Experts argue that actions speak louder than words. People believe what you do more than what you say, and you should walk the talk are three familiar admonitions that express clearly the importance of non-verbal communication in organisations. Non-verbal communication is vitally important to communication effectiveness (Anderson, 1999).
One summary concluded that non-verbal messages “can convey affiliation, positive regard, interest, dominance, credibility, or status; can reinforce or punish; (and can) affect what others learn, what attitudes develop, what approaches will be modelled, and what is expected” (Tresch, Pearson, Munter, Wyld, & Waltman, 1986, p. 78). Non-verbal communication has important consequences when organisations try to flatten the organisation and treat everyone as equals. “In everyday work place encounters, non-verbal communication announces and reinforces the differences in status that exist between members of an organisation” (Remland, 2000, p. 350). Body language includes the way a person sits, stands, moves arms, hands. and feet. It comprises of other subtle movements. Human faces are incredibly expressive including the eyes, eyebrows, mouth, and any other movement. Emotions such as anger, happiness, hurt, and boredom are all easily expressed with facial movements. These can also be easily misinterpreted when one is not conscious of how they are moving their faces. People often attribute trustworthiness to people who speak while maintaining good eye contact and vice versa. Communication is the key to success in the workplace. Communication occurs with vendors and customers. However, the most important communication takes place with fellow workers. Employees need to give fellow workers the respect they deserve. By looking someone in the eye, the speaker feels as though the message is being carried through to the recipient. Slouching in the chair signifies a person who may not care about the message being sent. A sloppy posture says that the recipient may not be paying attention or may be purposely trying to distract the speaker. Respecting the time of other workers is also a non-verbal form of communication. For those that attend meetings with co-workers, being on time is of utmost importance. Arriving on time shows respect for others’ time and contributions. Non-verbal communication is critical to the success of any workplace. It starts from the moment an employee applies for a job and continues through the employment of that particular employee.