- All communication is affected by the non-verbal communication that accompanies it.
- Over the telephone the tone of voice conveys nuances of meaning.
- Face to face expressions, gestures and posture play an important part.
- We use demonstrations and models to supplement words visual aids to clarify lectures and maps, diagrams, charts and graphs to enhance both spoken and written communication.
- Non-verbal clues often conveys more than verbal communication.
Nature of non-verbal Communication
Can be divided into:
- Body language (kinesics)
- Vocal tone
- Space (Proxemics)
- The senses and time
1. Body Language
This is the way we stand or sit in relation to others or objects, and the position of the head and hands. Example a dejected person tends to slump shoulders bowed and held low, while arms crossed and held tightly in front indicates defensive mood.
Using our limbs especially hands and shoulders to convey messages. For example you can call some one by beckoning him using your hands.
- Facial expressions
Using the cues of the face to send signals such as an up turned lip and a twinkle at the corners of the eyes may show friendship. While pouting lips may indicate boredom
Where we stand or sit in relation to objects and the persons we are communicating with. Example a lady behind the desk especially if wearing office dress may indicate that she in charge of the office and the gentleman infront of the desk may be taken to be the client.
Much of body language is involuntary or unconscious When we look puzzled, twist a pen nervously in our fingers, sprawl in a chair or run upstairs we convey all sorts of obvious and sable messages.
Some people are more skilled than others in hiding these involuntary signs.
We need to make efforts to avoid giving an unfavourable picture of ourselves to others and to avoid letting them feel that we are reacting unfavorably to them.
2. Vocal tone
Vocal tones, stress and emphasis bring out the difference between spoken and written words for example an explosively interrogative – what? Accompanied by a look of intense disbelief may be written as:- What are you saying? Can you really mean that? I have the utmost difficulty in believing you – in fact I don’t believe you. Our intonation can change a reprimand into a joke or an inoffensive phrase into a deadly insult.
Each person has an individual spatial relationship with another. The less necessity there is to keep them at a distance. In warm countries people tend to move nearer to slight acquaintances to which they are talking to show friendship. In cooler and more reserved countries, the space is retained as a defensive barrier until friendship is firmly established. Space is also used to create other impressions such as status. The bigger the office, the bigger the desk or the company car the more important the position of the executive is seen to be.
4. The senses
Sight, hearing, touch and smell & taste each play apart in non-verbal communication.
Enables us to receive non-verbal communication and to observe & react to the appearance and cloths and objects surrounding them.
Habits and idiosyncrasies for insurance whether their desks are tidy or jumbled.
A sigh, a laugh the constant clicking in & out of the top of a ballpoint pen atimid knock on the door. All give us indications about people and add to the communication process.