Consultant, Writer And Trainer
Officer Human Resources

Courtesy:BanffCenter for Leadership.

You may believe what you are saying is clear, but is it? A major

business challenge, communicating effectively is crucial for managers

and leaders. Though the actual “words” you say constitute a small part

of the communication process, nonverbal communication represents

65 to 93 per cent of the meaning1,2 and most people attend more to

nonverbal cues than words3.

You may scoff at that fact. But, your voice tone, gestures, posture, eye

contact, facial expression, and other nonverbal cues all communicate

what words may not be able to. Or, even worse, nonverbal cues may

communicate something totally different than the actual words you

are saying, thereby lessening your integrity and authority, and your coworkers’

confidence, faith, and trust in you as a manager and leader.

This is even more critical given the fact that effective communication

is the foundation for several leadership competencies, like building

relationships, conflict management, and developing others.

Awareness of nonverbal communication may be a key factor in

improving your communication skills and ultimately, in becoming a

better manager and leader.

Two managers may say the exact same phrase to a troubled subordinate:

“If you want, you can come to my office so we can discuss your

concerns.” One manager says these words in a terse, bothersome

manner, while the back is turned, walking away. The other manager

says those same exact words, softly, standing two to four feet away,

with a concerned look on the face, and looking the staff member

squarely in the eye. Which person do you think would want to see

their manager? Though extreme, this interaction is not out of the

ordinary. There are six “channels” of nonverbal communication.4,5

Attention to these will help you become a better communicator, which

will lead to better interactions in dealing with, and leading others.

Rhythm and Use of Time – A fast pace expresses urgency or

impatience, a slow pace confusion or lack of knowledge. Being

constantly late to meetings gives the impression that you do not

care for the attendees, their time, and work.

Interpersonal Distance (Space) and Touch – Standing close to

someone conveys liking and caring, farther away, caution and

distrust. Touch, especially in the workplace, carries extreme

meanings, and should be used cautiously.

Objectics – Clothes, hair, jewelry and fragrance may not only tell

others if you are “up to date” with fashion, but also if you are

organized, neat, efficient, and confident (unwrinkled shirt, pressed

pants, styled hair, etc.).

Gestures and Postures – Slouched posture and hands in pockets

convey boredom; standing erect, using your hands during

conversation conveys confidence and interest.

Facial Expression – An unclear smile, frown, or look of anger –

using them at inappropriate times, or not at all – can spell disaster

in communicating with others.

Paralanguage – Voice tone, pitch, volume, the “uhs” and “ums” of

your speech all convey something other than the actual words.

This advice comes with a warning label, however. If you approach

people in a genuine, authentic manner, utilizing nonverbal behaviors

will be of great value to you. If, however, your motivation is to “play

politics,” or seek personal gain, these suggestions will only fuel the

mistrust others have of you and cause you to have less credibility with

others. As Einstein said, “All means prove to be but blunt instruments

if they lack a living spirit.” Your use of nonverbal cues needs to be

correct, and match the words you are actually saying in a genuine,

authentic manner. Improving your nonverbal communication can help

you become a better communicator, and better at effectively dealing

with and leading others.

Awareness of nonverbal communication may be a key factor in improving

your communication skills and ultimately, in becoming a better manager

and leader.

From India, New Delhi
I would like to share this:

Communication is the most frequently discussed dynamics in the organisation. Effective communication is the prerequisite for the attainment of organisational objectives. An extensive study conducted by C.Schriesheim and R.Stewart for ‘Leaders and Managers’ Pergamon, New York states that managers in their day-to-day behaviours are found to devote about a third of activities to routine communication. This clearly elucidates the importance of communication in organisational effectiveness.

Earlier managements gave very little emphasise to communication and considered it to be a natural process. Chester Barnard in his classic functions of the executive was the first one to develop the idea of communication as the major shaping force in an organisation. He ranked it with common purpose and willingness to serve as one of the three primary elements of the organisation. He listed seven specific communication, they are:

The channels of communication should be definitely known.

There should be a definite formal channel of communication to every member of an organisation.

The line of communication should be as direct and short as possible.

The complete formal line of communication should be used.

The persons serving as communication centre must be competent.

The line of communication should not be interrupted while the organisation is functioning.

Every communication should be authenticated.

This concept of Barnard was challenged and it went through a paradigm shift.

What is communication? Communication is essentially a two way process where there is a sender and receiver using any media to convey a message across. This process can be called communication only if the receiver in the way the sender had envisioned it deciphers the message conveyed by the sender.

The different types of communication are:

Non-verbal communication- the opposite end of the continuum from sophisticated communication is non-verbal communication. It is also called the silent language. They largely comprise of gestures and facial expression. There are numerous forms of non-verbal communication.

The most recognised form of non-verbal communication is body language.

There are certain ways in which people verbalises that important dimensions of nonverbal communication. Theses include things such as voice quality, volume, speech etc. these are called paralanguage.

Here are some suggestions to improve non-verbal communication.

Look at what is happening in the situation:

when nonverbal behaviour is an emotional response it reflects what is going on. It gives a better understanding

of the situations.

Consider the discrepancies between verbal and non-verbal behaviours. If there is a mismatch it requires examination.

Watch for subtleties in non-verbal behaviour.

Downward communication:

one of the most dominant themes in organisational communication. It signifies the interpersonal linkage. A communication process used only to give specific directives about job instructions and procedures. This type of communication promotes an authoritarian atmosphere.

Downward communication affects the receivers in the following ways.

People’s interpretations of communications follow the path of least resistance.

People are more open to messages that are consonant with their existing image, belief, and values.

Messages that are congruent with the values tend to engender more resistance than messages that are incongruent with rational logic.

The total situations affects communication, a message interpreted as congruent in one situation may be interrupted as incongruent in another.

Upward communication. This is an interpersonal communication. However in practice in organisations it was traditionally used only for feedback. This type of communication is usually from the subordinate to the superior.

Horizontal communication.

The flat organisational structures demand horizontal communications. Its considered to be the most effective of the various methods available. This is a communication between equals where both the parties assume the role of adults.

It is imperative that irrespective of the communication method followed, there must be an uninterrupted flow of information.



From India, Delhi
I am attaching a power point presentation on the basics of communication which may be of further interest to you. Cheers Prof.Lakshman
From Sri Lanka, Kolonnawa

Attached Files
File Type: ppt communication_103.ppt (152.0 KB, 277 views)

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