What Is Nonverbal communication?
Nonverbal communication is by definition: a communication without words. It includes apparent behaviors such as facial expressions, eyes, touching, tone of voice, as well as less obvious messages such as dress, posture, and spatial distance between two or more people.
According to Dr. Leonard Zoonan, face-to-face communication is conveyed through 55% Body language, 35% tone of voice and 10% spoken words. People’s messages communicate via their nonverbal communication.
Communication in general is the process of sending and receiving messages that enables humans to share knowledge, attitudes, and skills. Although we usually identify communication with speech, two dimensions compose the communication – verbal and Nonverbal communication.
Elements of Communication
There are three elements of Communication. The original research to which everyone refers was undertaken in 1971 by Albert Mehrabian (currently Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA). He reached two conclusions:
1 – There are basically three elements in any face-to-face communication:
- Tone of voice and
- Body language
2 – So, these three elements account differently for the meaning of the message:
- Words account for 7%
- Tone of voice accounts for 38%
- And Body language accounts for 55% of the message. Mehrabian reached this second conclusion in the context of experiments dealing with communications of feelings and attitudes. Thus the often quoted disproportionate influence of tone of voice and body language is only really true when someone says they like/dislike something/someone but their tone of voice or body language implies the opposite.
The Two Roles In Communication
- Sender: The person giving the information
- Receiver : The person listening and interpreting the information
How a person perceives the information being said can also depend on interference involved. If the receiver is hungry or tired(or a similar type of interference), they may interpret the message incorrectly.
Nonverbal communication consists of many components. We communicate through how we talk, our hand movements, the sounds make, our head movements, our eye movements, how close or far we stand near someone, our physical appearance, our facial expressions, our posture and body contact, such as shaking hands.
Also, how the receiver perceives the information can depend on many factors with interference as one of these. If the receiver is hungry or tired (or a similar interference), they may perceive what the sender is saying as something different.
Nonverbal communication imparts eight times as much information.
When you move confidently and carry your body confidently, you not only feel more confident but others assume that you are.
People often disguise their true feelings in their utterances: they communicate them freely through their nonverbal communication. Guess what story people believe when your body language tells a different story that the one you say with the words? The answer is your body language. It imparts eight times as much information.
Nonverbal Communication Cues
Every day, we respond to thousands on nonverbal cues and behaviors including postures, facial expression, eye gaze, gestures and tone of voice. From our handshakes to our hairstyles, nonverbal details reveal who we are and impact how we relate to other people.
While these signals are often so subtle that we are not consciously aware of them, research has identified several different types of nonverbal communication. Facial expressions are especially responsible for a huge proportion of nonverbal communication. Consider consequently, how much information can be conveyed with a smile or a frown. While nonverbal communication and behavior can vary dramatically between cultures, the facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger and fear are similar throughout the world.