Effective communication is absolutely critical for managers and supervisors. But all too often, too much emphasis is placed on the basic verbal aspects of communication.
With research showing that nonverbal communication carries 65% to 93% more impact than oral statements, it’s a mistake to ignore this area.
Here are three best practices in nonverbal communication to pass along to managers and supervisors.
1. Maintain direct eye contact
An “eye-dart” occurs when someone glances at someone for a second or less and looks away. This makes it seems like you’re anxious or trying to avoid something.
When talking with someone, try to look directly into his or her eyes, and hold contact for at least two to three seconds.
2. Be aware of facial expressions
Granted, many of our facial expressions are just reactions to what we’re hearing from others.
But it’s important to try and tone down expressions that convey any type of negativity – scowling, pursing your lips or even rolling your eyes. Instead, try nodding occasionally, raising your eyebrows to show interest – all the while holding steady eye contact.
3. Steer clear of the smartphone
Constantly checking your cell phone sends the message that the conversation just isn’t important. So leave the smartphone alone.
Don’t forget your tone
Also, it’s not always what you say but how you say it that matters. So it’s important to pay attention to pacing, volume and inflection.