Non-verbal communication

Certificate II in Hospitality – dealing with conflict at work or at schoolBody language or non-verbal communication is the key to effective communication. You cannot always rely on verbal communication to get your message across, it is important to use non-verbal communication at the same time to ensure that the message has been received correctly. Imagine if you were talking to a friend and they were speaking in a positive manner, but they were standing with their arms crossed. They are sending mixed messages, and it can be confusing to customers if your body language does not match your verbal communication.

Body language provides people with important information and clues to the meaning of a message. Body language is the unspoken communication that goes with any face-to-face communication, it includes: gestures, facial expressions, posture and/or hand movement. 

Did you know that when you speak: 60-80% of any message communicated is communicated through body language, and only 7-10% is attributable to verbal communication? This identifies exactly why verbal communication is so imperative to being able to effectively communicate with others, it ensures that your message is received and heard. As different kinds of body language portray different things – Open body language: You are open to conversation; Closed body language: This could indicate you are not interested in communicating with others. There are also physical characteristics that can impact on non-verbal communication, these include: eyes, lips, mouth, eyebrows, nose, forehead, chin, hands, fingers, arms, legs, feet and sitting position.

All body language can be interpreted differently in conjunction with verbal communication. The ability to interpret body language is a valuable asset, as it can assist with specific times and can ensure that you are meeting a customer’s needs.  When you are serving customers next, ensure that your body language and verbal communication match, ensuring that customers are not confused and feel welcomed to the venue. As if your body language and verbal communication does not match, they could feel uncomfortable and will mean that they will not return to the venue, as they will remember their past experience.