, threats, or put-downs. “I” messages describe another’s behavior, the effect that action has on you, the feelings you
have about the action, and what the person can do to continue to modify the behavior.
People listen twice the speed the average person talks. That means we can speak at a rate of 125 to 150 words per minute, but we can hear, process, and analyze at a rate of 400 to 800 words per minute. The extra time between what you say and what is heard can be used positively or negatively in the communication process.
· Actively focus attention on the speaker and avoid distractions
· Think about questions you can ask to get clarification
· Be aware of the non-verbal communication and consider its meaning
· Think about how the speaker may feel
· Take notes if needed
· Making assumptions
· Being defensive
· Daydreaming/being distracted/acting impatient
· Interrupting the speaker
· Looking away from speaker
· Being on your cell phone
Body Language is important in everyday life, but it is especially important in business. Always be conscious of your body language, and keep these tips in mind!
Works Cited: “The Art of Communication.” (2008): n. pag. 2008. Web. 8 July 2016.