Honing Communication Skills in the Workplace- Body Language Interpretation
So much more is expected from managers and supervisors, not only because you’re paid more than other employees, but also because you are supposed to be more skilled and experienced in leading people. One of the biggest factors managers and supervisors must master by heart is communication skills in the workplace, which also includes interpreting the body language of employees.
To maximize staff potential and productivity, exercising open communication within a team is essential. This is the reason why organizations and departments hold regular team meetings and assessments to hear employee feedback and reactions about projects, leadership, policies, and other workplace issues that affect them.
Good leadership welcomes comments and suggestions from their employees and encourages a healthy practice of open communication skills in the workplace.
The challenge, however, for managers and leaders like you is being able to read and interpret your employee’s non-verbal communication and body language. You don’t need to be a mentalist to read people’s body language, but you do need to have some idea of human behavior to understand and feel what employees need, based on their non-verbal actions. Not every employee will be open enough to speak out his or her mind, so learning how to interpret body language is a must-have skill. This may not be easy. Different people react differently, and do different things that have totally different meanings depending on their own backgrounds. Knowing this will help managers and leaders interact with staff and make better business decisions.
You can’t change the attitude and behavior of employees. Their habits and attitudes have all been ingrained from years of personal experiences. What a manager is called to do is to harness the skills and potential in every staff, and to create an environment where they can perform at their best. By having some understanding of human behavior and being sensitive to body language, you’ll be able to manage employees better and even help them improve their communication skills in the workplace.
By helping staff to improve their communication skills in the workplace, including non-verbal communication, you are helping them to push their limits. You are encouraging better teamwork and camaraderie. You may not be able to change attitudes and personalities of the staff but by having open communication, you will be able to improve their demonstrated abilities.
It is a huge challenge for managers and leaders to run an entire team of people who come from different upbringing, life experiences, and social backgrounds. People react differently and display all sorts of non-verbal body language that may mean a lot in a business setting. Though you may never totally understand their non-verbal language, practicing open communication among everyone in the organization will go a long, long way. There is no doubt that having effective communication skills in the workplace is an essential building block in running a successful organization.
© 2013 Incedo Group, LLC