The power of non-verbal communication: Predicting job performance by means of thin slices of non-verbal behaviour
South African Journal of Psychology
Programme in Industrial Psychology, Department of Human Resource Management, University of Johannesburg, P. O. Box 524, Auckland Park, 2006, South Africa; Programme in Industrial Psychology, Department of Human Resource Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
The purpose of the study was to investigate whether ratings of brief exposures to 'non-verbal' and 'non-verbal plus verbal' behaviour could successfully predict on-the-job performance in a call centre. A panel of ten judges who were exposed to 30-second silent video recordings of 29 call centre operators carrying out their jobs were asked to rate the non-verbal behaviour of the operators on several dimensions. Two weeks later they were asked to repeat their judgments with the audio channel included. The judgments were correlated with management ratings and customer ratings of the operators' performance. The correlations varied between 0.31 and 0.46, representing medium to large effect sizes. The inclusion of the verbal channel did not significantly improve the accuracy of the thin-slice judgments of non-verbal behaviour. The implications of using ratings of non-verbal behaviour as a selection method were discussed. © Psychological Society of South Africa. All rights reserved.