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Verbal and Non Verbal Communication Types

Communication Skills

Objectives

  • To make participants (teachers and staff) aware of the importance of different ways of communication while communicating with each other.
  • To make aware that how proper communication will facilitate in establishing healthy relationships between children and colleges.

Communication Skills

Communication skills are very important for an individual and organizational success. Communication is defined as having both verbal and nonverbal component. Verbal communication often refers to the words that an individual use in communication and nonverbal communication refers to communication that is produced by some means other than words i.e., eye contact, facial expressions (Gamble & Gamble, 2014). So, individuals who understand verbal and nonverbal communication make fewer mistakes, adjust more easily to change, and more readily absorb new ideas than those who do not (Remedios, 2012). Thus, training in communication skills contribute to success in all of the following areas:

  • Leading
  • Being assertive
  • Negotiating and resolving conflict
  • Handling children in a better way
  • Teaching or coaching others
  • Working in a team (Carneavele, Gainer & Meltzer, 1990).
Verbal and Non Verbal Communication Types
Types of Communication Skills

Non-Verbal Communication Types:

Nonverbal communication is using behaviors other than words. Nonverbal communication is not opposite or separate from verbal communication, they considered part of the same system. Nonverbal communication skills are divided into two main areas: body language and paralanguage.Body language consists of gestures, eye contact, posture, facial expression, an awareness of physical distance (referred to as proxemics). While, paralanguage consists of communicating orally, except for the use of  words. It includes rate, tone, pitch of voice (Shapiro, 2004). To improve non-verbal communication, this section will explore the each category of nonverbal communication in detail.

  • Eye Contact
    Verbal and Non Verbal Communication Types
    Eye Contact

One of the most important element in non-verbal communication is eye contact. It can be explained as maintaining appropriate glances during conversations (Schlachter, 2013). Eye behaviors are a key part of interpersonal communication, as they are used to establish, maintain, and terminate contact. As with all nonverbal cues, the messages an individual send with eyes may be interpreted in a variety of ways, but there are three central functions eye movements serve:

    • Eye contact reveal the extent of interest and emotional involvement.
    • Eye contact influence judgments of persuasiveness and perceptions of dominance or submissiveness.
    • Eye contact gives the impression that the individual is paying attention.
    • Eye contact regulate person-to-person interaction (Gamble & Gamble, 2014).

It is important to consider the difference between maintaining eye contact and staring. Eye contact sends the signal the individual is interested but staring is considered rude and sometimes threatening. Staring means looking solidly at the other person without a break (Dale Carnegie Training, 2009). It is important to keep an appropriate eye contact so that the other person understands the conversation better.

  • Facial Expressions:
    Verbal and Non Verbal Communication Types
    Facial Expressions

The face is the main channel that is used to decipher the feelings of others. In fact, many people depend on facial expressions to facilitate person-to-person interaction. Faces tell us many things, including the following:

    • Whether other individual find the interaction pleasant or unpleasant
    • How interested an individual is in sustaining or terminating contact
    • The degree of involvement of the parties
    • The extent to which messages are understood and shared (Gamble & Gamble, 2014).
  • Gestures and Posture:
    Verbal and Non Verbal Communication Types
    Hand Gestures

Gestures are defined as the bodily movements. These include movements of head, hands and other parts of the body. They are different from postures. Postures include the whole of the body (See Appendix). The movements and alignment of one’s body also communicate. There central functions are:

    • Facilitate effective person-to-person interaction
    • They reveal whether the other person likes the conversation or not
    • They reveal either the other person is assertive or non-assertive (Gamble & Gamble, 2014).
  • Personal Space:
    Verbal and Non Verbal Communication Types
    Personal Space

The distance between individuals is also an important factor. Four distances that distinguish the kinds of interactions and the relationships (Gamble & Gamble, 2014).

Verbal and Non Verbal Communication Types

Personal SpaceDistance
Intimate distanceContact to 18 inches
Personal distance18 inches to 4 feet
Social-consultative distance4 to 12 feet
Public distance12 feet to the limit of sight
  • Voice:

Voice is the second message channel which includes the voice and it called para-language or vocal communication. The voice of a person has certain characteristics such as tone, volume, pitch, rhythm, pauses, and articulation. The voice excluding words has the quality of transmitting 38 % of the meaning in face-to-face interactions and 70 to 90 %  in telephone conversations (Carneavele, Gainer & Meltzer, 1990).

    • Tone: The tone of the voice helps the person communicate what he/she means to convey or in other words it depict thoughts a person means to convey. Tone of the voice has the quality to reinforce or negate the words a person speaks. It reveal to person’s emotional state, attitudes, personality, status, and interaction maintenance, or turn-taking, needs. The way an individual speak influences how others interpret their  intentions, as well as how credible, intelligent, or attractive they judge the person to be (Gamble & Gamble, 2014).
    • Pitch: The other important factor in voice is pitch. Pitch is known as the highness or lowness of the voice. It is just like the pitch on a musical scale. Everyone have a mode or habitual pitch, the one that the person use most frequently when they speak. Person also vary in their pitch to reflect their mood and interest in conversing. It can be seen as people tend to lower their pitch when sad and raise it when excited. On the other hand, if a person bored, he/she may speak in a monotone that reflects his/her lack of interest. Usually it is seen that a lively animated pitch encourages interaction, but a monotone discourages it. Pitch of the voice expresses a person’s emotional state, i.e. it can communicate anger or annoyance, patience or tolerance (Gamble & Gamble, 2014).
    • Volume: Volume is the power of voice as its loudness. It also affects perceptions of intended meaning. Some people whisper their way through encounters but others blast through them. A person who is typically loud may alienate others as often these persons are viewed as overbearing or aggressive. On contrary, if a person is soft spoken, others may interpret his behavior as timidity. However, the volume of voice can over or underwhelm, thus causing others to turn the person off in an effort to turn you down or to lose interest in your words (Gamble & Gamble, 2014).
    • Rate: Rate is speaking rate that affects the communication of meaning. Generally people speak at an average rate of 150 words per minute.  When people speeds up their speech by exceeding 275 to 300 words per minute then it becomes difficult for others to comprehend what they are saying and in return the message becomes virtually unintelligible. On contrary, if a person speaks too slowly, others may perceive him as tentative or lacking in confidence or intelligent (Gamble & Gamble, 2014).

Verbal Communication Types

Verbal communication is not merely the transmission of information or messages from sender to receiver but it is seen as the “sharing of meaning”, particularly verbal communication includes an exchange of thoughts, ideas, and messages. Most people tend to think that it includes only speaking but it also includes listening, reading and writing. Speaking and writing are physical behaviors while listening and reading are the modes by which communication is understood (Gulati, Mayo & Nohria, 2014).

  • Listening:

The ability to listen enhances the communication process. Effective listening depends on the attitude of the listener towards the speaker. If a teacher/ staff member is not listening to a child and preoccupied with other matters, it creates a barrier in effective communication. So, listening is an important factor in the communication process (Rappaport, Straker, Huter & Roy, 1994).

  • Speaking:

Speaking includes a selection of words. Usually a verbal message is made up of a individual’s choice of words, arrangement or pattern of ideas, and choices of evidence or supporting material. The selection of words when speaking is meaningful and provides perspective of the person sending a message. So, it is important to select appropriate words to make communication effective.

Although words are important, but in communication if a receiver does not like what he/she sees in the message sender’s body language or appearance, they may not care about the words. Despite of the verbal message conveyed, receiver’s mind may already be made up because of an impression formed from nonverbal communication. Evidence suggested that when there is a contradiction between what we say and how we say it, most adults believe our manner and disregard the words we use (Carneavele, Gainer & Meltzer, 1990).

Also Study: Definition and Types of Communication Skills

References;
  • Carnevale, A. P., Gainer, L. J., & Meltzer, A. S (1990). Workplace basics: the essential skills employers want. USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Dale Carnegie Training. (2009). The 5 essential people skills. USA: Simon & Schuster.
  • Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2014). Interpersonal communication: Building Connections Together. USA: Sage Publication, Inc.
  • Gulati, R., Mayo, A. J., & Nohria, N. (2015). Management (5th ed.). USA: South-Western, Cengage Leaning
  • Rappaport, H. M., Straker, K. S., Hunter, T. S., & Roy, J. F. (1994). The guidebook for patient counseling. USA: Techonomic Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Remedios, R. (2012). The role of soft skills in employability. International Journal Of Management Research and Review, 2(7), 1285-1292
  • Schlachter, C. T. (2013). Critical Conversations For Dummies. USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc
  • Shapiro,  L. E. (2004). 101 ways to teach children social skills: A ready-to-use, reproducible activity book.  USA: The Bureau For At-Risk Youth

Appendices

Body Posture

Verbal and Non Verbal Communication Types

Verbal and Non Verbal Communication Types

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