Different parts of the body having important role in communications are:
Head occupies a very important place in our body. Similarly it also plays a very important role in communication. The way we hold our head conveys a lot. The posture and movement of head are very important in face to face communication. Let us see what each posture convey:
(i) A head held up (high):
Sign of honor, self respect and self confidence.
(ii) A head bent low:
Sign of modesty, politeness, or guilt.
(iii) A stiffy head, held or drawn back words:
Sign of pride or naughtiness.
A popular saying states ‘the face is the index of mind’ i.e. the face is the mirror of mind. The face is indeed the primary site for expressing emotions. It reveals both the type and intensity of the feeling.
Facial expression conveys a lot without speaking a single word. Every facial muscle and every part of the face is an instrument of communication be it eye brows, the lines of forehead, the cheeks lips. A manager can very well practice to interpret these signals by first observing his own expression in a mirror.
3. Eye contact:
Eyes command particular attention as a source of non-verbal communication. Eyes communicate our deepest feelings. In face to face communication eye contact is of great importance.
They are especially effective for indicating attention and interest, influencing others, regulating interaction and establishing dominance. Eyes adopt different position in different situations such as:-
(i) Fixed eye:
(ii) Raised eyes:
Indicate fear or surprise.
(iii) Smiling eyes:
(vi) Long fixed gaze:
(v) Evasive eyes:
Nervousness or lack of interest.
The physical movement of arms, legs, hands, torso and head are called gestures. They also play a very important role in conveying meaning or messages without using words. Example:
(i) Pounding fist on the table shows ‘anger’.
(ii) Arms spread apart means wide.
(iii) Shuffling from one leg to another means nervous or restlessness etc.
The greater the gesture, the louder the speech. Speech and gestures go together and therefore, have to be properly co-ordinate. Lack of co-ordination between speech and gestures will lead to confusion.
5. Body shape and postures:
Behavioral scientists have studied the shapes of human body and have broadly put there in the fallowing three types:-
Thin, youthful and tall.
Strong, athletic, and muscular.
(iii) Endo morph:
Fat round and soft.
We however cannot do much about our body shape but we can definitely put it to effective use. Standing or sitting erect, leaning forward or backward, stretching or bending sideways all convey meanings.
A person can make both positive and negative impression of himself or others through his body posture. Therefore we should make efforts to ensure that our body does not send out wrong or negative signals especially during interview, meeting and other formal or informal interactions.