Non-Verbal Communication on the Telephone
How do you stand a chance at making a positive impression when the person forming the impression is using factors she can only perceive? Keying in on the principles for non-verbal communication can help. The principles for non-verbal communication are:
Use positive body language
You may wonder about the purpose of smiling while you're talking on the telephone. After all, the other person can't see your smile, so what's the point? While it's true that your smile can't be seen, it can definitely be heard. Putting a smile in your voice projects an image that will help you establish rapport and build long-term, lasting business relationships, while creating a lasting, positive impression.
Part of the beauty of communicating over the telephone is that you can't be seen. Maybe you're working from home, in your swim suit, but it doesn't matter, since no one can see you. While your swim suit won't be revealed over the telephone, your body language will. Not only does your body language impact your attitude, it could also impede good vocal production.
If you have an ultra-casual, laid back, feet-on-the-desk posture, it is sure to come through in your voice and your attitude. You run the risk of sounding uncaring or disrespectful. You should not slouch either as it projects a sloppy, indifferent attitude. Additionally, slouching restricts your diaphragm, the muscle that allows you to support and project your voice. Sitting up straight with your feet on the floor gives the best impression.
Your body language is clearly reflected in your voice and it comes through loud and clear on the telephone. Although you can't see the other person, behave as you would if he was sitting across the conference room table from you.
Have a positive attitude
While attitude is more difficult to measure than a smile or body language, it is a critical part of non-verbal communication. It's easy to spot a person with a bad attitude. It is also easy to hear one. Attitude is everything over the telephone. Either you're there to help, or you're not. A bad attitude can't be masked by the best telephone etiquette. It colors the entire interaction. A positive attitude, however, can make up for all sorts of deficiencies.
Your non-verbal communication speaks volumes. Make sure it is saying what you want it to say. The list below is a comprehensive review of tips for non-verbal communication:
- Put a smile in your voice.
- React like it's your best friend on the phone.
- Start smiling before you answer the telephone.
- Think of every call as a welcome break.
- Sit up straight with both feet on the floor.
- Don't slouch.
- Treat callers with respect.
- Focus on what you can do.
- Don't take your problems out on a caller.
- Try to project a perky, positive, upbeat image.
Although you can't see the person on the other end of the telephone, non-verbal communication speaks loudly. It has strong influence on the impression you project of yourself and your company.
As work environments grow more and more business casual and working from home becomes more common, you run the risk of sending negative non-verbal messages. Whether you're calling from the board room or poolside, be mindful of what your nonverbal communication is saying about you and your company.