UNIT – 9
Non-verbal communication is a primitive form of communication that does not involve the use of words. It rather uses gestures, cues, vocal qualities, spatial relationships, etc. to convey a message. It is commonly used to express emotions like love, anger, sadness, happiness, etc. Non-verbal cues are perceived through five senses, namely, Visual, Auditory, Tactile, Olfactory and Gustatory.
The study of non-verbal signals is divided into three main areas: 1) paralanguage, the way we say what we say, 2) kinesics, the study of body language and facial expression, and 3) proxemics, the study of how physical space is used.
1) Paralanguage- The study of paralanguage focuses on the way things are said. Two similar verbal messages may communicate entirely different meanings when the tone of voice is different. A great deal is conveyed by the tone of voice, the pitch, the rate of speech and the emphasis on words. In fact, the entire meaning of a sentence can change by altering the emphasis on certain words. The volume of the speech also determines the effectiveness of the communication. A person may sometimes speak louder to attract attention. However, overly loud speech can be annoying or disturbing.
2) Kinesics- Kinesics is the study of communicating through body movements and facial expressions. The way people sit or stand can reveal a lot about their attitudes and emotions. It can portray confidence, fear, anxiety, aggressiveness and a host of other emotions. Gestures are also body movements that are used to express thoughts. For instance, when we ask someone to come and sit in the chair then we have complemented the verbal message. Even the facial expressions play a vital role in communicating various verbal messages. They add more meaning to the verbal messages.
3) Proxemics- Proxemics focuses on how people use the physical space around them and what this communicates. People keep intimate distance with friends and other close relations. The personal distance is maintained with family and relatives. People maintain social distance with the people having business transaction. And lastly, the public distance is the farthest distance at which one can communicate effectively on one-to-one basis. Thus, the physical distance between two individuals can be used as a basis for judging the relationship between them.
4) Use of Time- The way an individual uses time also gives clues about the kind of person he/she is and what others can expect in terms of dependability. In the office, the junior staff are expected to confirm strictly to time guidelines. However, those in senior management are allowed to flout these guidelines are they are seen to have greater control over both their own time and the time of others. The amount of time we spend on a task also indicates how much importance we give it.
5) Use of Dress- Our first impression of people is often based on what they are wearing. In organizations, it is generally found that promotions and other benefits go to people who dress the way those in power feel they should dress.
Communication is essential for the functioning of an organization. It is important to both the individual and to modern organizations. Communication can be verbal as well as non-verbal. Non-verbal communication adds more meaning to the messages conveyed verbally and in writing. An effective communication in the organization, can help an employee boost his morale.