What Are You Saying? by Cindy Stradling CPC, CSL

As leaders, it is crucial to understand the importance of clear and effective communication in all aspects of our personal and professional interactions. Clear communication is not just about the words we use but also about how we convey those words, thoughts, and ideas, through our non-verbal cues. Whether we are aware of it or not, our body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice play a central role in how our messages are received.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is the foundation for most business communication. The words we choose, our tone, and our speech’s clarity all contribute to how well our message is received and understood. When communicating verbally, it’s important to be clear, concise, and confident. It is also important to make sure the words we choose are understood by the listener and convey the information we need to share.

It is also essential to be mindful of the impact our words can have on others. Words have the power to inspire, motivate, and influence. By choosing our words carefully, we can create a positive and productive work environment where everyone feels valued and respected.

Non-Verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication often speaks louder than words. In various studies, non-verbal communication accounts for between 70 and 90% or more of the messages we send. Our body language, facial expressions, and gestures can convey a wealth of information about our thoughts and feelings. As leaders, it’s important to be aware of our non-verbal cues and the messages they may be sending.

For example, crossing your arms may signal defensiveness or closed-mindedness, while maintaining eye contact can convey confidence and attentiveness. By being mindful of our non-verbal cues, we can ensure that our message is being received as intended.

Non-verbal cues can also include messages through behaviors such as eye-rolling, turning your body away from the speaker or listener, grimacing, or nodding along in agreement. Non-verbal cues can be both negative and positive, and they are an important part of sharing our feelings and perceptions about the conversation.

The Integration of Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication

For effective communication, the verbal and non-verbal components must integrated and provide the same message to the listener. When our verbal and non-verbal messages are congruent, we create a sense of authenticity and trustworthiness. People are more likely to believe what we say when our words align with our body language.

For both personal and professional communication, aligning our verbal and non-verbal communication is essential in getting our message across. By mastering both aspects, we can become more effective communicators and inspire those around us to do the same.