What is verbal communication and non-verbal communication?

What is verbal communication?

When messages or information is exchanged or communicated through words is called verbal communication. Verbal communication may be two types: written and oral communication. Verbal communication takes place through face-to-face conversations, group discussions, counseling, interview, radio, television, calls, memos, letters, reports, notes, email, etc. some definitions of verbal communications are as follows:

According to Bovee and others: Verbal communication is the expression of information through language which is composed of words and grammar.”

According to Penrose and others, “Verbal communication consists of sharing thoughts thought the meaning of words.”

So, verbal communication is the process of exchange of information or message between two or more persons through written or oral words.

verbal communication and non-verbal communication

What is non-verbal communication?

When messages or information is exchanged or communicated without using any spoken or written word is known as nonverbal communication. Non-verbal communication (NVC) is usually understood as the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless messages.

Non-verbal communication is a powerful arsenal in face-to-face communication encounters, expressed consciously in the presence of others and perceived either consciously or unconsciously. Much of non-verbal communication is unintentional people are not even aware that they are sending messages. Non-verbal communication takes place through gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, physical proximity, touching, etc. some important definitions of non-verbal communication are as follows:

According to L. C. Bove and others, “Non-verbal communication is communication that takes place through non-verbal cues: through such form of non-verbal communication as gesture, eye contact, facial expression, clothing and space; and through the non-verbal vocal communication known as Para-language.”

According to Lesikar and Pettit, “Nonverbal communication means all communication that occurs without words (body movements, space, time, touch, voice patterns, color, layout, design of surroundings.)”

According to Himstreet and Baty, “Non-verbal communication includes any communication occurring without the use of words.”

So, non-verbal communication is the exchanged of information or message between two or more persons through gestures, facial expressions eye contact, proximity, touching, etc. and without using any spoken or written word.

Characteristics of non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication is any information that is communicated without using words. The important characteristics of non-verbal communication are as follows:

  • No use of words: Non-verbal communication is a communication without words or language like oral or written communication. It uses gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, physical proximity, touching, etc. for communicating with others.
  • Culturally determined: Non-verbal communication is learned in childhood, passed on to you by your parents and others with whom you associate. Through this process of growing up in a particular society, you adopt the taints and mannerisms of your cultural group.
  • Different meaning: Non-verbal symbols can many meanings. Cross-culture aspects give various meanings to same expression in respect of non-verbal communication.
  • Vague and imprecise: Non-verbal communication is quite vague and imprecise. Since in this communication, there is no use of words or language which expresses clear meaning to the receiver.
  • May conflict with verbal message: Non-verbal communication is so deeply rooted, so unconscious, that you can express a verbal message and then directly contradict it with a nonverbal message.
  • Largely unconscious: Non-verbal communication is unconscious in the sense that it is usually not planned nor rehearsed. It comes almost instantaneously.
  • Shows feelings and attitudes: Facial expressions, gestures, body movements, the way you use your eyes – all communicate your feelings and emotions to others.
  • Informality: Nonverbal communication does not follow any rules, formality or structure like other communication. Most of cases people unconsciously and habitually engaged in non-verbal communication by moving the various parts of the body.



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