Non-verbal communication is the message we send to others without using any words. We send signals and messages to others through expressions, gestures and body postures.
Importance of Non-verbal Communication
In our day-to-day communication, it is observed that most of the communication is done using body movements (face or arms movements, etc.) and voice control (voice, tone, pauses, etc.) and less than 10% is done using words.
As we can see in the chart below that maximum communication is non-verbal. We communicate using words, tone of voice and body language
Fig: Methods of communication
Non-verbal communication makes our message stronger. We communicate non-verbally in many ways.
- Using the right gestures and postures helps us to be professional at work.
- Using the right gestures while speaking makes our message more effective.
- Knowing non-verbal communication helps us understand our audience’s reaction and adjust our behavior or communication accordingly.
- If verbal messages are blocked by noise or distance, etc., we can use hand movements to exchange our message. Placing a finger on the lips to indicate need for silence and nodding the head up and saying ‘yes’.
Types of Non-verbal Communication
|Type||What it implies||How to use it effectively?|
|Our expressions show our feelings: Happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, etc.||
|Posture||Postures are positions of the body. They show our confidence and feelings.||
|Gestures or Body Language||Gestures describe movements of parts of the body, especially hands or head, to express an idea or meaning. This includes waving, pointing and using our hands when speaking. For example, raising a hand may mean asking a question. Biting nails show nervousness.||
||We communicate a great deal through our touch, such as shaking hands and patting on the back. For example, a firm handshake shows confidence. Sports coaches give a pat on the back of players to encourage them.||