To What Extent Do We Require Non Verbal Communication To Communicate Effectively In Social Situations
Maslow (1954) suggests in his pyramid of needs, is belongings and love needs, relationships and contact within its own species. Humans have developed a very complex method of communication, known as speech. However psychologists have shown that non-verbal communication is even more important, and is more complex that had been previously realized (Argyle, M. 1988) that is why many publications about this matter came, and are still coming out, in the context relation to the professional and private life. It’s realized that non-verbal communication is important, and that is why people, who want to be good communicators. Listening takes an important part in an effective communication. Listening is an active process which involves thinking carefully about the content of the other person’s speech and checking this understanding as the conversation progresses. Good communicators can also conveying warmth when communicating with people. Conveying warmth means being willing to listen to others, it means being able to prove that you are listening. Warmth involves using reflective listening.
Nonverbal communication – the use of dynamic but non-language messages such as facial expressions, gestures, gaze, touch, and vocal cues — is especially important when emotions, identities, and status roles are significant, as well as in situations where verbal communications are untrustworthy, ambiguous, or otherwise difficult to interpret. (Friedman, H.S. 2001) The different between non-verbal and verbal communication is, non-verbal communication have a special relationship with affect and feeling. They are more likely to leak information deliberately concealed in the controllable verbal. So, non-verbal signal can tell the truth of the others thought.
One of the most important non-verbal signals in social interactions is eye contact. When people fail to look others in the eye, it can seem as if they are evading or trying to hide something. Our eyes get wider when we are excited, attracted to or interested in someone else. In Kleinke (1986) research, it explains that humans look at others while listening more often and longer, than while speaking. In contrast good speakers will gaze form time to time to obtain feedback and judge how receivers understand and evaluate their message.
A lot of the time the look on a persons face can give away a lot of information. The face shows emotions, people can use different facial expressions to show how they feel and to communicate with each other, even when they do not understand each other via speech. For example, by nodding or shaking their heads. If people had no facial expressions, it would become more difficult to spread emotions. It provides a different mode for understanding the private, hidden side of the inner person, a side which may not be accessible in the form of verbalizations. The facial behaviors related to emotion can reveal part of the feeling side of a person’s private life.
Body Movement indicates attitude, conveys feelings serves as illustrators and regulators. The way we walk, move our head, sit, cross our legs and so on send message about whether we are tired, happy, sad or bored. Touching another person can send message of care, affection or power over them, or sexual interest. The social setting and other body language usually help people to understand what touch might mean. People should not make assumptions about touch. Even holding someone’s hand might be seen as trying to dominate them. Efficiency in communication can be also achieved by using such a primitive form such as touch. Children tend to explore the world using touch, until it is penalized by our society.
Gestures are hand and arms movement that can help us to understand what a person is saying. Some gestures carry a meaning of their own. Gestures are an effective way of interacting non-verbally or rather along with the verbal message. Hand gestures cam illustrate the verbal content of the message, help to describe an event or either point towards an object while referring to it – then they are described as illustrators. Another kind of gestures are emblems, hand movements which have a verbal translation, usually short ones. Often they have a agreed meaning known within a culture or subculture (Ekman and Friesen, 1969). Freedman and Hoffman (1967) distinguish also self-touching, which is not so important for social interactions. It is only supposed to regulate the amount of tension. Gestures, such as body movements convey interpersonal attitudes. When people do interact with each other the adaptation of each others postures is a marker of how the participants of the conversation feel about each other and the interaction.
To conclude, non-verbal communications pay an important part in communication effectively. Verbal communication can just understand people by the words but not really understand the real meaning. For example, if we just say “I love pizza.” People might not feel you really like pizza. In the other hands, if you say that in different tones of voices, giving an excited facial expression and body movement that will makes more sense for people to believe in you. Non-verbal communication also take an important part in counseling, people go to counseling to help them to express their feeling and to get help. To counsel a person, counselor must have a good skill in non-verbal communication skills because counselor needs to make the people feel that they are listening and understanding them. They need to make the person have trust in them so their non-verbal sign have to be very careful and they have to pay a lot attention to the person because they are their to help them. For example, when the counselor saw the person touching his hair, ears etc when talking then it show they are nervous. The counselor should make them to clam down by showing a empathy facial expression and a touching maybe helpful. This can enhance the person express more and build in trust. For all that, we can see non-verbal communication is a very important carrier of information. The variety and complexity of different codes allows encoding a mixture of messages. Flexibility of it can be compared to the one that characterises human language.
Argyle, M. (1988) Bodily Communication (2nd ed.), New York: Methuen
Ekman, P. and Friesen, W.V. (1969) The repertoire of nonverbal behavior: Categories, Origins, Usage and Coding, Semiotica 1:49-67
Kleinke, C. (1986) Meeting and understanding people, New York: W.H. Freeman.Friedman, H.S. (2001). Paradoxes of Nonverbal Detection, Expression, and Responding: Points to PONDER. In J.A. Hall & F. J. Bernieri (eds.), Interpersonal Sensitivity: Theory and Measurement. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, pp. 351-362.
Furnham, A. (1999) Body language at work, London: Institute of Personal Development Maslow, A. (1954) Motivation and Personality, New York: McGraw-Hill.