Cultivation of the Corporate Grapevine
In order for a manager to evade misleading his employees while trying to convey specific information or concept, he has to use universally understood non-verbal language, simplified as much as possible. In my opinion, there are three vital non-verbal categories which if applied properly will fully complete all the functions of the non-verbal communication and will not hinder the verbal one – eye contact, paralanguage and adornment. Modern business culture values eye contact because it maintains the balance of the interpersonal relationships between the seniors and the workers. Looking away might be read as avoiding the importance of the message conveyed. Thus, keeping eye contact with the employees when talking is of crucial importance. Scheflen (1972) explains that paralanguage involves non-lexical vocal communication. Paralanguage uses the broadest emotional nuances, consequently, if applied properly can replace excessive gestures or facial expressions. This category includes inflexion, tone, pitch (high, low), pauses (hesitant, organized, meaningful), pacing (rapid, measured, slow) (Scheflen 1972). Paralanguage is a powerful tool because it plays with associations and on an unconscious level. Knapp and Hall (2002) note that adornment – clothes, make-up, accessories are also important communication tools, which besides appearance transmit emotional and psychological signs. Managers need to be extra careful when choosing adornments because they play a powerfully suggestive action. Moreover, the room where the meetings are held has the capacity to affect the interaction. The amount of light, the colour of the walls, the seat arrangement, the temperature and smells have to the correctly applied by the manager who is trying to make his point and his ideas to be understood and followed.The most common mistake made in management is not listening. Active listening is the other term used to identify undivided attention and empathic attitude. Rock (2007) outlines four basic rules that active listening involves seek to understand before you seek to be understood.