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The Art of Communication Katie Ross, Employment Facilitator at the Employment Resource Centre in Newmarket

About the Author

Katie Ross is a Facilitator at the Employment Resource Centre in Newmarket. Drop in (130 Davis Dr. Unit 11) and discover how you can market yourself in the best possible way. Check out our website for more information

A definition: The exchange of Information between people, by means of speaking, writing and using a common system of signs and behaviours.

What's in a word, you might ask?

Well, it all depends how you say that word! According to research, our non-verbals are responsible for 93% of the message we are sending and, subsequently, how that message is received or interpreted!

So...what are non-verbals?

They consist of a variety of 'spoken and unspoken cues'. For example: the way you sound, stand, dress, gesture, intone, inflect, sigh, giggle, stare, look, hem, haw and gaze into space...are just a few of the things we do with our voice, face and body that help tell our story!

Imagine, you are insisting that you are happy...and you're not smiling...are you believable? If you are discussing what motivates, interests or excites you and your tone of voice has no change in inflection, pitch or is the listener to see , hear or sense the depth or sincerity of your excitement?...What if it was a phone interview, a potential employer...and they couldn't see your face? If you are telling me how fit you are, yet your stance and posture are slouched and sloppy...who are you trying to kid!

Some behavioural experts believe they can tell if you are sitting, standing, slouching or are still in your pajamas...and that's on a phone interview!!!

According to 'divorce lore' and a variety of sources (Internet, articles, friends, family, colleagues...''the man/woman'' on the street, etc., etc.) the most frequently cited reason for marriage failure is lack of communication!

We all know, however, whether from personal experience or third party knowledge that there is seldom a lack of communication between partners...but more likely, there is a lack of effective communication!

I see many clients who, having successfully secured the interview, are terrified about the process. If you feel unsure, unfit or will show in your face, your posture, your voice. Your non-verbals are what people trust. After all, we were painting symbols on cave walls and waving and grunting, long before we were using the spoken word.

Research tells us that you make a 1st impression in 3 seconds! Is your body or your tone betraying you? Your r�sum� gets you in the door, but we are selected often on who we are and how we look and behave: Remember, there are 9 other candidates whose r�sum� state the same qualifications, same experience and skills as yours. The art of your communication is what sets you apart.

In conclusion, without becoming paranoid or neurotic, or running to your local acting studio, start paying attention to the non-verbal behaviours you recognise in others...then take a look in the mirror...what are you saying...or not saying! Then walk into that room, head held high and be proud that you got the will make all the difference to your 1st impression!!

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