What Is Nonverbal Communication

  • By: Phil Taylor
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Nonverbal communication is the process of encoding messages by transmitting them through time, space, body language, or touch. Non-verbal messages are sent instantaneously and are processed by the brain in an immediate way.

Nonverbal communication is the use of gestures, body language, facial expressions, eye contact, vocal characteristics, and touch to communicate without using words.

Communication is an important skill that any person needs to have in order for them to have a functioning society. Nonverbal communication plays a large role in communicating with other people. Most people do not realize how many nonverbal cues are being communicated at any given time.

How Nonverbal Communication Supports Verbal Communication

How Nonverbal Communication Supports Verbal Communication

Nonverbal communication supports verbal communication in a number of ways. The main way is congruence in what you are saying and expressing within your body language

This is a constant way to express feelings and emotions and deliver a message to support your verbal communication with another person or group of people.

How Nonverbal Communication Affects Effective Communication

How Nonverbal Communication Affects Effective Communication

Nonverbal communication is a key aspect of effective communication. Without it, the message will not be fully understood. Nonverbal communication can include facial expressions, gestures, posture, and tone of voice.

There are many ways that nonverbal communication affects effective communication. It can be used to help deliver a message or change the message that is being delivered.

Nonverbal cues often provide information about someone’s emotional state which may also affect how people perceive your message.

People often use nonverbal cues as a way to communicate without having to say something aloud. This is especially true for those who may not feel comfortable speaking out in meetings or severing with others for whatever reason.

We can use nonverbal cues effectively to indicate what we want others to see. If you would like to learn how to read body language correctly, then check out this post on how to read body language

Types Of Nonverbal Communication

  • Face Expressions
  • Eye contact
  • Haptics Touch
  • Voice
  • Appearance/Look
  • Body
  • Gestures
  • Objects

How To Improve Nonverbal Communication

How To Improve Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication is the use of gestures, posture, facial expressions, and eye contact to convey a message. Nonverbal communication can be used consciously or subconsciously.

There are several ways to improve nonverbal communication.

1) Practice body language skills.

2) Pay attention to your posture.

3) Listen carefully to what people are saying.

4) Be aware of your surroundings.

5) Remember context is important.

How Nonverbal Communication Complement Verbal Communication

How Nonverbal Communication Complement Verbal Communication

The use of nonverbal communication in verbal communication is not just about reducing the number of words that are needed to convey a message. It is also about the variety of meanings that can be conveyed through nonverbal cues.

Nonverbal communication can provide information that cannot be derived from verbal communication alone. Such as how we truly feel about something or someone, concealing a feeling or expression.

You can smile without saying anything or use body language gestures to make people feel at ease around you.

Appearing non-threatening and not posing any harm to others means staying visible by keeping our hands in sight and palms facing outward.

There are many ways how nonverbal communication complements verbal communication you just need to think about context and what you really want to say at the moment.

Nonverbal cues are an important part of any interaction because they help to make what is being said more clearly.

Nonverbal cues allow listeners to comprehend and understand what someone is saying, even if the words are not clear or understandable.

When Nonverbal Communication Contradicts Verbal Communication

When Nonverbal Communication Contradicts Verbal Communication

The question should be can nonverbal communication be faked?

It is very difficult to fake nonverbal communication because there are so many channels through which we send messages unconsciously. Facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice all send signals that are difficult to control consciously without sounding odd.

Trying to control all of your non-verbal’s or body language at the same time would put tremendous strain on the brain and would be almost impossible to do.

The exception to this rule is that trained actors can control their non-verbal’s to the point where they are able to secure a role and express themselves in accordance with the director’s desires and films requirements.

Why Is Nonverbal Communication More Powerful Than Verbal Communication

Verbal communication does not provide the full context of what is being communicated. Nonverbal communication, on the other hand, is more powerful because it provides a larger scope of information. It provides information that would be otherwise unavailable through verbal communication.

60% of communication is nonverbal. If that’s the case, then using our nonverbals to signal to others that we are okay or in danger is a powerful tool.

If you would like to learn more about body language, we suggest you take a look at our other posts on the topic here.

Nonverbal Communication And Its Advantages

Nonverbal communication has many advantages such as conveying meaning more accurately than verbal communication alone.

Reading people’s communication is vital in this day and age and will give you the advantage over your colleagues, in interviews, and out socially.

You will be able to pick up on how people feel or express themselves and adjust the conversation accordingly.

What Nonverbal Communication Do You And Your Significant Other Use When In social Settings

There is a lot of nonverbal communication that goes on when we are in social settings. This includes body language, clothing, and tone of voice. You’ll usually see a couple exchanging glances of approval when together.

They will naturally mirror one another’s body language styles, the way they walk, move their hands in tandem, and how they use their feet.

You can generally tell how harmonious a relationship is by watching a couple’s nonverbal communication.

If you see they are in sync together, they are in a good place. If they are not, they are not it really is as simple as that.

How Nonverbal Communication Affects Business Communication

Improving our nonverbal communication includes the following three elements- the words that we use, our tone, and our body language.

Nonverbal communication can help to clarify what is being said verbally. It also improves the efficiency of what is being communicated.

Nonverbal communication is important because it creates an environment where people are more likely to cooperate with one another.

It also helps eliminate misunderstandings by adding more clarity to what is being said verbally. Nonverbal communication helps us make better decisions because it can give us a sense of someone’s personality before they speak.

It takes less time to express emotions and thoughts through nonverbal means rather than verbalizing them verbally.

In a business setting or meeting, reading nonverbal communication can give you an advantage in noticing what’s going on.

You may notice a shift of breath, rapid eye blinking, or blocking and pick up on the tone of a person’s voice when they disagree internally or there is something wrong with the conversation but they don’t express it verbally.

You can then shift accordingly to salvage the deal or conversation to a better conclusion.

Summary

Non-verbal communication includes all forms of communication that use the body to convey messages. It encompasses both verbal and non-verbal messages. The most resonant non-verbal cues are facial expressions, hand gestures, tone of voice, eye contact, and posture.

Nonverbal communication is used in different contexts for different purposes. For example, body language may be used for children when they are learning how to speak but it can also be used in negotiations between parties who don’t share a common language.

There are many ways to understand what nonverbal communication is, but a simple way to sum this up is by noticing how people use their bodies to go from being comfortable to being uncomfortable.

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