Many people who know me will be aware that I have a love of horse riding. When I was riding today I was very aware that every movement I made was part of a silent language between me and my equine partner. All communication took place without any words being spoken.
I think a lot about written and verbal communication and how it can improve and enhance our lives. As a professional communicator I am keen to find the most effective ways of sharing information with people and developing conversations. This usual means verbal and written communication or visual information sharing.
But every day we communicate a whole range of things without ever opening our mouths and saying anything. Non-verbal communication, or body language, is incredibly powerful and can convey a huge amount of information. It is sometimes easy to recognise when people are bored or interested in a conversation taking place around them. It is also obvious when there are things happening below the surface that aren’t being spoken about.
So, why is non-verbal communication important? For all of us it is important to recognise how we are perceived. Not just by what we wear and what we say but about what we are not saying. In an era when we are very aware of what our online presence says about us we can’t forget how important the face-to-face presentation is. For any senior leader non-verbal communication is vital to remember.
Internal communicators are closely aligned to organisational behaviour and cultural change. Their work is about improving services and delivery by helping to land changes with the workforce. There is a lot that can be communicated through verbal, written and visual communication. However, in an instant good work can be undone if that non-verbal communication shows through and there is emotional leaking.
This is something important to remember when you are working on your next communication plan.