Monday, April 11, 2011

How Can Nonverval Communication Improve Your Sales?

By Morgan Hafer

It has always been known that interpersonal communication skills are important for any job. However, one specific interpersonal skill seems to be standing out among the rest. This particular skill has been helping business people reap numerous benefits every year. What is this coveted skill you might ask? The skill that will help you become more successful and increase your sales is being able to accurately recognize other people’s nonverbal emotional expressions.

According to studies done by Kristin Bryon, Sophia Terranova, and Stephen Nowicki Jr, by being able to read nonverbal emotional expression accurately has been positively correlated with successful job performance. In order to have effective communication, one must be able to “read” and recognize other people’s expressions. Emotion expression is primarily portrayed through facial expressions, voice tone, and postures. However, not everyone can detect nonverbals equally. Reading nonverbal emotional expressions has become an evolutionary advantage. This means that those with higher skills in reading others expressions are linked to having higher job performance, in addition to being more likely to hold a supervisory position. That is why this skill of recognizing others’ nonverbal expressions has become so crucial in people’s careers. The more you have face-to-face interactions at your job, the more important it is to be able to read others’ nonverbal. Without being able to accurately do so, you will not be as successful on the job.

From the studies, it was found that accurately reading others’ emotions helped salespeople garner higher average annual salary increases. Those who could accurately recognize emotional expressions did not have to try to be the stereotypical manipulative car salesperson. In addition, they were able to sell more cars per month. Another interesting finding in this study was that females were better able to recognize nonverbal expressions.

In conclusion, in order to be successful in sales, one must be able to accurately read consumers’ nonverbal emotional expressions. This will allow the salesperson to be able to communicate more effectively with their customers and build a relationship with them. Accurately labeling another person’s emotions is just the first step to being successful in sales. Once you establish this skill, then you must know what to do with that information. For example, by being able to read negative emotional expressions of consumers, this will allow a salesperson to adjust their sales pitch accordingly. In addition, employers may start using a diagnostic test to analyze interpersonal skills, especially those of interpreting others’ nonverbal behavior. This will become a skill that will be highly sought after in future employees. Furthermore, formal training will also start to be conducted in companies to train employees how to read their customers in order to increase customer satisfaction. Communication has always been a key in the business world. From this study, one can see that with proper skills in recognizing others’ nonverbal emotional expression, one can increase their sales and job success!

During this video clip, Robert De Niro is a stereotypical salesman. He is unable to pick up on the nonverbal cues of his customers, therefore, he loses the sale and pushes the consumers away. He neglects to notice their closed off body language and sharp vocal tones. In order to get the sale, it is very important to recognize your customer's nonverbal emotional expressions.

Byron, K., Terranova, S. and Nowicki, S. (2007), Nonverbal Emotion Recognition and Salespersons: Linking Ability to Perceived and Actual Success. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37: 2600–2619.

Nonverbals to Persuade

By Mark Rosenbaum

Throughout the business industry, there are many different forms of persuasion that is going to be needed to flourish in your profession. There might be that raise you were hoping to receive from your boss, the sales pitch for your idea, or maybe even getting your coworkers to simply work together for the common goal… Fact is, persuasion is everywhere. Joseph Cesario and E. Troy Higgins discuss in their article entitled Marking Message Recipients “Feel Right”, how to make the listener feel good about the person conveying a message and what they are saying. Through their studies they found:

Be Eager with your nonverbals!

Through case studies, Cesario and Higgins found that the messages conveyed with an eager style of nonverbal communication were more effective than one given by a vigilant communication style. What does this mean? When you are communicating messages to your listeners, be eager, use hand motions and expressions that are happy, and expressive. Do not use ones that seem like they would show dangers or worry.

Looking further into their research, the notion that when the participants of the study felt comfortable with who was giving the message due to their nonverbal messages, the messages were more effective.

What does this mean for the business world?

For corporate America, this notion means that making people feel comfortable, by using nonverbal communication, can boost the effectiveness of your message. If you want that raise from your boss, then you best be considerate in your nonverbals!

Cesario, J., & Higgins, E. (2008). Making Message Recipients “Feel Right”: How Nonverbal Cues Can Increase Persuasion. Psychological Science (Wiley-Blackwell), 19(5), 415-420. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02102.x

Inverviews and Nonverbals

By Cristina Byrne

Congratulations! Spending days, weeks or possibly months of looking for the right job has finally paid off, and you’ve been asked to come in for an interview. No matter how good you look on paper, appearance is what matters. From how you treat each member of the interview team, to what you wear, say or do not say during the interview is noted and taken into account in the hiring process.

There is a considerable amount of evidence that nonverbal behavior plays an important role in influencing interview impressions and hiring decisions. The reason facial expressions are important is because most facial expressions are automatic and involuntary. When you feel surprised for instances your face simply shows it. You are unconsciously giving off changing facial expressions. To a large extent the face is a mirror of the soul. Whether the interviewees smile is synthetic or real, we are often faced with minimal information about them. In consequence the interview team has to rely on brief observations of their behavior.

Studies prove that authentic smiles are perceived as more spontaneous, genuine and attract more positive ratings than would fake smiles or neutral expressions. In general, interviewees displaying dynamic authentic smiles were evaluated more favorably than those who showed fake smiles or neutral expressions. These ratings were based off the job attributes, traits, and some of the expression characteristics presented in the interview process. (Krumhuber, Manstead, Cosker, Marshall, Rosin, 2008).

So remember next time you go into a job interview, no matter how good you look on paper, your nonverbal behaviors will be taken into account in the hiring process.

Krumhuber, E., Manstead, A. S., Cosker, D., Marshall, D., & Rosin, P. L. (2008, November 4). Effects of Dynamic Attributes of Smiles in Human and Synthetic Faces: A Simulated Job Interview Setting. J Nonverbal, 1-15. doi:10.1007/s10919-008-0056-8

Leading With Nonverbals

By Kevin Miller

Once you get your dream job of a supervisory position, it is very important to know how to use your nonverbal communication so that your subordinates have a better perception of you. An article by Kristin Byron goes into an overview of how nonverbal communication is perceived by both male and female managers. It was found through the study that female managers were more able to accurately detect emotions through nonverbal attributes. Also, the managers who were more able to detect them received higher satisfaction ratings from their subordinates and also got higher performance ratings from the output of the workers.

Results suggested that male managers who were more accurate at emotion perception received higher satisfaction ratings if they used the information to be more persuasive, whereas more emotionally perceptive female managers received higher satisfaction ratings when they demonstrated more supportiveness.” (Byron, 2007, p. 713)

In my opinion, this article shows results that are supported by facts and test that are truthful. The facts that show that females are more able to pick up on nonverbal cues makes sense because females tend to pay more attention to details and care more for emotions than males. It also describes how male and female managers can break through to their subordinates to help improve employee moral. It is fascinating how the different sexes have to use two different techniques to be more effective in communicating with their subordinates.

Byron, K. (2007). Male and female managers' ability to 'read' emotions: Relationships with supervisor's performance ratings and subordinates' satisfaction ratings. Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, 80(4), 713-733.

Reading Nonverbals

By Meredith Hafer

You see a frowning face and you automatically know that person is not happy. Reading their nonverbals can be easy to detect what that person means without actually speaking it. However, what if you are not face-to-face with them? How do you read someone’s nonverbals online? Have no fear; Andrew Ledbetter and Kiley Larson (2008) have studied the nonverbal cues in emails that will benefit anyone entering corporate America today. In the two empirical studies conducted by Ledbetter and Larson (2008), they tested the association between sending nonverbals in an email, support satisfaction, and communicator sex.

Communicating online is very different than face-to-face interaction. People must interpret what emotion you are trying to convey just from the email (Ledbetter & Larson, 2008). Therefore, communicators must try to compensate for the personal absence by adding in their own nonverbal cues(Ledbetter & Larson, 2008). You can get creative when you are designing a nonverbal online, or you can keep it simple. Some examples of creating your personalized nonverbal online is the making of a human face with symbols from the computer (Ledbetter & Larson, 2008). Since more people are using online to communicate and creating their own nonverbal cues, it is important to understand the receiver’s support satisfaction from the text. It is also crucial to understand if the sender’s sex has an influence on how frequently they use emotional nonverbals. Ledbetter and Larson found that nonverbal cue usage online interaction does not provide support satisfaction to the receiver (2008). Translating this for use, means you can add nonverbal cues to your text, and it will not alter the receiver’s emotions of support. So send as little or as much nonverbal cues as you want, and you will not influence the evaluation of supportive email messages (Ledbetter & Larson, 2008). Learning the difference between which gender sends more emotional nonverbal will help you communicate more effectively. As many of you would assume, the results showed that women send emotionally expressive nonverbal cues than men(Ledbetter & Larson, 2008). So the next email you receive from a female, you should count how many times they use emotional nonverbal cues. You will see the results that Ledbetter and Larson proved.

Next time you want to send an email to a colleague pay more attention to the content of the message than the nonverbal. You will get more of a satisfactory response from the receiver with your verbals than your nonverbal (Ledbetter & Larson, 2008). Finally if you are a woman communicating, watch your usage of emotionally expressive nonverbals(Ledbetter & Larson, 2008). They will not help you when communicating online. Save yourself the hassle, and just stick to the nonverbals in person, and the verbals online.

Ledbetter, A. M., & Larson, K. A. (2008). NONVERBAL CUES IN E-MAIL SUPPORTIVE COMMUNICATION. Information, Communication & Society, 11(8), 1089-1110. doi:10.1080/13691180802109022