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Non-Verbal Communication

Body Language
Image – Dustin York

A common assumption about communication is that it only involves talking, however a great deal of human interaction and communication is actually conducted through other means, such as smell and body language. As part of our Experiencing the Creative Economy module we focused particularly on non-verbal communication. Non verbal communication is the use of facial expressions, physical behaviour and mannerisms. Each gesture or movement can be a valuable insight to an emotion a person may be feeling at any given time. It can be a conscious on unconscious behaviour.

Non-verbal communication, is the most reliable and powerful form of communication according to Ganguly (2017). It plays a very important role in the entire process of recruitment and subsistence within organizations.  Businesses spend a great deal of time and budgets on training their staff to understand non-verbal cues as well as their governavce techniques. This helps businesses with regards to their recruitment process, specifically interviews. Non-verbal communication is essential when attending interviews. The first impression you give can have a large impact when a company decides on whether to hire you. Ultimately, you want to leave a lasting impression that the recruitment team will remember you by.

Eye contact and handshakes are effective gestures for leaving a good impression.
Picture – http://www.bohatala.com

Non verbal communication was a common criticism for our design thinking startup team. In most of our presentations we received feedback saying that our group energy was not convincing nor passionate enough. I have not always been aware of my body language and what this portrays to other people. This class helped me to have a better understanding of how I can give a good impression and appear passionate about what I am doing.

I find this very interesting as when I started Babatunde, I believe my non-verbal communication was strong. I was excited about the project and believed in what I was doing. I definitely noticed that people could sense this positivity and it made them want to be involved in the project. Later on when my passion for the business started dying, I could sense that I was deterring business colleagues with my negative outlook and cynicism.

According to Schramm (2010), we have many opportunities each week to make a good first impression. Whether it’s a formal presentation to hundreds of people, a cover letter to a company we would like to work for, or even an email to a group of colleagues about an upcoming event, we need to consider each first impression and make it count. It is important to make these moments count and to give yourself an advantage with what is an easy and effective method.

Although I have found body language and non-verbal communication to be an interesting topic for most of my life, I had not thought of it extensively enough with regards to business and the creative economy. Going forward I will be more conscious of my own body language and message I am portraying to others when I first meet them. This knowledge will be fundamental when I am seeking a job later this year.

References

Schramm, JD (2010) ‘Effective Communication Begins with a First Impression’, Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2010/08/effective-communciation-begins (Accessed: 1 April 2020).

Ganguly, S. (2017). Understanding Nonverbal Cues: A Key to Success in Interviews. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 11(2), 62,64-72.

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Published by fortysomethingrebirth

I am a South African from Jo'burg. I love football, music (mainly from the Caribbean) and design. I am currently studying a Masters of Managing in the Creative Economy at Kingston University in London.

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