Friday, November 15, 2019
Types of nonverbal Communication
Types of nonverbal Communication Nonverbal Communication The definition of nonverbal communication can be as short or as elaborate and specific as one wants to make it. In general the nonverbal communication describes any and all communication that occurs outside the realm of written or spoken words and is expressed by generation of either intentional or subconscious cues and their recognition. Commonly, nonverbal communication is divided into subcategories describing individual areas that transmit communication cues. These areas, among others, include kinesics, paralanguage, proxemics, haptics, oculesics, and physical appearance. Understanding and effective application of nonverbal communication skills is becoming increasingly important in the modern world. Also, do these nonverbal cues have the same meaning all over the world? Are these nonverbal cues just modified to fit cultural ideals? I will be explaining the different types of nonverbal communication, the importance of them, and how its used throughout different parts of the world. There are different types of nonverbal communication. The first is kinesics which is the study of body language, facial expression, and gestures. Movement is strongly connected to communication style. For example, Knapp Hall notice that movement is related to interaction synchrony, the matching and meshing behaviors that accompany conversations and discussions between two or more people. Matching and meshing usually connote a sense of pleasure with the conversation and can indicate feelings of rapport. Matching can occur through postural congruence and mirroring the persons body language. Also, motor mimicry is a form of matching, such as when a person places her hand on her heart to connote sympathy during another persons sad story. Knapp Hall state that emotional contagion usually occurs in conjunction with mimicry in conversations, meaning that the conversation partners are sharing their feelings and interacting in empathetic ways. Knapp Hall describe two fundamental types of p hysical gestures, those that accompany speech and those that do not. Gestures in general are movements made by the body or some part of it. Speech-independent gestures can include anything from a shake of the head to the finger to wrinkling the nose. These non-verbal gestures often mean different things in different contexts or in different cultures. No gesture is absolutely universal although many are commonly recognized, at least throughout the same cultural context. Some personal examples of speech-independent gestures include the thumbs-up that means everything is goodÃ¢â¬ . For example, in Brazil and in Denmark the American Ok hand sign is a gesture of vulgarity, and in France the same sign signifies zero and in Japan that sign means money. Cultural differences in kinesic behaviors are as significant and complex as cultural differences in verbal language. Factors like attractiveness, appearance, gesture, movement, face, eye, and vocal behaviors differ from place to place. An understanding of cultural differences and basic awareness of those differences when communicating with persons from other cultures can enormously improve cross-cultural relationships and eliminate misunderstandings. Another among these is paralanguage. This is the study of the nonverbal cues of the voice. Various acoustic properties such as tone, pitch, and accent, collectively known as prosody, can all give off nonverbal cues. George L. Trager developed different classifications in paralanguage. The first is voice set, which is the context in which the speaker is speaking. This can include the situation, mood, age and persons culture. Another is voice qualities. These are the volumes of your tone, pitch, tempo, rhythm, and accent. This is very important in getting certain points across in conversation. Vocalization consists of three subsections: characterizers, qualifiers and segregates. Characterizers are emotions expressed while speaking, such as laughing, crying, and yawning. A voice qualifier is the style of delivering a message for example, yelling Hey stop that!, as opposed to whispering Hey stop that. Vocal segregates such as uh-huh notify the speaker that the listener is listening. The se cues define in general the point you are trying to get across in conversations. Study of space as a part of nonverbal communication referred to as proxemics further analyses physical and psychological space between individuals in the interaction. Proxemics could be divided into the elements of territory and personal space. Territory refers to the general area in which the interaction occurs, while personal space is just that a space immediately around a person. One of the most important elements of proxemics is the study of haptics or in more conventional terms, touch. According to various researches, touch Ã¢â¬Å"enhances ones interpersonal involvement, positive affect, social attachment, intimacy, and overall likingÃ¢â¬ . The persuasive power of touch is further evident in the findings of Patterson et al, stating that people tend to associate positive characteristics with the individual who touched them. That is either speaking in terms of being friendly or intimate. For example, friendliness would be more described with handshakes. A more intimate example w ould be a kiss. But in some cultures, greeting with touch can be disrespectful in some ways. For example, in parts of Africa, trying to shake ones hand with your left is considered disrespectful. For the most part, touch of one another shows comfort and respect in America. Sign language is another aspect of nonverbal communication. The written history of sign language began in the 17th century in Spain. In 1620, Juan Pablo Bonet published ReducciÃ ³n de las letras y arte para enseÃ ±ar a hablar a los mudos Ã¢â¬ËReduction of letters and art for teaching mute people to speak in Madrid. It is considered the first modern treatise of Phonetics and Logopedia, setting out a method of oral education for the deaf people by means of the use of manual signs, in form of a manual alphabet to improve the communication of the mute or deaf people. Sign language is a language which, instead of acoustically conveyed sound patterns, uses visually transmitted sign patterns such as manual communication, body language and lip patterns to convey meaning, simultaneously combining hand shapes, orientation and movement of the hands, arms or body, and facial expressions to fluidly express a speakers thoughts. The last aspect of nonverbal communication discussed in this research is physical appearance. Although, in the greater sense, attractiveness describes characteristics that go beyond the physical appearance alone, physically attractive people are perceived as Ã¢â¬Å"more persuasive, successful in changing attitudes, and are perceived to be warmer, more poised, and more socially skilled than less attractive people. According to Peterson and argyle, the way one dresses is also an important element of physical appearance as a source of nonverbal cues, in big part because a person has much more control over his or her clothes, as opposed to the features of the face or the body size. An example of this is the casual business clothing. It is considered distinguishing and positive status. But if you see someone in rags on the streets, you can presume that one is of lower and poorer status. Even though you cant always judge a book by its cover, physical appearance can sometimes depict who som eone is. In addition to the benefits of nonverbal communication, some problems exist as well. As the research suggests, little correlation exists between ones self-rated accuracy of decoding of the nonverbal cues and the actual performance. Some individuals also tend to concentrate more on their strongest areas of nonverbal communication while neglecting the other aspects. As in the example presented by Diane Arthur, the kinesic cues, contradictory to other verbal and nonverbal behavior, significantly undermined the credibility and effectiveness of the presenter. Another problem area within the realm of nonverbal communication is the ambiguity of generated and transmitted cues. Since the appropriate meaning and interpretation of nonverbal cues are highly contextual in nature, the same gestures, facial expressions or posture can and do mean different things in different interaction environment and settings. Often, perceivers tend to venture farther than available context allows and interpret t he signals according to their mental map, or to put it in other word their previous knowledge, experience, stereotypes and others perceptual filters. Problem is further escalated due to the natural tendency of humans to be overly confident of the purely subjective judgments reached according personally-relevant information. This idea develops into yet another obstacle in the interpretation of body language. Differences in cultural backgrounds of those involved in the interaction may interfere with correct decoding the encoded message. Most common cultural differences would probably be in kinesics. For example, a nod in the United States, as well as in many other cultures, signifies understanding or agreement. However, in the Middle East, a single nod represents disagreement or rejection. Similarly, other commonly used gestures or other aspects of nonverbal communication may have completely different meanings in various cultures. With this said, one must realize that the term cultur e does not refer to the various ethnic and geographical groups exclusively. Culture can describe anything from sex to interorganizational culture. Therefore, in order to correctly decode the nonverbal cues one must not only analyze the ones that are relative to the context of what is being communicated, but also to attempt to interpret them in light of the decoders cultural background. The task of understanding nonverbal cues clearly is extremely complex and misunderstandings are common. In conclusion, nonverbal communication is very important in depicting the message you are trying to deliver. The different kinds of communication are effective in so many ways. Some gestures are universal in meaning and some are not. But they do give a message. Without this, verbal language would show no meaning and be dull. Ones gestures and movements do bring life to conversation. Types Of Nonverbal Communication Types Of Nonverbal Communication Non-verbal communication or most commonly known as body language is the unspoken language of the body which is shown through our bodies to show our true intentions and hints of our feelings to the people whom we are conversing with. When we are conversing with others verbally our bodies simultaneously give out and receive signals which are transmitted by our bodies. This signals consists of the gestures we make, how we sit, the intonation and speed of how we talk, the distance we stand when talking and the amount of eye-contact we make while conversing. All this transmits vital non-verbal messages of oneself to another. These non-verbal messages still get across to the people around even when we are silent. The verbal message and body language very frequently contradicts which leaves the listener to choose which one to believe. Usually they will choose the body language. This is the reason why our body language should send a message which is congruent to what we are saying verbally. It is one of the biggest misconceptions to think that what is being said is more important than how it is being said. In reality only 7% of information is sent through words, the remaining 93% of communication is non-verbal. If you fail to read and de-code non-verbal messages, you set yourself up for constant misunderstandings and various communication problems. (Arina Nikitina, 2009) Sometimes the amount of attention we give towards the person who is talking can also be portrayed by our body language. The listener will increase their trust when our body language matches what we are saying but if it doesnt, the listeners will begin to develop tension, mistrust and be confused. In order to enhance what we are saying verbally, we have to be conscious of our body language to prevent sending out a wrong non-verbal message which might misinterpret what we are saying. For example, I had a classmate in secondary school which had problems catching up with his lessons in class. This was because he was suffering from some sort of mental retardation which affects his academic performance. When teacher questions him, he would apologize but the teacher would get even more furious with him and will not accept his apology. At first I thought the teacher was insensitive but then I realized that my classmate was at fault too. This is because he did not apologize in the proper mann er. His arms will be folded and while looking somewhere else he would apologize. In this case, the boy was apologizing but because of his improper body language the message he wanted to send across to the teacher was misinterpreted and the teacher thought that my classmate was being arrogant. In this scenario, the most appropriate way for my classmate to express his apology to the teacher is by looking into the teachers eyes with his arms down and saying sorry with a tone full of remorse. This real life example which happened in front of my eyes clearly demonstrates the importance of body language. This also clearly demonstrates the importance of nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication can play five roles in speech: -Repetition -Contradiction -Substitution -Complementing -Accenting Source: The Importance of Effective Communication, Edward G. Wertheim, Ph.D. The Seven Known Types of Nonverbal Communication Facial expressions Although people come from different parts of the world with different cultures, they all still have the same facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust. These expressions are almost universal. For instance, if one was to attend a wedding ceremony with a sulky face, this clearly shows that he or she is unhappy with the ceremony or simply just had a bad day. Body movements and posture The perceptions of us from others are affected by how we sit, talk, stand or even by shaking or holding their hand. For example, when a person is in an interview with the human resource executive and starts fidgeting with his or her fingers or an object, this clearly sends a body language to the human resource executive showing that the candidate is feeling restless and in secured with his or her given credentials. This will make the human resource executive think twice before hiring this candidate. Gestures Gestures are practically incorporated into our daily lives. Some gestures occur during our subconscious state of thought. However gestures vary from each culture to another. We must heed to the listeners cultural norms to avoid misinterpretation. In some cultures, the gesture of pointing the finger at a person is disrespectful but to another culture is perfectly fine. Eye contact The human eyes can portray someones interest, affection, hostility or attraction towards the opposite sex. Eye contact is also another tool to show clarity of the speaker. Touch An example of touch as a form of nonverbal communication is a handshake. A handshake is used to convey a mutual agreement or when someone meets a new person. Besides that a warm hug is used to convey affection toward the particular person is being hugged. A pat on the back or shoulder is used for encouragement or to acknowledge someones presence. Space The distance the speaker is standing or seating towards the listener can be used to indicate the type of relationship they are having. According to Wikipedia there are four different levels of distance: intimate distance, personal distance, social distance and public distance. Intimate distance is the space for embracing each other, touching and whispering. Whereas, personal distance is the space for interactions among friends and family. On the other hand, social distance is the space for acquaintances or people whom you meet randomly or even mutual friends. The public distance is for public speakers who deliver their message to the masses to convey their thoughts and ideology. For example, politicians and professor who is giving a lecture in front of a huge number of students in an auditorium. Voice Saying something doesnt really make a great impact but instead the way you say something really has the potential to captivate your audiences. For example pauses can be used to show power and superiority. On the other hand, the intonation n rate of speech and enhance the understanding of the listener. For example, if one was to speak really fast I am sure that the listener would only manage to understand the gist of what the speaker was saying. This is the reason one should say what he intends to say by saying it with the proper intonation, pauses and tone to deliver his message clearly to the listener in order for him or her to understand what the speaker is saying. The Common Misconception Some people feel assume that they can fake body language to hide their feelings. This is a total failure; this is because the more a person tries to fake their body language the more obvious it will look completely unnatural. This will definitely portray a sense of insecurity towards the person whom he or she is conversing with. The truth, body language is the bodily reaction towards a feeling felt by the body of a person and its completely natural. This is why one cannot successfully fake his or her body language. What is said by the person runs congruently with the body language of the person. This is another well-known reason behind why nonverbal communication is just as equally important as verbal communication. The Basic Importance of Nonverbal Communication Nonverbal communication can be used to gain trust from the people whom you converse with. This is because, through the body language projected, one can simply read it and if you are lying or saying the truth. Instead, if you manage to portray a confident body language, this will automatically tell the person whom you are conversing with that you are a trustworthy and honest person telling the truth. When you have gained their trust, the message which you would like to send across would be successful. Businessmen who are well of this are very successful in their courier simply because they have gained the trust of the buyer. Relationships sometimes fail because the partner is able to read the body language of his or her other half. When a person cheats on his or her partner they tend to lack eye contact frequently and appear tense and agitated as in always fidgeting with their hands. But if one wasnt cheating but its simply his or her character to act in such a way then it will send a wrong message across to the partner. This is another importance of the knowledge of nonverbal communication in daily live. Conclusion Nonverbal communication is clearly as important as verbal communication. Basically, if everyone had more knowledge about the importance or simply just the context of nonverbal communication I am sure that the world we live in would be a more understanding and peaceful place to live in. This is the reason why institutions should promote the importance of nonverbal communication to their student to create some sort of awareness among the students and to understand the importance of nonverbal communication.