Posted: March 14th, 2022
Communication since time immemorial has remained one of the most substantial and crucial process on a constant basis that refers to transferring of the information from one person to another. Indeed, people communicate with each other so that they can understand the meaning and information that the other person is trying to commune (Shepherd & Rothenbuhler 2000).
Since communication is a widespread phenomenon, thus, it is divided into several forms and means through which people can easily converse with each other. However, with the advancements and innovations that the world and its entire populace have experienced, has changed and modified the modes and means of communications through the years (Shepherd & Rothenbuhler 2000).
In this regard, Merriam-Webster defines the phenomenon of communication as ‘process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior (the function of pheromones in insect communication); also: exchange of information’ (pp. 251). In other words, the information that is shared or transmitted by the sender must be carried out in such a way that the receiver can understand the essence of the information exchanged without any difficulty (Shepherd & Rothenbuhler 2000).
Successful relationships whether on personal or professional grounds are profoundly dependent upon how the process of communication takes place. Considering the types of communication, verbal communication and non-verbal communication are two of the significant modes through which an individual can transmit the information. Verbal communication is the method of information transfer that involves words and language. These are few of the essential elements that are generally associated with verbal communication (Shepherd & Rothenbuhler 2000).
On the other side, non-verbal communication is an imperative as well as a fundamental form of communication. Messages communicated and expressed in non-verbal communication normally involve facial expressions, body movements, gestures, eye contact, tone and pitch of voice, touch, and physical space. It is also prudent to note that people use non-verbal communication elements in printed contents as well for instance, handwriting style, arrangement of words, page physical layout and various others (Krueger 2008).
The postures or body movements measures a variety of aspects within the non-verbal communication such as the level of interest, concentration, involvement and liking of a person towards the other person and his communication. While the gestures that represent the conventional forms of the non-verbal communication can be indicated by the hands, arms, and body. Besides, the movement of head, face and eyes also contribute to the gestures of the person in the non-verbal communication (Krueger 2008).
Gestures and facial expressions as a general rule are used as a substitute and alternative method instead of words for greetings and expression of universal emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger, panic, hatred, interest and so forth. However, one should not ignore or overlook the fact that a particular symbolic gesture can be of dissimilar meaning or significance for different cultures that can differ from being admiring or praising to highly unpleasant or insulting (Krueger 2008).
Similarly, clothing and attire is another common form that plays a critical role in non-verbal communication. The clothing typically reflects and demonstrates the background, personality, financial status, culture, confidence level, interest, values, beliefs and various other aspects of an individual. This also denotes that if an individual represents positive attitude and characteristics through his attire, it is likely to make other’s believe that he is confident on his talent and capabilities (Krueger 2008).
The physical space between two or more people is also an essential aspect in the non-verbal communication. The understanding and interpretation of the communicated message is deeply influenced and affected by the psychical space available when the message is being transferred between the parties. Nevertheless, it is imperative to mark that the utilization of space during the conversation also differs across cultures to an extensive degree (Krueger 2008).
Taking into consideration both the aspects of communication, that is verbal and non-verbal communication, it has come under notice that even though both the forms of communication have quite a few differences, yet they are complementary to one other. Nevertheless, both forms of communication vary and contrast in the ways of expression between genders and across different cultures to a great extent (Ivey, Ivey & Zalaquett 2009).
Pertaining to the subject matter, studies have revealed the piece of information that more than sixty five percent of the communication between groups of people constitutes to the non-verbal communication and verbal communication makes up only a small proportion of the entire exchange of words and information (Ivey, Ivey & Zalaquett 2009).
The major difference between both the styles of expression states that verbal communication particularly makes use of words while non-verbal communication is a process that does not use words, instead it uses various other forms during conversation. It has also been observed that a person can openly and informally communicate with a person or group of people, as it is not the case in verbal communication in general practice since it is more formal engagement of words (West & Turner 2010).
The use of verbal communication is more limited as the business world and professionals are the most frequent people using the verbal communication as a medium to convey specific information. However, the non-verbal communication is used in a more extensive manner and people in their everyday lives, personal relationships and in other arenas practice the non-verbal communication due to its quality of openness. This is also due to the reason that non-verbal communication is more instant and direct that can even communicate the emotions and feelings in a much more effective way than words (West & Turner 2010).
Since non-verbal communication principally involves face-to-face communication, therefore, it helps the individual to formulate a strong and enhanced relationships that can be based on various aspects of body language, however, this is very difficult and complicated in verbal communication, as the people might not be physically present, so the element of strong emotional attachment or true feelings cannot be seen or felt (West & Turner 2010).
Verbal communication has also developed an image of being more effective in contrast to verbal communication due to the reason that it has the capability to explicitly manage, control and regulate the interaction amongst the group of people in the process of exchange of words and information. Moreover, the management of interaction also helps the participants to openly convey messages of affection, fondness, friendliness, admiration, respect, and so on that can help build, flourish and foster, relationships (Ivey, Ivey & Zalaquett 2009).
The benefit of non-verbal communication is not only restricted to personal communication or relationships but is also an effective method in many aspects of the professional lives. The way non-verbal communication and body language helps the person build, cultivate and thrive personal and parental relationships, in a very similar manner, it is effectively and extensively used at many instances in the professional lives that include job interviews. If an individual makes appropriate use of non-verbal communication, like proper dressing with shoes, adequate fragrance and other non-verbal signals, the individual would create a good impression before the commencement of the interview, which definitely would prove to be fruitful (Ivey, Ivey & Zalaquett 2009).
While analyzing the differences between verbal and non-verbal communication, it can clearly by declared that non-verbal communication has provided enough evidences of being more effective and fruitful during the course of communication and transfer or sharing of knowledge or information (West & Turner 2010).
Non-verbal communication is all about how (how is simply the expression of your words) you speak and converse which makes the difference from the words that are spoken. People not only listen to what is being said, instead more attention is paid to how it is being communicated, which means that the people read the tone, pace, pitch of speaker’s voice and the variations of the words that is said (West & Turner 2010).
The facial expressions is capable of communicating thousands of different and distinct expressions through controlling the muscles of various body parts such as mouth, eyes, nose and forehead. Due to this quality of versatility of expression without making use of a single word, facial expressions make non-verbal communication the most efficient and honest on a broad spectrum (Calero 2005).
The exchange of words in a general communication does not necessarily require words and language. Considering the example of a smile on a universal basis, every individual is aware of the message that is conveyed by a small smile. This demonstrates that non-verbal communication is not confined to language, as it depicts a welcoming and friendly approach to include someone in the conversation process. Quite conversely, the language can become a barrier in the verbal communication process when linguistically diverse people get involved in a general communication (Calero 2005).
From the records, it has also come to notice that when two or more people correspond with each other and share or transfer the information, the individuals make use of several senses at the same time in order to absorb the meaning and significance of the communication process. This expose the fact that non-verbal communication is imperative and effective because the eye, voice, or even touch sense is being used in a general conversation that are a part of non-verbal communication (Calero 2005).
Sending and receiving silent gestures on a constant basis is the regular and unconscious practice during general interactions. This demonstrates that all the non-verbal behaviors of an individual during the general conversations such as the appearance, way of talking, sitting, eye contact, hand contact and various others prove to send powerful and effective messages. Besides, the non-verbal message communication still continues even if the group stops talking or is silent (Calero 2005).
Non-verbal communication has not only proved to be effective in general conversations but specific conversations also rely on Non-verbal communication most of the time. It has been analyzed that nonverbal communication acts as a primary and essential source in creating the first impression, as clothing, gesture, and the way a person greets play a vital role in common situations that not only lead to initiation to specific conversation but also helps strengthening and intensifying it (Wood 2009).
In specific conversations for instance like a teacher-student interaction during the class lecture, postures become pivotal because it communicates a variety of messages. It normally helps the teacher determine degree of attention, concentration, interest or involvement from the student and the level of likeness of the students towards the teacher (Wood 2009).
Nonverbal communication has also been considered as a more effective method for specific interaction in comparison to verbal communication because this natural process facilitates the individual to express and broadcasts their true sentiments and intentions with respect to the particular incident or situation at the same time, the person gets to know the feelings of others as well through their response and reactions (Wood 2009).
Considering the example of a personal relationship of husband and wife, if a husband gets late in coming, the wife on many instances does not say anything but her actions communicate what she has to say. This can be elucidated from the example that upon being late the husband greets the wife with the same emotions with which the husband greets everyday but does not receive a good response from the wife. She keeps her busy with the kitchen work and does not pay any attention to her husband. Her mood, silent treatment and unspoken communication spells out that she is angry and nothing is fine. In this case, verbal communication can never prove to be effective to the extent non-verbal was (Wood 2009).
Considering the third aspect of non-verbal communication that is client-counselor relationship, and the primary aspect that is required with this relationship is trust and clarity with emotions and sentiments. Looking at this element of the relationship, non-verbal communication is alleged to be the most effectual approach. Since the non-verbal communication comprehensively enables the counselor and client to realize that the other person is communicating in a truthful manner through the way one listens, looks, and moves. Since the client-counselor relationship is a two way communication, hence, it also helps the individual determine if the other person was clearly listening to the first one or not (Trusty 2002).
This denotes that when your nonverbal gestures and other pointers match up with the verbal communication, it is likely to increase trust, clarity, and relationship with each other, as this would not have been possible only with the verbal communication process. While on the other side, non-verbal communication can also lead to the development of tension, mistrust, and confusion if the communication is not in a clear and open style (Trusty 2002).
Eye contact in this kind of relationship is also of paramount value due to the reason that visual sense plays a dominant part in the nonverbal communication process. The level of eye contact maintained in the client-counselor relationship signifies the degree of interest, confidence, trust, hostility, and various other emotions. In addition, eye contact also helps not only in maintaining the proper flow of conversation but also for measuring the response and reaction of the other person (Trusty 2002).
At many occasions in the client-counselor relationship, it has been observed and witnessed that the verbal communication does not match the body language of the person who is trying to convey his message due to various reasons. However, the observations expose the fact that the listener opt to believe the non-verbal aspect of the communication instead of going on words and verbal communication. This behavior has been monitored in most of the cases because for the listener, the true meaning of the words lies behind the non-verbal gestures and signals (Trusty 2002).
The inference from this data is that non-verbal communication is the most common and frequent method for sending the messages that is used by the people. Facial expressions, gestures, posture, eye contact, touch, physical space, and tone of voice are few of the universal approaches used in the non-verbal communication. However, it is the non-verbal communication or the body language of the person that is the most powerful and effective tool of contact over verbal communication. This is predominantly due to the reason that it facilitates the individual to create a strong bonding with others, express in an open, precise and clear manner and ultimately construct enduring relationships.
Calero, H.H. (2005). The Power of Nonverbal Communication: How You Act Is More Important Than What You Say. First Edition. Silver Lake Publishing, USA.
The author has focused on the effects of non-verbal communication on human beings and how it can play a substantial role in building relationships or associations. The book also highlights that the human nature takes decisions that are based on their subconscious impressions when communication is involved. Similarly, the paper has also provided a useful overview of how effective this communication can be.
Ivey, a.E., Ivey, M.B. & Zalaquett, K.P. (2009). Intentional Interviewing and Counseling: Facilitating Client Development in a Multicultural Society, Seventh Edition. Cengage Learning, USA.
This book has provided with the essential tools that needs to be considered and likewise acclimatize basic skills in order to meet uniqueness. The author has compared how communication (both verbal and non-verbal) can create an impact on the learning process and form behaviors of individuals, which has been reflected within the report as well.
Krueger, J. (2008). Nonverbal Communication. GRIN Verlag.
This book is the introduction to nonverbal communication that accompanies the general population in their everyday activities. The author has emphasized on the extent of non-verbal communication that is used by the people consciously and unconsciously. In fact, the author has also highlighted the existence of non-verbal communication that dates back to centuries. This book is aimed at providing an overview of the different forms of non-verbal communication, which is also a considerable part of the report.
Merriam-Webster, Inc. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. Eleventh Edition, Merriam-Webster, USA.
Merriam-Webster is the book of vocabulary that provided clear and precise definitions for more than two hundred thousand words.
Shepherd, G.J. & Rothenbuhler, E.W. (2000). Communication and Community. Routledge, USA.
This is one of the masterpieces of the author that has addressed how communication and community is linked to each other in a wide variety. The book is the combination of various theoretical perspectives and researches. However, the approach with which communication and community should be practiced is also elucidated. The significance of communication is similarly mentioned in the report.
Trusty, J. 2002, Multicultural Counseling: Context, Theory and Practice, and Competence. Nova Publishers, USA.
This textbook has included a comprehensive study about the multicultural aspect in the country that has a long history. However, looking at the contemporary multicultural aspect, issues have been observed and discussed in multicultural counseling with respect to how non-verbal communication can play an imperative role.
West, R. & Turner, L.H. (2010). Understanding Interpersonal Communication: Making Choices in Changing Times. Second Edition. Cengage Learning, USA.
This work of art presented by the author is to empower the reader with the knowledge and skills that is essential in non-verbal communication with respect to the today’s rapidly changing and technologically advanced world. The report in the same way has focused on the non-verbal communication as an effective practice regarding the modern era.
Wood, J, T. (2009). Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters. Sixth Edition. Cengage Learning, Canada.
The author has presented a pragmatic introduction with regard to concepts, principles, and skills of interpersonal communication. In addition, the non-verbal communication also involves issues or ethical challenges that can affect interpersonal communication, emotional intelligence, relationships, and various other factors.
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