Nonverbal communication: The hidden communication
Non-verbal communication is the sending or receiving of wordless messages. We can say that communication other than oral and written, as gesture, body language, posture, tone of voice, or facial expressions, is called non-verbal communication.
Non-verbal communication helps the receiver in interpreting the message received. Frequently, non-verbal signals reflect the situation more accurately than verbal messages. Sometimes non-verbal response contradicts verbal communication and thus affects the effectiveness of message.
Elements Of Non-Verbal Communication
Non-verbal communication has the following three elements:
- Appearance: Speaker: clothing, hairstyle, neatness, use of cosmetics. Surrounding: room size, lighting, decorations, furnishings.
- Body Language: Facial expressions, gestures, postures.
- Sounds: Voice tone, Volume, Speech rate.
Non-verbal communication, or body language, is a critical form of communication – a natural, unconscious language that broadcasts our true feelings and purposes in any given moment, and clues us into the feelings and intentions of those around us.
Types Of Non verbal Communication
There are many different types of non-verbal communication. Unitedly, the following non-verbal signals and cues convey your interest and investment in others.
9 Types of Nonverbal communication are briefly explained below:
The human face is extremely expressive, able to express countless emotions without saying a word. And unlike some forms of non-verbal communication, facial expressions are universal. The facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust are the same across cultures.
Body movements and posture
Believe how your perceptions of people are affected by the way they sit, walk, stand up, or hold their head. The way you move and carry yourself communicates a wealth of information to the world. This type of non-verbal communication includes your posture, bearing, stance, and elusive movements.
Gestures are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. We wave, point, beckon, and use our hands when we’re arguing or speaking animatedly – expressing ourselves with gestures often without thinking. Nevertheless, the meaning of gestures can be very different across cultures and regions, so it’s important to be careful to avoid misinterpretation.
Because the visual sense is dominant for most people, eye contact is a particularly important type of non-verbal communication. The way you look at someone can communicate many things, including interest, affection, hostility, or attraction. Eye contact is also crucial in maintaining the flow of conversation and gauging the other person’s response.
We communicate a great deal through touch. Think about the messages given by the following: a firm handshake, a timid tap on the shoulder, a warm bear hug, an assuring pat on the back, a patronizing pat on the head, or a controlling grip on your arm.
Have you ever felt uneasy during a conversation because the other person was standing too close and invading your space? We all have a need for physical space, although that need differs depending upon the culture, the situation, and the closeness of the relationship. You can use physical space to communicate many different non-verbal messages, including signals of intimacy, aggression, dominance, or affection.
It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. When we speak, other people “read” our voices in addition to heeding to our words. Things they pay attention to include your timing and pace, how loud you speak, your tone and inflection, and sounds that convey understanding, such as “ahh” and “uh-huh.”
Example: Think about how tone of voice, can show sarcasm, anger, affection, or confidence.
Paralinguistics refers to vocal communication that is separate from actual language.3 This includes factors such as tone of voice, loudness, inflection, and pitch.
Consider the powerful effect that tone of voice can have on the meaning of a sentence. When said in a strong tone of voice, listeners might interpret approval and enthusiasm. The same words said in a hesitant tone of voice might convey disapproval and a lack of interest.
Our choice of color, clothing, hairstyles, and other factors affecting appearance are also considered a means of nonverbal communication.8 Research on color psychology has demonstrated that different colors can evoke different moods. Appearance can also alter physiological reactions, judgments, and interpretations.