Communication and Active Listening at the Workplace

Nonverbal and paraverbal communication plays an important role in how we convey meaning and information to others, as well as how we interpret the actions of others during conversations. For business professionals, giving off the right nonverbal cues is extremely important. When your body language, facial expressions and tone of voice match your spoken words, your message is reinforced and helps clients, coworkers and prospects better understand you.

Here are 5 important elements of nonverbal and paraverbal communication at the workplace:
• Facial expressions: A warm smile during a team meeting can convey approachability and foster a positive work environment.
• Vocal Tone: Using a confident and enthusiastic tone when presenting project results can inspire team members and stakeholders.
• Body posture: Maintaining an upright and attentive posture during a client presentation demonstrates professionalism and confidence.
• Hand gestures: When discussing a complex topic, using clear hand gestures to illustrate key points can enhance understanding and engagement.
• Physical distance: Maintaining an appropriate physical distance during a team meeting
demonstrates professionalism and ensures everyone feels comfortable participating in the discussion.

Active listening on the other hand, is a communication skill that involves going beyond simply hearing the words that another person speaks, but also seeking to understand the message being conveyed. It is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding and is an important first step to defuse the situation and seek solutions to problems. It is designed to encourage respect and understanding, while gaining information and perspective. And it is valuable indeed since after all you gain nothing by attacking the speaker or interrupting them, right? Active listening can be developed with practice. A basic first step in acquiring this skill is to start listening consciously and avoid misunderstanding. This will enable you to enjoy better relationships. It involves listening with all senses, as well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening – otherwise the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener. Listeners should not be tempted to jump in with questions or comments every time there are a few seconds of silence. Active listening involves giving the other person time to explore their thoughts and feelings, they should, therefore, be given adequate time for that.

Proper communication skills will help you provide a better internship experience to your interns, create better employer-employee relations and even convert them into your brand fans. You will be able to learn more on how to improve your communication skills and inspire interns to do the same, from the up-coming i-Coach Training Toolbox. Stay tuned!


Interested in learning even more? Do check out the sources provided below: