Body language is a tool that is often overlooked in communication. As we talk to a person we tend to concentrate more attention on our words and forget what we are saying physically. Most people know that crossing arms is a signal of shutting down. Yet, how many times have you done this because you are shifting your weight and getting comfortable? You may think you are still open to this person, but the person talking to you may get a completely different message.
Included in body language is tone of your voice. Studies show that vocal tone represents 38 percent of how a person responds to you. This is where e-mail sometimes gets us into trouble. Without hearing the inflection of a person's message, it can be easy to misunderstand what a person is really trying to say.
Learn the silent language of body actions and you can not only understand what others really mean when they are speaking to you, but you can use body language techniques to make sure that others understand exactly what you mean to say.
If you are concerned about the way you come across to people through your body language or tone of voice consider video taping yourself having a conversation. If you have a marketing director on staff, chances are that individual will be happy to help. If you don't, then you may want to set up monthly lunches where staff members get together to learn how to communicate better. Let everyone have a chance to get in front of the camera and see exactly what you see when they communicate.