Nonverbal communication is a significant component of communication. It is important to ensure that nonverbal communication is appropriately incorporated in the communication process so as to avoid any kind of confusion or error in the message that is being conveyed (Burgoon, Guerrero, and Floyd, 2016).
Nonverbal communication is significant in conveying the feelings, emotions and messages via expressions and actions, instead of using mere words (A. Hans, and E. Hans, 2015). The various aspects of nonverbal communication have been elucidated in the following discussion.
The different types of nonverbal communication include the following.
- Body Language: Certain parts of the body can be used for expressing indications without the use of any sound. When message is transmitted with the help of the body movement, it is called body language. These include posture, facial expression, gestures, eye movements, silence, gaze and touch.
- Time: Time is an effective means of communication. Such as being late to work implies carelessness or arrogance of the individual.
- Proximity or Space: The maintenance of space between individual also communicates the level of comfort or intimacy between (The Business Communication, 2018).
- Paralinguistic: The vocal communication that is separate from that of the actual language, such as vocal characteristics, pitch, inflection, volume and quality. These include the speed of speaking, lowness or highness of the tone, loudness of the voice, and unpleasant or pleasing sound.
- Visual Communication: Use of visual aids is visual communication. These include charts, posters, maps, signals, signs and so on. Red sign indicates danger or an image of lighted cigarette with across mark on it indicate ‘no smoking’ (The Business Communication, 2018).
The role of nonverbal communication in the process of communication include the following.
- Repetition: The nonverbal communication can reinforce what is being said already.
- Accenting: The nonverbal communication can underline any particular point that exists in the message.
- Complementing: The nonverbal communication can complement the verbal message that is being deliver, such as, patting on the back.
- Substitution: Some of the nonverbal communication can take the pace of the actual words.
- Contradiction: Nonverbal communication has the ability of contradicting the message and may make the speaker appear untruthful. Therefore, the nonverbal communication should be used in an effective manner so as to keep the same aligned with the message that is being communication (Scherer, 2013).
- Help the Illiterate Individuals: Nonverbal communications such as eye contact, gesture, proximity, facial expression can be used for communicating with illiterate individuals.
- Quick Expression of Message: The cues of nonverbal communication such as symbols and signs aids in communicating some messages very rapidly than the oral or written messages (A. Hans, and E. Hans, 2015).
The three major aspects of nonverbal communication include the following.
- Kinesics: Kinesics refers to the movement of the arm, body, hand and face. This specifically comprises of gestures, eye contact, head movement, posture, and facial expressions. There are three major kinds of gestures, namely, illustrators, emblems, and adaptors (A. Hans, and E. Hans, 2015).
- Haptics: This comprises the aspect of touch. Touch has the power of communicating emotions that cannot be expressed by words alone (A. Hans, and E. Hans, 2015). Touch has the power of communicating both positive as well as threatening messages. Haptics comprises of handshakes, pat, slap, punch and so on.
- Proxemics: Proxemics is associated with the influence of distance and space in communication. The proxemics zones of personal space are divided into public space, social space, personal space and intimate space. This also comprises of territoriality, which is the innate drive for taking up and defending spaces (A. Hans, and E. Hans, 2015).
Nonverbal communication plays a significant role in improving the speaking and listening skills. An individual can use the nonverbal communication cues such as gestures and eye movement along with speaking for communicating the message that they intend to communicate.
The listener on the receiving end determines the meaning of the message being communicated by deciphering the nonverbal communication cues and connecting the same with the verbal message that has been provided. In this manner, an individual is able to utilize both the speaking and listening skills and improve the same with the help of the nonverbal communications (Eaves and Leathers, 2017).
In instances where an individual is unable to speak or if the receiver is unable to listen, the meaning of the message can be deciphered with the help of the nonverbal cues that have been used in the communication process.
The nonverbal communication can affect the speaking and listening skills of an individual in various manner. By the use of the nonverbal communication along with the verbal messages, an individual shall be able to communicate the message in a more effective manner as these cues accentuate the message that is being spoken by the individual.
With respect to the listening skills, the nonverbal communication is helpful because it helps to interpret the message that has been heard in a better manner (Mandal, 2014). With the help of the nonverbal cues that the speaker uses, the listener is able to understand the message better and thereby is able to improve their listening skills.
They are also able to interpret and associate the specific nonverbal communication cues with the particular messages and therefore, are able to interpret the same meaning even if the nonverbal cues are not used the next time.
Nonverbal communication is considered as one of the significant aspects of communication. With the help of appropriate nonverbal communication cues, one is able to communicate the message they intend to convey, even if the verbal communication mode is not employed.
Furthermore, in situations where verbal communications are difficult or not possible, nonverbal communication plays a vital role for conveying the message.
Burgoon, J.K., Guerrero, L.K. and Floyd, K., 2016. Nonverbal communication. Routledge.
Eaves, M. and Leathers, D.G., 2017. Successful nonverbal communication: Principles and applications. Routledge.
Hans, A. and Hans, E., 2015. Kinesics, Haptics and Proxemics: Aspects of Non-Verbal Communication. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IOSR-JHSS), 20(2), pp.47-52.
Mandal, F.B., 2014. Nonverbal communication in humans. Journal of human behavior in the social environment, 24(4), pp.417-421.
Scherer, K.R., 2013. The functions of nonverbal signs in conversation. In The social and psychological contexts of language (pp. 237-256). Psychology Press.
The Business Communication, 2018. Kinds of Non-Verbal Communication. [online] Available at: <https://thebusinesscommunication.com/kinds-of-non-verbal-communication/> [Accessed 12 September 2019].