Understanding Non-verbal Communication in Workplaces

Kirsten Mount
July 15, 2022

Strong communication skills are considered important in the workforce as well as personal life. There are two main types of communication which are verbal and non-verbal. Not many people are aware of non-verbal communication. In this article, we explain what is non-verbal communication and examples of non-verbal communication in the workplace. 

What is non-verbal communication?

Non-verbal communication is a way for someone to understand the message you’re conveying without any form of words. Non-verbal communication involves the use of physical movements as well as expressions. 

Why is it important to understand non-verbal communication?

Understanding non-verbal communication is important because it helps to give a good idea of the message a person’s trying to portray. It also helps to improve communication by increasing clarity and trust among each other. 

Importance of understanding non-verbal communication

Examples of non-verbal communication in workplaces

There are several examples of non-verbal communication in workplaces. Below are some of the common ones: 

1. Visual appearance 

Visual appearance is related to how you present yourself with your attire or facial appearance. If you’re a man, some examples would be clean-shaven. For women, the common visual appearance would be makeup. 

Ensuring you’re visual appearance is neat and tidy gives others a positive impression of how confident and professional you are. 

2. Maintaining good eye contact

One of the best ways to make someone feel heard would be to maintain eye contact while someone is talking instead of your phone or computer. If it’s through video call, putting your camera on is a sign of respect as well. 

3. Ensuring a consistently positive tone of voice 

Speaking is one of the common examples of non-verbal communication in the workplace. The tone of your voice makes all the difference as to the real message you’re bringing. 

4. Facial expressions

While communicating with one another, we are always anticipating some form of facial expression from each other. Hence, facial expression is a common form of non-verbal communication in workplaces as it can show what a person is currently thinking or feeling without uttering any words. 

5. Physical touch 

Physical touch is another form of non-verbal communication in workplaces such as handshakes, hugs or a pat on the back. A common example is the way a person does a handshake - if it’s a firm or a limp handshake. 

6. Body language

A person’s body language always gives off how they feel at the moment. For example, when you cross your arms while talking to someone, it might seem like you’re not interested in talking to them. 

7. Hand gestures

When trying to convey opinions or ideas, hand gestures are one of the best ways to do so. Some examples include adjusting your clothes and rubbing your nose. In certain cases, some may get the wrong idea and consider it rude.

Examples of non-verbal communication in workplaces

How to improve non-verbal communication? 

As a working professional, it’s important to improve your non-verbal communication to strive for better in your career. Take a look at some of these examples of how you can improve: 

1. Make sure to have an open body position. 

Don’t cross your arms while talking to someone. It shows you’re not interested in listening to them. Leave your arms on the sides instead.

2. Maintain eye contact. 

Those who don’t look at the other person’s eyes might make it seem like they are hiding something. 

3. Consider mirroring the other person. 

One of the good ways to ensure you’re communicating well would be to mirror the other person. This builds trust and confidence when you can follow what the other person’s doing.

4. Observe others. 

Watch how other people, especially the ones you respect the most, and observe how they communicate with others and learn from their tone of voice, body language, and eyes. 


Communication is something that should be regularly worked on to build a better life. If you’re looking for ways to refine learning strategies in workplaces, Gnowbe is the solution for you! With Gnowbe app, you can create unique training programs for your employees! Try Gnowbe today and watch how it transforms workplaces for the better.

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