Nonverbal Communication

Topics: Nonverbal communication, Communication, International Communication Association Pages: 6 (2174 words) Published: December 15, 2014

Bradley Ledferd
Audience: Teacher
Nonverbal Communication
Ever hear someone say? “My wife (or husband) left me. I didn’t even know we were having problems.” Or “I thought the boss was happy with my work. I had no idea I was about to be fired.” This is because of a lack of communication. Communication is generally defined as has having both verbal and nonverbal components. Verbal communication often refers to the words we use in communication; nonverbal communication refers to communication that is produced by some means other than words (eye contact, body language, or vocal cues, for example) (Knapp and Hall, 2002). Communication is much more than verbal. Unfortunately, many people are of the opinion that communication is only oral or written verbal interaction. Verbal interaction accounts for only a small quotient of the messages that people send and receive. Researchers say that between 70% and 90% of the entire communication spectrum is nonverbal. Subsequently, people need to be aware how important nonverbal communications are. If the people that stated the above statements had paid attention to what people were saying nonverbally they never would have been as blind sighted by the events. “Nonverbal communication is the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless cues between people. It is sometimes mistakenly referred to as body language, but nonverbal communication encompasses much more, such as use of voice, touch, distance, and physical environments/appearance. Informal space around the body and the use of time is typically overlooked in nonverbal communication. Not only considered eye contact, oculesics comprises the actions of looking while talking and listening, frequency of glances, patterns of fixation, pupil dilation, and blink rate. Even speech contains nonverbal elements known as paralanguage, including voice quality, rate, pitch, volume, and speaking style, as well as features such as rhythm, intonation, and stress. Likewise, written texts have nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words, or the physical layout of a page. However, the study of nonverbal communications has focused on the interactions between individuals, and is classified into three principal areas: environmental conditions where communication takes place, physical characteristics of the communicators, and behaviors of communicators during interaction. Also nonverbal communication involves the processes of encoding and decoding. Encoding is the act of generating the information such as facial expressions, gestures, and postures. Decoding is the interpretation of information from received sensations from previous experiences. Only a small percentage of the brain processes verbal communication. As infants, nonverbal communication is learned from social-emotional communication, making the face rather than words the major organ of communication. As children become verbal communicators, they begin to look at facial expressions, vocal tones, and other nonverbal elements more subconsciously. Furthermore, culture also plays an important role in nonverbal communication, and it is one aspect that helps to influence how learning activities are organized. In many indigenous American communities, for example, there is often an emphasis on nonverbal communication, which acts as a valued means by which children learn. In this sense, learning is not dependent on verbal communication; rather, it is nonverbal communication which serves as a primary means of not only organizing interpersonal interactions, but conveying cultural values, and children learn how to participate in this system from a young age (Nonverbal communication). I want you to ask yourself is nonverbal communication an important component of communication. According to most of the social psychologists, nonverbal communication makes up about two-thirds of all communication between two people or between one speaker and a group of...
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