Discuss the merits of body language.

Discuss the merits of body language.

Merits of body language- Body language is a form of non-verbal communication. This term was given by George Terry. In body language communication a person sends his message to other persons or groups through interpersonal activities and movements. Body language includes clapping, movement of hands, twinkling of eyes, biting and moving lips etc. Thus it is the way the body communicates without words. Body language is a natural process which is gained by self practice. Bodily movements, gestures etc. are very significant for communication. Body language in also known as kinesics. Kinesics means body movements. It stands for the body communication. It includes bodily movements, gestures, postures, nodding head, blink eyes, waving hands, strugging shoulder, etc. through person send out signal, and messages.

Kinesics is the study of body movements to judge inner state of emotions through different parts of the body. Facial expression, and eyes, gestures, postures and physical appearance convey a lot.

Facial Expression and Eyes

Facial expressions show arrogence, happiness, fear, sadness etc.


Gestures are the body movements of the body parts. People communicate their feelings and ideas through movement of their body parts.


Posture and body shapes affect thinking process. It gives idea about the attitude and indicate aggressiveness, fear etc.


Jewellery, cosmetics, clothing etc. indicate emotion. Following are the ways through which different parts of body send out signals-


Face is the index of mind. Whatever we feel is reflected on our face. The lines of our .forehead, the eyebrow, the muscles of our cheek, our lips in a smile all these speak louder than words.

2. Cheeks

Cheeks express shy and shame. When a person feels shy, cheeks become pinkist.

3. Eye Contact

It is of paramount significance in face to face. communication. Curled eyebrows express disagreement and anger.

4. Lips

Light lips show angry. Smiling lips communicate friendship. Deceptive smiles criticise the others.

Nature of Body Language

Although body language cannot be controlled, yet it is controlled by social behaviour. totally

  1. Body language is learned without any formal training.
  2. Although body language is uncontrollable, yet its expression is somewhat controlled by social traditions.

Importance of Body Language

Regarding the importance of body language, Nancy Austin says. “When people don’t know whether to believe what they are hearing or what they are seeing, they go with the body language it tells the truth. You can play fast and loose with words, but it’s much more difficult to do that with gestures”. Psychologist Paul Ekman says, “We talk with our vocal cords, but we communicate with our facial expression, our tone of voice, our whole body.”

Marilyn Maple

says, “When you can consciously ‘read’ what others are saying unconsciously, you can deal with issues- at work and at home-before they become problems”.

Professor Albert Mehrabian

says, “Status manifests itself subtly in a relaxed posture and way of interacting. The classic example is the soldier standing at attention in the presence of a superior officer. His body is extremely tense and in perfect symmetry-signs of subservience.”

It includes the following:

  1. Facial expression;
  2. Eye contact;
  3. Guestures;
  4. Head, body shape and postures;
  5. Appearance;
  6. Silence.

Effective Use of Body Language

1.Mind the Body Talk

According to Austin “Rest your forearms on the table. This posture conveys the message ‘I will not move”.If we slouch or jiggle our feet, we will give the impression of being indifferent, uninterested or distressed. If possible, we can ask a friend videotape us so that we can see ourselves as others do.”

2. Establish Good Eye Contact

According to Austin “Eye contact is the most remembered element in forming an impression of someone. You must acquire the ability to sustain direct eye contact if you want to taken seriously.”

According to Ekman “the dominant person always has the right to look and keep looking: the subordinate is supposed to look away. If you maintain eye contact so intently that your boss feels uncomfortable, he will sense that youre challenging his authority-even if that is not what you intended.”

3. We must be Ourselves

According to Maple “Non-verbal messages come from deep inside you, from your sense of self-esteem. To improve your body language, you have to start from inside and work out. If you’re comfortable with yourself, it shows. People who know who they are have a relaxed way of talking and moving. They always come across well.”

4. Others:

Some other uses of body language are as under-

  1. Be careful with the handshake;
  2. Graceful movements and confidendent posture;
  3. See the level of the communicatee.

Advantages of Body Language

Following are the advantages/merits of body language communication-

1. Simple and Easy

Body language is simple and easy. It is the easily acceptable visual aspect of communication. It does not require technology or skills to communicate.

2. Helps Verbal Communication

Body language is helpful in verbal communication. It makes face to face communication more effective.

3. Makes Communication More Lively

Body language makes the communication more lively. It also makes the communication emotionally effective.

4. Natural Means

Body language is the natural and effective means of communication.

5. More Favourable Atmosphere

If body language is used properly it will make the environment of the organization more favourable and effective.

What is text messaging? What are its advantages and disadvantages in business communication?

Thus, body language is significant in practical life.

Disadvantages of Body Language

Although body language communication is very important in real life, yet it is not free from drawbacks. Its disadvantages are as under-

1. Not Always Reliable

Body movements, gestures, facial expressions are not always useful and reliable. So, it is not taken very seriously.

2. Incomplete Message

Body language does not convey complete message but only a small part.

3. Variation in Gestures and Expressions

Signs of body language differs from person to person and place to place due to difference in cultures etc.

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