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The Importance Of Nonverbal Communication In Work Places

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Non-Verbal Communication Is More Important Than Verbal Communication?




Communication at work place is so important especially in the companies. This is because it gives companies good chances to be very productive and carry out its operations effectively. Many organizations fail to realize the importance of adopting effective communication strategies and this article therefore aims at highlighting how to utilize communication to improve organizational performance. There is an experience of some increase in commitment, morale and productivity by the employees provided they communicate well across the chain of communication in their places of work. The transmission of information among people in an organization is referred to as work place communication and this could involve the use of notes, one on one talks, emails, text messages etc. 

Arguments to be used

Communication skills are very important at work place and this can be seen when the communication is good and of high quality. Meaning the kind of communication used should aim at preventing conflict, misunderstanding and miscommunication of issues (Burgoon, Blair, and Strom, p. 586). In this regard effective communication leads to productive work and performance which in the end has positive impacts on the company’s bottom line. In order to increase the effectiveness of internal communication managers have to put in mind the relevance of effective communication. If communication at work place is poor employees are likely to quit job and seek for better working conditions (Hancock, p. 458). This is the reason why important communication skills are usually listed among the top job skills in determining both the employer and employee satisfaction. Increased stress and job dissatisfaction comes as a result of misunderstanding whatever is being said.


Overview of verbal and nonverbal communication

Good communication skills lead to better relations at work places and the stronger your skills are the better placed one is for hiring and job promotions. Effectiveness of verbal communication is more than just talking (Granhag and Vrij, p. 86). It involves both the delivery of messages and how one receives information. All workers that convey information in a clear and effective manner are highly valued by employers. All the employees that are good at interpreting messages and acting appropriately on the needed information are better placed in excelling at their jobs.  Verbal communication takes place among different people at work place and its constituent depends on the relationship existing between the communicating groups (Granhag, p. 41).For the nonverbal communication which involves use of gestures, facial expression is very key in the day to day operations of an organization (Ekman, O’Sullivan and Frank, p 1315). These are also referred to as signals and they often give clues as well as additional information and proper meaning to spoken communication.


Importance of nonverbal communication in work places

With non-verbal communication it’s easier to emphasize or even modify whatever has been said in words. For instance, if one is in agreement with something they simply nod their heads but if not in agreement they seem to shrug their shoulders with some sad or discontentment expression on their faces. This kind of communication also assists people to give some feedback to the recipient, regulate the flow of communication and give out information regarding their state of emotions (Egolf, p. 1419). If one is clearly tuned into the other person’s nonverbal communication cues, then they can easily determine the true meaning of what they are saying and this goes beyond the words they are saying.

Communication is very important in all the working environments and should be embraced by all employees and managers for proper functioning of the organization. Effective communication can be achieved either verbally or non-verbally provided the context of the message therein is clear. To a larger extend however nonverbal communication if done effectively is more important at work place compared to verbal communication. This is because if one is able to read the mood of an employee via the body language then a lot can be done to build on something good or rectify whatever is not right.

This communication is very important to an organization as it makes it productive and allows it to operate smoothly. If the communication is effective it increases an employee’s job satisfaction, productivity as well as positively impact on absenteeism and turnover rates. Communication at work place can either be verbal or nonverbal. For verbal communication it involves use of sounds and language to pass on a message while nonverbal communication is simply the use of gestures, body language, eye contact, posture and facial expressions to convey a message.

One may be agreeing with your communication verbally but in real sense from the clues such as fidgeting, avoidance of eye contact they are not. Therefore, it’s important to note if someone’s verbal and nonverbal communications are marching so as to tell whether they are in agreement with you (Bond and DePaulo, p. 480). If the body language is well understood, then it becomes important in helping one to agree with your points. The use of mirroring techniques assists in putting others at ease. This technique should however be used in a manner that the other person does not feel teased.

It should also be noted that this kind of communication is not just relevant in face to face communication (Joseph, p. 61). It can be of importance even in situations wherepeople are talking on phone. Someone who has mastered the interpretation of nonverbal communication can decipher the real feelings of the other person on phone basically by being keen on the tone used in the conversation. Is the tone sounding satisfied, dissatisfied or just not at par with what you are trying to communicate?


This can be evident via intonation, tone of the voice, pauses etc. through use of nonverbal communications and especially the body language strong messages can be sent regardless of what the words may be saying (Burgoon, Guerrero and Flo, p. 128). The tone in the voice, volume, pitch, quality and speed they all affect what one wants to say. The language of one’s body can easily contradict what your words may be saying, repeat your words, substitute your verbal communication or simply reinforce what you are saying verbally by adding meaning. While using nonverbal communication one can make the verbal communication more or less relevant in one way or the other (Bollingmo et al., p. 68). For example, you cannot tell someone they have not performed well verbally at work by avoiding eye contact with them. In as much as verbal communication is widely used in almost all organization it has its own shortcoming this is because with verbal communication the real feelings or intentions of an employee are not clearly brought out. This is different for the nonverbal communication where if the managers are keen at reading someone’s body language they can easily tell what they are communicating and act accordingly either to better a situation or rectify whatever the problem is. Through talking one may not really bring out all that they intent to unlike in the nonverbal communication where the feelings can be read from the mood or gestures (Granhag and Hartwig, p. 193). Therefore, nonverbal communication is very important at work places unlike verbal communication where one will only tell you what you need to hear and not the real information that can be read non-verbally.

To enhance nonverbal communication at work place one has to be conscious of their feelings, and physicality. You need also to be keen on watching people’s facial expression, body languages and voice intonations. To be able to adapt quickly to any situation and kind of communication at hand is one of the skills that people continuously improve on with time. Among the two forms of communication it’s evident that nonverbal communication actually completes verbal communication. One can only be completely sure of the message that another person is trying to put across by being keen on the nonverbal cues which in most cases should tally with what is being said verbally. Therefore, at work places every person has to work towards mastering the art of interpreting nonverbal cues in order to decipher the real meaning of verbal communication in their conversations with their colleagues. 

This sends some signals that you are either not sure of what you are saying or in one way or another you fear the said employee and therefore not confident of reprimanding them. Nonverbal communication ensures workplace efficiency. It’s of great importance in businesses and interviews. Most of the professions such as lawyers, teachers, journalists and even doctors communicate on regular basis and therefore if their nonverbal communication is not up to standards their work is likely to suffer (Bull, p. 201). For example, interviews and meetings require a lot of eye contact which is a sign of interest and confidence.



Effective communication is important in the success of any organization.    Both verbal and nonverbal communications reinforce each other and therefore should be taken seriously in ensuring smooth operations in the work place. Anyone who is keen on reading the nonverbal communication of an employee such as facial expression and gestures is better placed in having a deeper understanding of what they sincerely intent to communicate to them. Interpreting nonverbal communication is something that one learns with time and it’s very important to any person who would like to achieve effectiveness in communication. One can only enhance verbal communication if they are good listeners.



Bond, C.F., & DePaulo, B.M. (2008). Individual differences in judgingdeception: Accuracy and bias. Psychological Bulletin, 134,477–492.

Bull, P. (2009). Detecting deceit: Current issues. In T. Williamson,B. Milne, & S.P. Savage (Eds.), International developments ininvestigative interviewing (pp. 190–06). Cullompton, England:Willan.

Burgoon, J.K., Blair, J.P., & Strom, R.E. (2008). Cognitive biases andnonverbal cue availability in deception detection. Human CommunicationResearch, 34, 572–599.

Bollingmo, G., Wessel, E., Sandvold, Y., Eilertsen, D.E., &Magnussen, S. (2009). The effect of biased and non-biased informationon judgements of witness credibility. Psychology, Crime& Law, 15, 61–71.

Joseph A. DeVito (2012). Interpersonal Communication Book, The,13/E. Published 01/05/2012 Instock. P 56-70

Burgoon, J.K.; Guerrero, L. K. & K. Flo (2010). Non verbal communication textbook. Pg 120-131. Publisher: Allyn & Bacon, Incorporated

Ekman, P., O’Sullivan, M., & Frank, M.G. (2008). Scoring and reporting: A response to Bond (2008). Applied Cognitive Psychology, 22, 1315–1317.

Granhag, P.A. (2010). On the psycho-legal study of true and false intentions: Dangerous waters and some stepping stones. The Open Criminology Journal, 3, 37–43.

Granhag, P.A., & Hartwig, M. (2008). A new theoretical perspective on deception detection: On the psychology of instrumental mindreading. Psychology, Crime & Law, 14, 189–200.

Granhag, P.A., & Vrij, A. (2010). Interviewing to detect deception. In P.A. Granhag (Ed.), Forensic psychology in context: Nordic and Nonverbal and Verbal Lie Deection 115 international approaches (pp. 75–93). Cullompton, England: Willan.

Egolf, D. (2010). Phasing in Three Web-Based Assignments in a Nonverbal Communication Class. In D. Gibson & B. Dodge (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2010 (pp. 1418-1420). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Hancock, J.T (2004). Verbal irony use in computer-mediated and face-to-face conversations. Journal of Language and SocialPsychology, 23 447-463.


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