Effective communication in the workplace
Effective communication in the workplace

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Week 3: Understanding non-verbal communication


Over the next three weeks of the course, you will be looking in more detail at the different forms of communication, i.e. non-verbal, verbal (or oral) and written.

This week you will be introduced to non-verbal communication, often referred to as body language, but not limited to this. The Collins English Dictionary defines non-verbal communication as:

… those aspects of communication such as gestures and facial expressions that do not involve verbal communication but may include non-verbal aspects of speech.

In studying non-verbal communication, you will gain an insight into the unspoken messages you are conveying to colleagues, interviewers, family and friends. Understanding body language will help to deepen your awareness of how someone is feeling, perhaps about a task or personal matter. It will help you to understand how some of your own signals may be perceived at work, so you can minimise them if they are negative and make better use of them if positive.

Watch this video of Lynne Johnson who will give you some more information about what you’ll be focusing on this week.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 1
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Video 1
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • understand and interpret non-verbal communication
  • reflect on the way that others perceive you
  • present a positive personal image.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371