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Nonverbal Communication Essay

Nonverbal communication is the act of delivering communication without the use of words. Nonverbal communications are essential in the workplace. During communication at a workplace, nonverbal communication accounts for 93% of the communication, while the remaining 7% is verbal communication (Mehrabian, 1981). During negotiations in a workplace, 60% to 80% of the communication is nonverbal (Pease, 2017). This type of communication highlights the importance of correct utilization and understanding of nonverbal skills in the workplace for better communication and the subsequent success of the organization.

There are many situations through which nonverbal communication applies in a workplace. These include facial expressions, touching examples during handshakes, paralinguistics examples changes of tone and communication speed, use of space while elaborating, use of time example while pausing for effect, general appearance during communication, and use of gestures and standing poses, for instance, hands-on-hips.

During my time in the workplace, facial expressions, gestures and postures, and appearance and dressing were among some of the nonverbal communication strategies I experienced.

Facial expressions in nonverbal communication

The manager used facial expressions in the meeting while communicating with the employees. The manager spoke directly, going directly into the agendas of the meeting. He showed good planning by the way he navigated the objectives of the meeting. He had a calm attitude and maintained good eye contact with the employees.

He used facial expressions such as smiling, eye contact, raising of one or both eyebrows, the movement of cheek muscles, frowning, lowering of eyebrows, making puzzled faces, movement of the eyes, moving the nose muscles, changing the breathing pattern, for example deep exhale to express his mood on particular topics of discussion.

At one instance, he made a disappointed look by creating a deep exhale and making a long stare on an employee who appeared to be distracted from the events of the meeting. The employee quickly realized the look and sat upright and maintained eye contact with the manager. The manager was once again contented and resumed on the topics of discussion, usually changing his mood. From this, we can see the importance of nonverbal cues in communication.

Functions of facial expressions in communication

Facial expressions as nonverbal communication cues are essential tools in expressing emotions and attitudes to other people. They are considered to be the primary form of communication between humans and other animal species. People can use these expressions to express joy, anger, fear, surprise, fear, and disgust (Argyle,1988). Facial expressions are vital since they help in the communication of thoughts, ideas and emotions. In addition, they are useful indicators of trust. People who fail to maintain proper eye contact are perceived to be untrustworthy.

Use of gestures and postures in nonverbal communication

Gestures are movements made by a person during speech using one or multiple parts of the body. Gestures and body postures are huge indicators of the mood and interest of a person during communication (Harappa diaries, 2021). Gestures and body poses were used a lot by the manager during the meeting while addressing the employees.

Some of the gestures and poses used by the manager include hand gestures, for example, thumbs up to signal satisfaction. He also raised his hands to insist on specific points during communication, raising alertness levels of the employees listening. He also rubbed his hands to signal positive expectations from the employees. He maintained a straight poise when standing, which signaled his dominance and preparedness, thereby better communicating with the employees and promoting efficient information delivery.

Functions of gestures and postures in non-verbal communication

Appropriate gestures and body postures are helpful in opinion emphasis. They help capture the audience’s attention and help keep them involved in the discussion. They are also good indicators of audience alertness and the message’s reception (Harappa diaries, 2021). By studying audience postures and gestures, one can tell whether they are positively or negatively taking the communication. It is therefore vital to maintain good postures and gestures during communication.

Appearance and dressing in nonverbal communication

Appearance and dressing are important nonverbal cues one should always maintain in communication. However, the dressing should always match the occasion. In the meeting with the employees, the manager kept an excellent appearance and dressing. He wore a well-fitting black suit and white shirt with a nice tie. The meeting was formal, and the manager maintained a formal appearance, which promoted better communication since employees were less distracted by his appearance.

Functions of appearance and dressing in nonverbal communication

Appearance plays a significant role in a person’s image. It can change the way people respond to your communication how they judge and understand you (Bartleby Research, 2021). However, the dressing code is dependent on the occasion. Good choice of dressing is vital in an event for good communication to occur. Appearance is significant since it helps the audience become more alert, thereby perceiving the message better. Appearance is also important since it can determine whether people respect you in your leadership role. Therefore, it is always good to maintain a good impression and dress to promote good communication.

How unconventional language and word choice hinder nonverbal communication situations

In some instances, the manager’s word choice was poor, leading to misunderstanding the intended meaning. The poor word choice led to confusion and mood change when for example, the intended meaning was positive, and yet, due to poor word choice, the employees interpreted it negatively. There were other instances the manager strayed away from the topic of discussion and discussed different matters outside his talking points, which led to distraction and boredom by the employees, who responded by showing inattentiveness, poor sitting postures, and even signs of drowsiness. Therefore, this brings out the effects of poor communication on poor listening habits, making communication efficiency poor.

Listening techniques used by the manager in the nonverbal communication situations

The manager used good listening techniques when employees asked questions or made suggestions on particular discussion topics. He paid close attention to the person speaking by maintaining eye contact and observing the nonverbal cues closely. He also used nonverbal cues such as nodding, smiling, and encouraging the speaker with verbal comments such as showing that he was listening. He also asked for clarification whenever he didn’t understand and ensured the employee finished speaking before asking for clarification. He was also appropriately responsive and respectfully gave his opinions on matters, thereby promoting good communication between the manager and employees.


Argyle, M. (1988), Bodily Communication, 2nd Edition, Methuen, New York.

Bartleby Research. (2021). Importance of appearance in nonverbal communication. Homework Help and Textbook Solutions | Bartleby.

Harappa diaries. (2021, August 13). Role of gestures in communication. Harappa.

Khanna, P. (2020). Techniques and Strategies to Develop Active Listening Skills: The Armour for Effective Communication across Business Organizations. The Achievers Journal: Mehrabian, A. (1981), Silent Messages: Implicit Communication of Emotions and Attitudes, 2 nd Edition, Belmont, Wadsworth, CA. Journal of English Language, Literature and Culture6(3), 50-60.

Pease, A. & Pease, B. The Definitive Book of Body Language, Harlequin,2017.


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