Effective communication in the workplace
Effective communication in the workplace

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Effective communication in the workplace

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.

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Transcript: Video 1

This week is all about understanding nonverbal communication. Getting your message across isn't just about the words you say, but also depends on what your tone of voice and body language tell people. You'll learn how to recognise and interpret non-verbal cues, such as posture, gestures, and facial expressions. And you'll reflect on how others might perceive you in the workplace, giving you the chance to reinforce your strengths and improve on areas that could be working better for you.
Nonverbal communication plays a significant role in creating a good first impression. For example, at an interview or in a meeting, you'll learn how to present a positive image in these situations so that interviewers or colleagues focus more on the words you say than on any distracting behaviours.
End transcript: Video 1
Video 1
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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.

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