Causes of Business
Compared with internal blockage, external barriers to effective communication are easier to identify and cure. They include the following three areas, which are part of what was discussed earlier as nonverbal communication: personal and document appearance, facial expression and body language, and space and time factors. These are called areas of nonverbal communication because, whether we intend them to, they all carry silent messages to the receiver. Remember the party guest who didn't drink the Merlot and the account executive that pulled back from that spectacular 30th-floor balcony? Both persons communicated an unintended negative message.
APPEARANCE AND THE APPEARANCE OF
If it is true that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” it is also true that it may take a thousand words to undo the negative impression caused by a poor or inappropriate appearance. To borrow a thought from King Lear, while “robes and furred gowns” may not in fact hide all sins, “through tattered clothes small vices do appear.”1 Let's consider how a tattered appearance affects our perceptions of people and documents and how a great appearance can send a strong nonverbal message.