Chapter 19: NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION

TYPES OF COMMUNICATIONUNICATION

  • Two types
  • Verbal > the use of language to communicationunicate
  • E.g.: intra personal & inter personal communicationunication
  • Non-verbal > communicationunication without words
  • Daily communicationunication > 35%verbal; 65% non- verbal

“The most important thing in communicationunication is to hear what isn’t being said” – Peter

CATEGORIES OF NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATIONUNICATION

  • Body Language – all the expressions that we share by means of our body movements
  • Kinesics /kɪnɪsɪks/=the study of body language                                                  

ELEMENTS OF BODY LANGUAGE

  1. Personal Appearance
  2. A person’s personal appearance is important
  3. Wear a dress neatly washed & ironed

Posture = the way we sit, stand & carry ourselves

  • Eg: sitting on the edge of the chair in an interview = tension
  • Drooping shoulders = depression
  • Raised chin & stiff shoulders = defiance

Gestures = the physical movement of arms, legs, hands torso & head

  • Gesturing – a natural part of speech & thinking & is culture-specific
  • Offloads some of the mental effort of VC
  • Communicationon gestures & their meaning
  • Waving hands = saying hello/goodbye
  • Thumbs up = appreciation/agreement
  • Crossed arms = defence, negativity
  • Rubbing palms = nervousness

Facial expressions

  • The face is the index of the mind
  • e.g.: frown = disapproval
  • Clenched teeth = suppression of anger
  • Raised eyebrows = surprise/sarcasm
  • Narrowing one’s eyebrows = lack of trust in others

Eye contact

  • Eyes = the windows to the soul
  • Truthfully convey the emotions & feelings
  • Looking into a person’s eyes is the best way to understand his/her attitude or reaction
  • Eyes play a significant role in human communicationunication
  • Avoiding eye contact=evasion, fear, doubt

Proxemics / Space Distance

  • Space matters a lot to us
  • We are reluctant to board a crowded train/bus
  • All of us want our own territory & space to feel relaxed & enjoy a comfort that is lost if we are surrounded by people/things
  • While communicationunicating we must respect the territories of others
  • All of us have a psychologically defined territory
  • Not many are welcomed beyond a point
  • These psychological territories > 4 zones

Intimate zone – no stranger is welcome here

  • Is shared by lovers, spouses, children, parents, & very close relatives & friends
  • Anyone who tries to enter is an intruder   

Personal zone – shared by close friends, colleagues, & associates

Social zone – the most official/formal interactions fall here

  • Also interaction with occasional visitors like gardeners, plumbers, electricians etc.

Public zone – public speaking & presentations come in this zone

Haptics / Touch

  • The most communicationon type of non-verbal communicationunication
  • Handshakes, holding hands, hugs etc.
  • The meaning conveyed by touch is dependent on the situation, the relationship b/w the communicationunicators & the manner of touch
  • It is culture-centric

Chronemics – the perception of time

  • Includes punctuality, willingness to wait
  • Time can be used differently by individuals & in cultures

Chromatic – the use of colour to communicationunicate

  • e.g.: white > peace
  • Purple > royalty
  • Red > danger

Para language/Vocalics

  • The study of the different aspects of our voice
  • Includes pitch, volume, tone, rate, pause, articulation, pronunciation

Pitch = the rise & fall in the human voice

  • Plays a crucial role in communicationunication
  • Expresses all the emotions that are to be conveyed

Volume = the loudness/softness of the voice

  • It is not just what you say but how you say it
  • e.g.: whispering = you want to hide something
  • Speaking aloud = you want to be heard by all
  • While addressing an audience if you are not loud enough it suggests lack of confidence
  • Speaking loud over the phone = lack of good manners

Tone – the attitude of the speaker > friendly, critical, sarcastic etc

Rate = the no of words you speak per minute

  • The normal rate = 120-150 words per minute

Pause = a short silence flanked by words

  • Lets the listener reflect on the message & digest it
  • Indicates the speaker’s uncertainty, tension, hesitation etc.

Articulation = the clarity in your voice

  • A clearly articulated message = competence
  • The speaker should speak in such a way that all the words are understood by the listener

Pronunciation =an important role

  • Use the accepted form of pronunciation
  • In the case of English, it is RP  

Silence

  • People communicationunicate through silence too
  • It is an often neglected but powerful tool
  • Silence can effectively communicationunication responses like sorrow, anger, disapproval etc.
  • It allows us to think, breathe, listen & hold the attention of the listener
  • Heightens the expectation of others  
  • Allows others to process what you have said & consider their response
  • Silence can be a cold sort of punishment
  • The silent treatment when you go home late
  • In an interview silence can encourage the other person to ‘open up’
  • It can also be use intentionally to create anxiety & discomfort in the other person 

FUNCTIONS OF NVL COMMUNICATIONUNICATION

  • Duplicates verbal communication
  • e.g.: head nod > yes/no
  • Replaces verbal communication
  • e.g.: answering yes/no with just a head nod
  • Complements verbal communication
  • e.g.: when a friend wins a competition you verbally congratulate him/her & also shake his/her hand or pat him/her on the back    
  • Strengthens / Accents verbal communication
  • E.g.: we can raise the volume of our voice on certain words > I am VERY angry
  • Regulates verbal communication
  • E.g.: eye contact while talking
  • Using vocal segregates like ‘um’ contradicts verbal communication
  • Telling your friend, you’re fine with a sad face
  • Indicates the relationship between people
  • e.g.: Romantic partners standing close together, mere acquaintances maintain a distance.
  • Demonstrates/Maintains cultural norms
  • e.g.: hugging, greeting with hands folded reveal the respective cultures of nations

VERBAL vs NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

  • Verbal communication – single channel > words
  • Nonverbal – multiple channels > gestures, pitch
  • Verbal – ambiguous, not easy to decode
  • Verbal accompanied by Nonverbal – easy to decode
  • Verbal communication – linear > messages have a beginning & an end
  • Nonverbal communication – continuous > we can get Nonverbal cues even after the verbal message has ended
  • Verbal communication – conscious > we think & formulate the words before we communication
  • Nonverbal communication – unconscious & spontaneous > our facial expressions reveal our emotions
  • Verbal – language-specific > the receiver can understand the sender’s message only if he knows the linguistic codes the sender uses
  • Nonverbal communication – of a universal nature > smiles, frowns mean the same the world over
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