Verbal and Non Verbal-Communication Comparison

Modified: 26th Nov 2019
Wordcount: 2345 words

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Verbal Communication is act of conveying messages, ideas, or feelings through the use of mouth, words, technology over long distances and other social media. Typically, verbal-communication serves as an important tool for expressing some messages between two or more people.

Non-verbal communication can be referred as those behaviors that expressing or conveying feelings, ideas or messages without the use of words. For example, body language, gestures, facial expression, voice pitch, physical contact, proxemics, physical characteristics (skin color, body shape and attractiveness), use of artifacts (perfume, clothes and jewelry) and environmental factors (classroom, office and hallway). To reinforce them, sometimes there’re more than one or two categories of communication occur on a conversation, such as verbal and non-verbal communication were present simultaneously. Even though non-verbal communication can be identified immediately compared with verbal communication, sometimes its meaning is generally more ambiguous, such as a person told his friend about he is feeling happy now but may not necessary smile. There’re some non-verbal communication behavior can be conveying via technology, e.g. film.

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In this whole new generation, peoples normally communicate with each other verbally. Basically, talkative and understanding are belong to main elements in verbal communication. Except of talkative and understanding, people have to identify the primary purpose of communication also. Attitude, behavior, morality and the way to use verbal communication skills, sets the emotional tone and develops relationships are the main elements to determines success in the workplace. There’re many circumstances which need clear verbal communication which involve presentations, interviews, meetings, group discussions, speeches and so on. However, there’re still have some other situations should be avoid which include either talking too much or little, fear of expressing own ideas, incapable to providing adequate structure to listener, failure of convey a subject to life, and inadequate ability to convey the information listener require.

However, people also tend to use non-verbal communication in their daily life and all of these non-verbal communications such as facial expression, hand gesture, tune of voice and others are correlated to their feelings and messages they really tend to express. There’re six characteristic of non-verbal communication which involves i.) Present in most communication contexts; ii.) Often conveys more information than verbal communication; iii.) Is usually believed over verbal communication; iv.) Primary means of expressing emotion; v.) Metacommunicates; vi.) Multiple Functions.

Non-verbal can be identified through its six-characteristic as stated above. It’s always present in most communication contexts. When people start a conversation with others, they might get the meaning or ideas from other people by not only their spoken word but also several dimensions of nonverbal communication. Normally, it can be easily to identify how someone feeling through their facial expression. For example, an employee can verify his own performance through the employer’s facial expression before start any announcement. Besides that, voice pitch is also one of non-verbal communication and conveys information about a person’s state of thought. For instance, parents may give warning to their children with lower voice pitch when they found children did something wrong or touch some hazardous materials. Alternatively, physical characteristic of people such as skin color, body shape, body odor and attractiveness can be even transferring information. This also named as Halo Effect which mean people usually attribute positive qualities and characteristic to attractive person. People often think attractive people are smart, intelligent, hardworking, friendly, more competent, and more socially skilled than less attractive people.

Furthermore, nonverbal communication always conveys more information than verbal communication. The reason is that non-verbal communication can be expressed by many communication channels, such as gestures, facial expression and vocal characteristic. For example, a wife can understand her alcoholic husband who prone to emotional outbursts. When he gets home from company each day, his wife will never know how he’ll be feeling. Sometimes, he may be smile and happy; some days he might be upset and anger without any reasons. As time goes by, she has noticed that she able to determine her husband’s mood without any talking with him. She merely looks at his facial expression and voice pitch to tell whether he’s sullen, joyful or depressed.

Moreover, non-verbal communication is the primary means of expressing emotion. As stated in the example above about a wife and her alcoholic husband, she has developed the ability to determine her husband’s emotional state accurately with just a glance by looking at her posture and facial expressions. Emotion is one of elements to affect people behavior and the way of communicating how people feel is via their non-verbal behavior. There’re two primary communication channels of non-verbal behaviors in the communication of emotions are facial expressions and vocal behaviors. Humans being are visual creatures, which mean people often tend to pay attention on others’ facial expression rather than spoken words during they’re talking in face to face situation. They will used to figure out a person emotional state by listening to the person’s vocal characteristic too. It can be assumed a person is angry when he is yelling and using harsh vocal tones, whereas laughter or applause is infer that the person is happy or excited. Base on some special situation, vocal channel is the only accessible channel, such as people talking to each other on the phone. People can identify about individuals’ emotional state from their voices easily even though they can’t looking at persons’ facial expression.

Alternatively, metacommunicates is also one of non-verbal characteristics. Metacommunication defines as a way that interprets how a verbal exchange of information should be explained. For example, people use statements such as “Let me share something with you about him…,” “Don’t tell anyone of this…,” and “Don’t take it serious, I’m just kidding.” Normally, they’ll try to prevent any misunderstandings and clarify themselves to listeners about the meaning of their statements. For instance, a group of teenagers would like to share some gossip to each other during a prom night. They’ll try to lean over to listener and lower their voice to a whisper when they starting to tell a secret. All of these combinations of non-verbal behaviors are sending a message, “What I had said is only for you to hear.” In short, people non-verbal behavior metacommunicates their intentions to the listener.

Sometimes, it may feel confusing on the contradictory to get conflicting messages between the verbal and nonverbal behavior. Typically, people more often trust the nonverbal clues rather than verbal. Let’s say a guy who is waiting for his girlfriend at Starbuck Coffee shop. When she walks into the shop with an upset expression, then she’s finding a seat for sitting down. The guy may ask her what’s happened, and she replied and says, “Nothing was happened and I have fun today.” The guy may feel confusing about the contradictory of messages the girl sent, but he do more believing in her nonverbal behavior. In other words, as what’s the example have shown, the guy would believe his girlfriend is feeling upset rather than happiness.

Why people believe in nonverbal behavior than verbal communication? According to psychologists’ perspectives, they regard people will have a harder time to control nonverbal signals than verbal ones; therefore, people generally think nonverbal behaviors more exactly reflect what a person really tend to express and how they really feel as well. Normally, people used to convey the messages that about they are having a great day and very enjoyed the fun for concealing their real thinking and feeling. Therefore, non-verbal messages are regard as more reliable

Based on Old folk stated, an action “speaks” louder than a word. Thus, when verbal and nonverbal messages are inconsistent, people tend to trustthe nonverbal due to it is seen as being more difficult to fake. For example, a student had overslept and therefore come late to his school, but he gives teacher an excuse about something was emergences happened in house. This student may feel tense to tell such a lie, especially he know he will get penalty if he were to get caught. Chances are that his nervousness will influence his nonverbal behavior, such as trembling when talk to teacher. Besides that, an experiment reported by Zuckerman, DePaulo, and Rosenthal has proved that virtually everything people use to detect that someone else is used to make deceptions are comes from their nonverbal act. Furthermore, people cannot not to communicate due to nonverbal communication, such as playing poker games. When someone is normally used to talk loudly but suddenly become quiet and keep smiling, there’s must be something secret other players. It can be assume that person has higher probability to win the games so stop talking for concealing his excitement. Moreover, one group of friends may sit together for having supper in a table and start discussing some topics about their opinion onto sport or entertainment news. Some of them among group might keep quiet when they’re disagreeing with what’s the speakers said but didn’t voice it out.

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Except the roles in emotional expression, non-verbal communication also takes several additional functions which assist people interact with other persons effectively. The additional functions which involve i. nonverbal communication assists people manage conversation, ii. Nonverbal communication helps people maintain relationships, iii. Nonverbal communication helps people make impressions, iv. Nonverbal communication helps people influence other persons, v. Nonverbal communication helps people conceal information.

Firstly, nonverbal communication is plays as tool of managing conversations. People can use nonverbal behavior such as raising a hand in meeting for asking questions. In additional, people frowning their eyes brow to convey that they don’t understand what the speaker is talking about.

Secondly, nonverbal communications help to maintain relationship. People used to reinforce their relationship via the use of immediacy behaviors, nonverbal signals of affiliation and affection. For example, giving a hug from parents to their child for caring, crying on spouse’s shoulder as consolation, using warm vocal tones for encouraging, and standing or sitting close to each other.

Thirdly, nonverbal communication forms an impression to people. People use to evaluate and expect someone’s personalities, education level, family background, culture, region, political affiliation, sexual orientation and economic status in term of his physical appearance, the way of dressing, vocal characteristic, gestures, use of artifacts, skin color, body shape, eyes movement and attractiveness. People are used to judge others in term of their first impression by nonverbal clues even though sometimes it might not be accurate.

Furthermore, nonverbal communication can cause other persons get influenced by people. For example, a direct sales agent may dress nicely or get a luxurious car to attract his friends or relatives work under him as subordinate. In the same way, people may also use nonverbal immediacy behaviors to strengthen their proximity with others; subsequently, it can cause others easy to agree with them when they try to give any suggestion or feedback during meeting moment.

Alternatively, nonverbal communication helps people hiding the truth of information. It’ll cause a deception when nonverbal and verbal communications are consistent to each other even though it’s fake. For those people good in concealing the truth, they can control their nervousness well and make it as normal response to listeners while they’re lying actually. They will not adopt rigid posture and use a normal vocal tune to enable other persons believes on their distortions.

In a nutshell, Non-verbal communication is playing an important role not only for daily communication but also for the interpreter. Non-verbal communication is including various forms, such as vocal characteristic, hand signals, facial expression, and physical appearance, each of them might consists or replaces some part of the verbal communication. Sometimes, nonverbal communication can involve many more elements which beyond that people expectation. In the same way, nonverbal communication can be ambiguous; for instance, a simple hand gesture can has different meaning in different nations and cultures.

When a speaker is in a working situation but audience didn’t pay attention to him and they might even be regard the speaker didn’t done a good job on his speech. To enable audience pay attention to him, he might need to make sense of nonverbal cues. It’s because a certain part of person’s brain deals with emotional part of message. It’s mean that not only intelligence is required to explain nonverbal elements but also emotional intelligence. As a conclusion, nonverbal communication is always vital to interpreters in their task.


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