Humans are pack animals. Our ancestors hunted and gathered as a collective, depending upon one another for protection, sustenance and companionship. Our success as a species and as individuals depends upon our ability to effectively communicate, both verbally and non-verbally. Verbal and non-verbal communication shapes our interactions with others in business and interpersonal relationships, as well as our financial and personal success, and our physical and psychological well-being. Understanding the different aspects of verbal and non-verbal communication, and the important roles they play in our interactions with others, is the first step to enhancing positive communication and nurturing relationships.
Video of the Day
Verbal communication encompasses any form of communication involving words, spoken, written or signed. The conversation we have with our coworker at lunch, the morning news or the sports page we read in the morning--even the text message you send to your spouse telling him to pick up some milk is a form of verbal communication. Our ability to communicate with a language that is based on an organized system of words, rather than merely sounds, is what sets us apart from lower species. Not only do we have language, but we also have the technology that enables us to communicate with one another no matter the physical distance.
We use verbal communication to inform, whether it is to inform others of our needs or to impart knowledge. Clarification is a key component of verbal communication. Often, we do not articulate ourselves clearly, or our words or actions are misconstrued. Verbal communication helps to clarify misunderstandings and provides missing information.
We can use verbal communication to correct a wrong. The power of the words, “I’m sorry,” is often more effective than an action. Verbal communication can also be used as a tool of persuasion. It creates an opportunity for debate, stimulates thought and creativity, and deepens and creates new relationships. Robert M. Krauss in the article, “The Psychology of Verbal Communication,” published in the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences in 2002, explains, “A species’ survival depends critically upon its ability to communicate effectively, and the quality of its social life is determined in large measure by how and what it can communicate.”
Verbal communication coexists alongside non-verbal communication, which can affect people’s perceptions and exchanges in subtle but significant ways. Non-verbal communication includes body language, such as gestures, facial expressions, eye contact and posture. Touch is a non-verbal communication that not only indicates a person’s feelings or level of comfort, but illustrates personality characteristics as well. A firm handshake or warm hug indicates something very different than a loose pat on the back or a timid handshake does. The sound of our voice, including pitch, tone and volume are also forms of non-verbal communication. The meaning behind someone’s words is often entirely different than the literal translation, as is seen in instances of sarcasm and mockery. The clothing we wear and the way we design our living space are also forms of non-verbal communication that frequently shape people’s judgments about others, regardless of whether or not the perceptions are true.
Think of how many relationships start with a man and woman making eye contact across a crowded room. A playful wink tends to be more effective than a well-thought out pick-up-line. Michael Argyle, in his book “Bodily Communication,” identifies five main functions of non-verbal communication: to express emotions, communicate interpersonal relationships, support verbal interaction, reflect personality and perform rituals, such as greetings and goodbyes. Edward G. Wertheim, Ph.D., in his paper, “The Importance of Effective Communication,” details how non-verbal communication interacts with verbal communication. We can reinforce, contradict, substitute, complement or emphasize our verbal communication with non-verbal cues such as gestures, expressions and vocal inflection. Avoiding eye contact when we tell someone we love them communicates something far different than do spoken words, just as a bright smile when we say congratulations reinforces the sincerity of our words.
Verbal communication is enhanced when a person is an effective listener. Listening doesn’t simply mean hearing; it necessitates understanding another person’s point of view. Take the time to think before you speak to ensure that you articulate yourself clearly. Let other people interject and have the floor. Allow time for reflection on the subject at hand.
Watching other people’s body language, facial expressions and intonations, and being conscious of your own physicality and feelings can enhance non-verbal communication. Record yourself with both a video camera and an audio recorder to see how you communicate non-verbally. Are your gestures matching your words, or giving away what you’re really thinking? Being aware of what we say and how we say it is the first step to successful communication. The ability to adapt quickly to the situation and form of communication at hand is a skill that people continue to hone for a lifetime.
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
When communicating to anyone, you use language, body movement, face gestures, or you can communicate through internet. There are many different uses for communication, but sometimes when communicating to another person, it can be rude when saying things that can hurt him/her. You need to watch out when communicating and you need to make sure that you are communicating correctly. Verbal and nonverbal communication is one segment of communication where you can see a lot as an everyday thing.
Principles of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
There are many principles of verbal and nonverbal communication. The first one is that everyone speaks with a different language, like from France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, or any other region from the globe. Their grammar and pronunciation is different and everyone is unique because of that. The second principle is where all language is significant. Everyone isn’t perfect with language, but when you learn how each one is, it signifies that not one isn’t perfect. The third principle is that when you distinguish different variations on how spoken language is used across beliefs. When one speaks differently, the other who understands it, knows what the person is saying. The fourth principle is that you must know that everyone’s vocabulary doesn’t mean the same thing to others. An example can be when a Hispanic person from Puerto Rico is talking to another person from Italy. They can both understand each other, but their language is being said differently because that is how they were taught, like the verb tense. The fifth principle is when you are following ideas for effective verbal communication as one way to move closer to share the understanding of it. This one is important because you want to have a good impression on others when communicating effectively with a positive attitude and can help with your career as well.
The Three Principles that the Student thinks are Critical for Effective Communication
The three principles that I think are critical for effective communication are that everyone speaks with a different language, everyone’s vocabulary isn’t the same, and when you follow ideas for effective verbal communication as one way to move closer to understanding it. When you look around, not everyone aren’t speaking the same language as you are. They came from different parts of the states in the U.S or a different country. Everyone’s language is unique because they grew up to speak that language and many came to the U.S to learn English as their second language which took time for them to understand. Many people have accents from their native language, but soon progresses and their accent can change because of the new language they got used to speaking, that is English.
Everyone’s vocabulary isn’t the same as well. We all speak and sometimes our words come out differently unexpectedly and that can confuse the other person. When I speak, I sometimes confuse myself when I mess up with my own vocabulary. When you follow ideas for effective verbal communication as one way to move closer to understanding it, you should know what you are saying in a positive way. When speaking to another person, you use hand gestures and face expressions to show that you care about what you are saying to the other person, even when you listen to that person, you should also be seen in a positive way.
One Personal Experience with a Difficult Verbal or Nonverbal Communication
A personal experience with a difficult verbal or nonverbal communication was when I would have talks with my father about serious things that I have done which I shouldn’t have done in the first place. I would be talking back to him with a negative attitude, bad hand gestures, and be looking away. I have a bad habit on being like that and in the end, I know what I have done wrong and I apologize for all the bad gestures I have done in a negative way when talking to my father about a situation. I do learn from my past mistakes and I would want to fix it if I can, but I move on and forget what I have done and I am careful with what I am doing now, especially when communicating in a positive way to anyone even if it’s at home, at work, or with friends.
How the Student could use These Principles to Promote Communication in a Health Care Workplace
I could use these principles to promote communication in a health care workplace by increasing the productivity with the benefits on communication, having stronger relationships when speaking to others, and making sure that you ask questions even when feel you have the right answer while in the health care department. When in a health care department, I would want to make sure that I am using the correct terms when speaking to other Doctors, Nurses, or anyone working with me. You want to make sure that you are making sense when speaking to them because they can look at you with odd faces meaning that they are giving you some bad gestures, but it doesn’t hurt for you to ask if you are doing something wrong because they can help you with your mistakes. We are never alone. Improvement with this communication process can help you achieve on anything when working in the health care workforce.
How Technology Influences the Communication Process
Technology influences the communication process by seeing it in a positive way. You see how market has expanded and any product being sold is being connected to anyone in different countries. Technology has improved so much that we can use our phones to go online, we can connect to anyone just by a click of a button. Many people use their own technology tools for work purposes only. They would have a separate computer or a second phone for work only while the other is personal. It depends how busy one can get and prefers to make calls with a different number. That is how privacy is and that is how communication is being handled these days. When e-mailing someone, you want to make sure that you are communicating correctly by making sure that you are using the right words so that the receiver won’t get confused on what you are saying.
When using verbal and non-verbal communication, you want to make sure that you are using it correctly. Even if you need to practice in front of a mirror for fun, it can help you do better on the next run when communicating to your manager perhaps. You want to make sure that your attitude is positive and that you use your gestures correctly. You don’t want to look away when someone is speaking to you because that is rude and can hurt the other person’s feelings. Verbal and non-verbal communication is very important to anyone and is being used every day.
Cheesebro, T., O’Connor, L., & Rios, F. (2010). Communicating in the workplace. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Verbal and non-verbal communication. (2007). In Communicating with Aged Care Colleagues [Films on Demand].