Omnibus communication: Why even the blinks matter
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Growing up, my mum would very often talk to me with her eyes. At every point I knew what she wanted from me just by looking at her face. Then, I came to the realisation that beyond words exists probably a more powerful and highly impressive means of communication.
Communication is like an omnibus: it’s all-embracing and every item included in it is as important as the other. To be successful at it, you must be mindful of what you say, how you say it, who you say it to and whether you have to say it at all.
Body language matters
In the professional sphere, body posture often determines communication outcomes. I have heard employers talk about how their decision to offer jobs to qualified individuals is largely based on their posture during interviews.
Stand with arms crossed in front of your chest and it’s not hard to guess how defensive you are or how much you disagree with an opinion or action. Bite your nails and everybody knows how nervous, insecure or stressed you are. Place your fingertips together and we know you have authority and are in control.
Know your audience
Beyond these postures lies another significant angle: know the background of the people with whom you interact. This helps you to know of the appropriate body language to communicate. For instance, it is highly inappropriate to cross your ankle over your knee and display the sole of your shoe while talking to an audience made up from people from Middle Eastern cultures.
In addition to knowledge of the subject matter and fluency, you have to be mindful of who you’re communicating with, so that you can select the most suitable facial expressions, body movements, gestures to convey the right thoughts, intentions and emotions. Afterwards be sure you’re an excellent communicator who achieves results.