2Verbal and non-verbal communication Week 1 Section 2
3IntroductionWhen we communicate with others, we use language but we also communicate non-verbally through our posture, gestures, and facial expressions.Our non-verbal communication may not always send the same message as our verbal communication.Good communicators check for agreement between verbal and non-verbal communication.
4Verbal communication (communication using words or language) Meaning is in people, not in wordsMeaning does not come from single words but from the way they are usedThe meaning of words change according to:ContextParticipantsAge of the speakerFashionOur experiences influence how we use words
5Verbal communication (communication using words or language) (cont.) We alter our language, and our interpretation of language, according to differing roles and relationships.Men and women use language differently.Our culture influences who we are and how we use language.Language changes constantly.Language is very reliant on tone.Language alone is rarely enough to express feelings.
6Language and communication Getting a job, keeping a job and being promoted all depend on good communication skills.Correct English usage and clear organisation of material is expected in business.Communication is also about innovation.When choosing language, you need to consider:AudiencePurposeToneContext.
7Non-verbal communication Non-verbal communication includes:body languagetouchvocal qualitiesdistance and territorytimeuse of environmentpossessions and status symbolsappearance.
8Body language Facial expressions Mouth Eyes Gestures Arm movements Larger body movementsTouchVocal qualitiesPostureOrientation
10Distance and territory Intimate distance (0 to 45 cm). This is reserved for intimate relationships.Personal distance (75 cm to 1.2 m). This is sometimes called ‘personal space’.Social distance (1.2 m to 2.1 m). This is the space most often used in business .Public distance (3.6 m to 4.5 m). This is the amount of space we feel comfortable maintaining with strangers.
11Interpreting non-verbal communication Non-verbal communication operates in clusters.Sometimes we send ‘mixed messages’, i.e. the words we say and our non-verbal communication may be different.People tend to believe non-verbal communication rather than words if there is a difference between them.Differences in non-verbal communication are often connected to gender and culture as well.
12How and why non-verbal communication varies We change our non-verbal communication according to:Social and physical context – formal or informal, work or play, public or private.Psychological situation – relaxed or tense, serious or humorous.Relationships – friends or strangers, same or different ages, close or distant.
13Understanding and interpreting non-verbal communication Non-verbal communication can provide us with at least three different types of information:factualemotionalpersonal
14Physical appearanceOther people judge us by what we wear and how we wear it.Our standard of dress and personal grooming can reveal how important a situation is to us.People may form stereotyped views of us, based on our clothes.Elegant and expensive clothing can also cause us to be prejudged and may act as a barrier.Our clothes need to suit our personality, the context and the situation.
15Understanding othersUnderstanding others’ non-verbal communication helps you communicate better because:you recognise when it is not a good time to bring a subject upyou can choose the best way to communicate with them, e.g. writing or face-to-faceyou accept comments that are made under emotional or stressful conditions and make allowances for peopleyou know when it is others’ turn to talk or participateyou understand the limit or extent of relationshipsyou get a more complete message.
16Non-verbal communication’s positive effects You can increase the positive effects of your non-verbal communication by increasing the number of times you:smilenod your head when listeninggesture in supportsit in an appropriate posture, e.g. head up, body forwardlisten closelyact in an understanding and empathetic manner.
17SummaryLearning to read others’ non-verbal communication and to interpret it accurately is important.Differences in non-verbal communication occur because of differences in gender, culture, personality and communication style.When there are significant differences in verbal and non-verbal communication, people tend to believe non-verbal communication.Reading non-verbal communication and modifying your own non-verbal communication helps avoid communication barriers and breakdowns as well as delivering a clear and consistent message to your audience.