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The Importance Of Non Verbal Commuincation Essay

1200 words - 5 pages

Communication is an aspect of everyday life. People communicate both verbally and most importantly non-verbally. Verbal communication involves words whereas non-verbal communication consists of everything else but words. Moreover, there are different non-verbal concepts. These include haptics, refering to touch; proxemics, involving space and kinesics, which refers to gestures. Non-verbal communication is considered more meaningful and powerful because it communicates what the mouth does not. Non-verbal communication is expressed through body language and paralnguage. Paralanguage involves the voice and body language is embedded with non-verbal concepts. Overall non-verbal communication is an important universal language.

Paralanguage relates to non-verbal cues of the voice. This aspect of non-verbal communication includes intonation, vocal sounds and tone. People pay close attention to the voice in addition to listening to the words being spoken in order to clarify the message being conveyed. Take the case of a listener detecting whether the speaker expressed their message in the form of a question or statement through the pitch of their voice (Besson, Graf, Hartung, Kropfhausser & Voisard 2005). Another example involves the use of tone. Tone of voices can be friendly, aggressive, enthusiastic nervous and monotonous. The situation contributes to the tone of voice utilise. In the case of a political debate the tone voice would be rousing whereas in a television news report it would be in a more a factual tone. Additionally, people produce vocal sound either to show interest or express feelings. These sounds include laughter and screams of joy, fear and pain. In the great diversity of language, these sounds are most similar in form and meaning (Besson, Graf, Hartung, Kropfhausser & Voisard 2005). All these elements of paralanguage help to add meaning and are important in conveying intended message hence the phrase ‘it is not what you say but how you say it’. Thus it is important how words are pronounced.

According to Goman (2013), body language is the management of space, posture, gestures, touch, facial expression and eye contact. Research shows majority of communication is done through body language rather than words. Together, these non-verbal signal and cues communicate people’s interest and investment in others. For this reason there is the common saying actions speak louder than words. However, there times when non-verbal cues contradict what is spoken. In most cases, these mixed signals cause confusion and even distrust. Thus the person receiving the message is left with the choice of whether to believe the verbal or non-verbal message. Typically the latter is chosen. This is because body language is a “natural, unconscious language that broadcasts our true feelings and intentions in any given moment” (Segal, Smith, Boose & Jaffe 2013 para.3). On the other hand, when communicating effectively the body language add or compliment the...

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