Non-Verbal Communication 

If words are the basic unit of a dialogue, the aspects of non -verbal communication are the supporting pillars that impart value to the process of communication. 

There are twofold benefits of Non-verbal communication.First, it helps the sender to communicate effectively,second it offers significant information to the observant receiver about the sender’s intent and potential. Non-verbal communication performs five important functions in the process of communication:
1. Helps to reinforce the spoken or written words
2. Helps to regulate the flow of communication
3. Helps the receiver to retain information

Communication is a process of creating meaningful conversations and Speak With Conviction, Lead with Confidence
connections through the medium of language. Language is the basic tool of communication. Language encapsulates the meaning, purpose, tone and emotions of the communicator.

Language may be classified as definite language or indefinite language. A definite language is one which is structured , which has a distinct sound system, a fixed vocabulary, a syntax to govern the rules of sentence and structure and an evolved system of semantics and pragmatics. Hindi,English, Sanskrit, German, French etc. are examples of definite language. Indefinite language relies on clues, signs, symbols, gestures, postures , abstract images, and para-linguistic features to develop a system of meaning. The sign language hieroglyphics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hieroglyph) used by ancient Egyptians in their writing system can be considered as an example of such type of language. Meaning in non-verbal communication is interpreted on the basis of sharp judgement and rehearsed reading of body, mind and images as it goes beyond the spoken or written  words to define an idea.
If words are the basic unit of a dialogue, the aspects of non -verbal communication are the supporting pillars that impart value to the process of communication.

There are twofold benefits of Non-verbal communication.First, it helps the sender to communicate effectively,second it offers significant information to the observant receiver about the sender’s intent and potential. Non-verbal communication performs five important functions in the process of communication:
1. Helps to reinforce the spoken or written words
2. Helps to regulate the flow of communication
3. Helps the receiver to retain information
4. Offers significant insights about the personality, emotional state, intention and competence level of the participants
5. It can be a valuable source of feedback for the sender

Have you ever wondered why we use punctuation marks in written communication? Why do we not write in a plain style without using Periods (.), commas (,),Question marks(?) or Apostrophe (‘)? Punctuation marks are a way to make the reader aware of the opening and closing of ideas. A comma is an indicator of a pause, a semi-colon. Punctuation marks give intended meaning to the language. Wrong placement of punctuation marks can completely mislead the reader and result in a disaster for example;

Let us eat, daddy. 
Let us eat daddy.

In the first sentence daddy is being called for dinner. However, in the second sentence, daddy himself has become an item to be eaten.

Similarly, in spoken communication we use Para-linguistic features such as voice, pitch, tone, speed and rhythm to make our message more clear and impressive. These features reveal unspoken facets of the speakers personality like understanding of subject-matter,   confidence, sincerity, leadership, social intelligence, persuasive skills and consideration for the audience. If your voice is too soft, it is suggestive of low level of confidence; if it is too harsh it suggests over-confidence or lack of civic sense. If the tone is flat with no rise or fall, it reflects poor or average communication skills and lack of emotional dynamics in the message. Tone variation (Intonation) https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/speaking/intonationis essential to stress or emphasize a particular point or idea. Moreover, it makes the message engaging and entertaining to the listener. The speed of your message delivery should be moderate, that is neither too fast nor too slow to connect to your audience. You want the audience to listen and respond to your message rather than to be put off by your fast speeding speech or slow, mundane expression.

Non-verbal communication is not restricted to just these para-linguistic features or Vocalics.

The other types of Non- Verbal ways of communicating include:

  • Kinesics:  This is one of the most crucial factor in the study of non-verbal communication. It is the study of body language. It is further classified into postures and gestures. Posture is related to the position of your back-bone and gesture is related to your limb movements. The  study of various eye movements and facial expressions is also included under this branch of Non-verbal communication.
  • Proxemics: It is the study which explains how space is used by people to communicate at different levels. The distance that we maintain while communicating with others defines our level of comfort, intimacy and  also our cultural identity. This study was conducted by anthropologist Edward T. Hall in the year 1960. On the basis of this study the concept of space is broadly classified into four zones namely,
  1.           Public zone
  2.            Social zone
  3.            Personal zone
  4.            Intimate zone
  • Haptics: It is the science of touch. Touch is a sensitive tool of communication and should be used judiciously and by keeping in mind its cultural connotations. A pat on the back may communicate sympathy, support or encouragement. Various types of hand shakes may be studied under this branch of communication. Touch can be healing and therapeutic. It can be harmful or offensive too.
  •  Chronemics:  is the study of the role of time in communication. It reflects the way in which person perceives and values time. Time perception communicates an individuals punctuality and willingness to wait. It plays a huge role in non-verbal communication.

Non-verbal communication is a broad area and covers a wide range of major and minor elements which have not been discussed here. To gain a detailed insight into the fascinating world of gestures, postures, symbols and images keep reading.  There is more to what meets the eye. Your appearance, choice of clothes you make, the colours you wear and the accessories that you carry, they all leave a unique impression and give away valuable information about you  and your character to the observer. So be careful of what you wear and how you look.

It is worth mentioning that only 35% of our communication is through words. This means that 65% of our communication is constituted of Non-verbal means of communication! This factAAEAAQAAAAAAAA2fAAAAJDZkOGRlZDAwLWUzZGMtNDUxNS05MmRhLTA5YTQ3NGU0ODIxOA itself speaks of its role in our lives.

Speak With Conviction, Lead with Confidence

If you are honest in your conversation, you will reciprocate an honest feedback. If you pretend, you will not sound convincing and subsequently loose your credibility. If your non-verbal cues match with your spoken words they impart clarity and trust to your words. People read your thoughts and judge you by your behavior and attitude. What they see is more important to them than what that they hear. Great communicators never overlook the emotions and feelings of their audience. They value the power of non-verbal communication and implement it in their speech and action. This helps them to  be popular among both the elite and the masses.

I know each one of you is a leader. You are an expert in your own way. I trust you for your skills and abilities. I have complete faith in your inherent capacity to excel in what you do. Your talent and knowledge is no less than the best in the industry. Your achievements are a testimony to your smart work and efficiency. Yet, at times you experience setbacks, your actions do not yield the desired result, your words fail to draw attention. Someone steals the show while you keep sweating behind the curtain. Someone marches ahead with confidence, mesmerizes the audience with his charismatic persona and impressive demeanor. You keep wondering what really took him ahead? What is so exceptional about these people who climb up the ladder and lead the crowd. From where does one get this killer attitude? What secret is hidden behind this power -packed performance? This youthful energy and contagious enthusiasm is not a matter of chance or sheer luck; it is hard earned.

The difference between success and failure is defined by your attitude. If you choose to win, win you will. However, winning is just half the story but to stay ahead demands persistence and continual learning. Be open to learning. The moment you cease to learn, you limit your growth. Stagnation is no growth. You have to keep honing your skills to stay in the race. Learning is a continual process. “If you stop learning, you start dying” observed Albert Einstein. So success may be short-lived but a die-hard attitude will never let you down. Never rest, never sit back, never rust unburnished but shine in use.

It is important to update your knowledge and expand your skill- set to meet the changing demands of the professional environment and challenges in personal life. Expansion of knowledge and skills heavily rely on the manner in which you communicate and interact with others. Communication is a process of encoding a message and transferring it to the receiver through a suitable medium to achieve a desired action and feedback. How you encode the message will determine how the receiver would decode and respond to it.

If you treat your people with love, respect and dignity they naturally feel more connected to you. If you replace ‘ego‘ with ‘humility’; ‘bossism’ with ‘cordiality’; ‘negativity’ with ‘positivism’; ‘hostility’ with ‘friendliness’; ‘envy’ with ‘generosity’, your attitude will resonate in your conversations, dealings, negotiations and relations with others. It will reflect in your personality and become an integral part of your body language.

Body language is an aspect of communication which expresses your message without making use of the spoken or written words. As we often hear,“Your actions speak louder than the words”, It is absolutely true. What you say is important but how you say is more important. Your gestures, postures, manners, appearance, eye contact and the speed, tone and rhythm of your voice, speak volumes about your personality.

If you are honest in your conversation, you will reciprocate an honest feedback. If you pretend, you will not sound convincing and subsequently loose your credibility. If your non-verbal cues match with your spoken words they impart clarity and trust to your words. People read your thoughts and judge you by your behavior and attitude. What they see is more important to them than what they hear. Great communicators never overlook the emotions and feelings of their audience. They value the power of non-verbal communication and implement it in their speech and action. This helps them to be popular among both the elite and the masses. Their confidence reigns supreme as they are well equipped to read the mind of their audience. Leaders are not born, they are made. What makes one a leader is the ease, poise and conviction with which one communicates. In fact, leaders communicate more without words than with them.

If you go beyond the spoken words and touch the heart of your people , you will emerge victorious in all your endeavors.

“I never lose , I either win or learn”

Go win the world, be a leader!

Are You Shy of Public Speaking?

There is no magic potion that you could drink and watch the magical words spill out of your mouth even as you could hypnotize the listener with your oratorical charm. However there are tested and proven practices that can nurture your skills and help you overcome your qualms.

So while there is no secret formula, there are simple things that you could follow to overcome your fears.  I call it ‘ My Rule of 9’.

Remember the last time when you were to deliver a presentation before an audience or the time you kept praying silently , Lord save me just one more time , please call off the session before the next turn is mine! Cracked voice , shaky legs , sweating palms  when would this nightmare end?Did your ever land yourself up in a similar situation?

Do you refrain yourself from sharing your views  in public for fear of being ridiculed? If yes, then probably you are a shy speaker. But don’t you worry you are not alone.Most of us are victims of self imposed fears and restrictions.  In fact, according to famous writer Ralph Waldo Emerson “All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.”  You are no less, prepare yourself today to be the best tomorrow.

Speaking is a natural gift to us humans. We are the only creatures who can speak up our mind and articulate our emotions through spoken words. While speaking comes naturally to us, public speaking is an art which needs to be cultivated.  Whether you are a manager, a doctor, an engineer, an educator or a student at one point of time or the other you would be required to attend  business meets, conferences,  participate in personal interviews, deliver  presentations or address formal gathering.  How then to overcome the fear of public speaking?

There is no magic potion that you could drink and watch the magical words spill out of your mouth even as you could hypnotize the listener with your oratorical charm. However there are tested and proven practices that can nurture your skills and help you overcome your qualms.

So while there is no secret formula, there are simple things that you could follow to overcome your fears.  I call it ‘ My Rule of 9’. Read and discover the hidden speaker in you by practicing the following simple tricks:

Here we go…

  1. First thing first ; stop playing safe: Come out of your shell, be brave. Rehearsing in front of the mirror is no good until you climb the stage.
  2. Speak ; there is no alternative: Read , read read Yes! Of what use if you never speak.  I would suggest, “Converse, converse and converse” as Bacon , the great Renaissance essayist said, Conference makes a ready man”. Reading enhances knowledge but it is the conversations that empower your speech.
  3. Speak to be understood, not to impress: Do not stress yourself to demonstrate your knowledge, rather try to express yourself in  simple, clean, clear and crisp language.  Avoid jargon and cliche to easily connect with your audience.
  4. Have faith: They say ” To err is human to forgive divine”. Close your eyes and believe in the divinity of your audience. This will help reduce much of your anxiety
  5. Love your subject: If you love your subject you will certainly work hard to know more about it, the more you know on your topic, the better you are.
  6. Remember communication operates at two levels: logical and emotional- Speak your mind but touch your listeners heart. Persuade your listener by appealing to his logic and emotions.
  7. Be genuine, be yourself: Audience appreciate originality of thought and expression. Just be the way you are. Affectation in speech, accent and style is more sinful than what you could imagine.
  8. Be confident and cheerful: Do not look apologetic for not being the best. Indeed your are the best! Nothing is more infectious than your self-confidence. Radiate confidence , it will boomerang. Positive body language and a smiling countenance are your priced possessions. Use them to your advantage
  9.  Don’t be Shy; take a leap: The world is waiting to hear you ; What are you waiting for?

   Take a leap…

 

 

 

 

 

Shy speaker???

Be outgoing critics…