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Why is Body Language Important in Communication?

More than 90% of our conveyed information depends on body language. However, it is not universal. So, why is body language important in communication? We use facial expressions, gestures, and posture with our speech. It helps strengthen our message or convey the true message that our words don’t. 

Like different languages, body language also differs between countries and cultures. An appropriate gesture in one country can be considered an insult in another. And sometimes, conflict arises because of how we said something and not because of what we said. So, that should tell you the importance of facial expression and tone of voice. This article is here to guide you through the basics of body language. And we’ll discuss why is body language important in communication.

Table of Contents

What is Body Language?

Before we talk about why is body language important in communication, let’s first find out what body language is. A host of non-verbal cues and signs make up our body language. Examples include facial expression, body movement, tone of voice, and gesture in communication. Knowing how to read and interpret these signs is vital in communication. 

Body language assists us in understanding and decoding what the person is saying. That is the importance of body language. It also helps us to interpret others’ moods and emotions. Moreover, it enhances our conscious understanding of people’s reactions to what we say and how we say it.

Why is Body Language Important in Communication?

Now that you know what body language is, let’s jump into why is body language important in communication? Have you ever seen a band of chimpanzees in a forest? Notice how they use body language and non-verbal cues as a mode of communicating? It is impressive, considering they get the message passed even though they can’t verbally speak.

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Likewise, human beings also use body language while communicating along with verbal language. For instance, your body language illustrates your confidence in the business world. It is an expression of commitment in more ways than you realise. And the importance of body language lies in the manner that impacts your personal brand. 

Moreover, how you present yourself is important. Keep your body language positive, whether it’s a job interview, casual meeting, or first date. Keeping a positive body language suggests that you are approachable, attentive, and open to new ideas. Our use of body language in communication is often unconscious. But, an improved posture will give the impression that a person is focused and interested. 

If a speaker gives off negative body language, then the audience is more likely to lose interest in what he is saying. And the importance of the presented information will not be perceived no matter how engaging the speech is.

Different Types of Body Language in Communication

Now that you know why is body language important in communications let’s look at some of the body language we use. These are key to effective communication in our daily life. Different types of body language in communication include,

Facial Expressions

The human face can convey countless emotions without saying a word. It is extremely expressive. And facial expressions are universal, unlike some forms of non-verbal communication. For instance, the facial expression of happiness, sadness, fear, and disgust are the same across cultures.

Facial-Expressions-for-non-verbal-communication

Body Movement & Posture

Have you ever considered how your perception of people is affected by the way they sit, walk, or stand? The way a person moves or carries themselves communicates a wealth of emotions to the world. Your posture, bearing, stance are some prominent types of non-verbal communication. 

Gesture 

The fabric of our daily lives is woven by gestures. Sometimes, we use our hands when arguing or speaking animatedly. We wave, point or beckon at something or somebody. This is how we express ourselves with gestures without thinking. Regardless, the meaning of some gestures is different in different cultures. 

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For instance, the “OK” sign made with the hand is considered offensive in countries such as Germany, Russia, or Brazil. However, the OK sign usually conveys a positive message in English-speaking countries. Therefore, to avoid misinterpretation, it is very important to be careful of how you use gestures. 

Eye Contact

An important element of the non-verbal communication mode is eye contact. Because the visual sense is dominant for most people. How you look at someone can communicate many different feelings. For instance, you can express inflexion, hostility, interest, or attraction through eye contact. Moreover, eye contact is important in maintaining the flow of the conversation. Also, it helps gauge the other person’s interest and response. 

Tone of Language

Why is body language important in communication? Because communication is not just about what you say. How you say, it also matters a lot. While your tone might not be considered part of body language, it is an important aspect of non-verbal communication. People read your voice tone in addition to listening to your words when you speak. 

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Moreover, everyone pays attention to the timing and pace of a speech. Your voice tone and inflexion, how loud you speak, it all matters. So, use your tone of language appropriately to indicate sarcasm, anger, affection, or confidence.

How Can You Read Body Language?

You know now why is body language important in communication. The question is, how can you read the body language of others to behave appropriately. When you start recognising emotions, you will be better apt at managing situations. So, let’s look at some ways you can read and interpret the body language of others.

Pay Attention to Inconsistencies 

Non-verbal communication helps reinstate what is being said. You can easily find out how a person feels about something through their body language. For instance, a person could be saying yes to a thing while shaking their head to signal a big no.

Look at the Signals in Combination 

You shouldn’t read too much into one single non-verbal communication cue or signal. Instead, you have to consider all the non-verbal communication signals you are receiving. For instance, curate their eye contact, tone of voice, and body language altogether. Then you have to analyse whether all the signs are consistent or inconsistent before reaching a conclusion.

Trust Your Gut

Never dismiss your gut instincts. Part of why is body language important in communication is so that you identify the uncomfortable situation and get out of it. You might even pick up a mismatch between verbal and non-verbal cues by trusting your instincts. Moreover, you will easily understand if someone isn’t being honest or something doesn’t add up. 

You can make a career out of accurately reading people’s body language. Become a body language expert with our body language course. The courses will help you to decipher facial expressions and interpret behaviours confidently. You will also gain professional insight into human interaction, train with us to become an effective communicator!

How Can You Improve Your Body Language?

Just as knowing why is body language important in communication, it is equally important to know how you can improve your body language. Practice and patience are key to improving, just as any other skill. 

To understand and comprehend the non-verbal cues, you need to be completely present in the conversation. Otherwise, you will almost certainly miss the cues and not understand the nuances of conversations.

Managing Stress

You can’t comprehend others’ non-verbal cues if you are stressed. On top of that, you might end up sending confusing or off-putting signals. And your stress might rub off on others, which is a recipe for disaster. 

Taking a moment to calm yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed is always a good idea. And you will be better equipped to deal with situations when you are feeling centred. 

Be Emotionally Aware

You can be in touch with your emotions by practising mindfulness through meditation. And it will assist in developing your emotional awareness. You can read other people’s emotions accurately when you are emotionally aware. Even the unspoken emotions will be comprehensible through communication. On top of that, developing emotional awareness lets you foster trust in relationships by sending the right non-verbal signals. 

Now let’s hear from a body language expert to learn what else you can do to improve your body language and why you should. 

Body Language Tips for Workplace Success

In any workplace or corporate environment, positive body language is a must. Healthy body language is needed to foster team spirits in the workplace. It helps boost the morale of employees. Positive body language makes delegation of responsibilities easier. Your body language can be the key to greater success if you use it properly. You will be able to develop positive business relationships and increase your influence. 

It will also help you to bond with your team members and present your creative ideas more authoritatively. We have pretty much covered why is body language important in communication. Now let’s move on to some effective tips to better your body language for workplace success. 

Take Up Space while Standing Tall

You can use height and space to non-verbally convey your status and confidence. When you hold your head high and keep your posture erect, it makes you look sure of yourself. In addition, widen your stance, relax your knees, and centre your weight in your lower body. And it will make you look more solid and confident. On top of that, when you stand. You look more powerful and assured to those who are stated.

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When you are sitting down, keep both of your feet flat on the floor. Try to widen your arms away from your body and spread your belongings on the conference table to claim more territory.

Keep Your Vocal Pitch at Low

The quality of your voice in the workplace can be a deciding factor in terms of how you are perceived. If you have a high-pitched voice while speaking, people will judge you as less empathetic, less powerful and more nervous. Try to do some exercises that relax your voice into an optimal pitch. On top of that, the sound of your voice is really critical, especially while talking over the phone.

Power Priming

Thinking of past successes that fill you with pride and confidence can help you display confidence in any present scenario. Power priming helps you to be perceived as upbeat and positive. 

Maintain Eye Contact

In some cultures, extended eye contact with superiors is considered inappropriate. However, business people from the UK and other parts of the world will expect you to maintain eye contact 50% to 60% of the time. 

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A simple technique to improve eye contact is to look into your colleague’s eyes for long enough to understand what colour of their eyes are.

Communicate with Your Hands

Knowing how to use your hands is equally important as learning why is body language important in communication. Broca’s area, the part of the brain which is responsible for speech production, is active while we are waving our hands to express emotions. 

Thus, gesturing as you talk can actually power up your thinking. Moreover, incorporating gestures into your speech improves your verbal content, making your speech much less hesitant. Also, your use of fillers decreases with the use of gestures. In addition, experts say that the physical act of gesturing helps you form clearer thoughts and speak in a declarative language.

Smile More

Your smile can have a powerful effect on people. Moreover, the human brain prefers happy faces and can detect a smile at 300 feet. In addition, smiling stimulates your sense of well-being. 

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Also, it tells people around you that you are approachable and trustworthy. So, smiling directly influences how other people react to you. 

Conclusion 

So, why is body language important in communication? Because when you speak, it is not just the words that people hear but also your body language. Body language is a vital part of your personal social, and work-life success. Thus, your non-verbal cues will impact how the audience interprets and receives your message. If you are the best orator in the world, then make sure your body language holds the truth to it.

February 9, 2022

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