Topic 5 Non-verbal communication

Non-verbal communication shows how messages are communicated.

It can show if you are honest or feeling uncomfortable. It indicates whether the tone of your voice supports your words or you are all talk and no substance. Through non-verbal communication credibility and trust can be built.

The stance of your body plays an important role as it will either encourage or discourage others to speak to you. An open stance with open arms and relaxed legs as well as a friendly tone will make you appear more approachable.

In addition, eye contact is crucial in non-verbal communication as looking a person in the eye shows that you are focused on him/her and the conversation.

Since non-verbal cues convey feelings or covert behaviours it is essential to pay attention to your own body language as well as to others’.

 , the human face creates thousands of expressions which reveal hundreds of different emotional states. Several behaviors and emotions as well as the non-verbal cues that convey them:

  • Trustworthiness : Looking someone in the eye
  • Happiness : Upturned mouth, slightly closed eyes
  • Fear : Open mouth, wide-eyed stare
  • Lack of trust : Shifty eyes, pursed lips
  • Upright character : Head back, back straight
  • Good listener : Repetition of the other person’s posture
  • Confident : Solid eye-contact, smiling, standing tall, shoulders back, slow and clear speech, moderate to low tone of voice.
  • Defensive : Little eye-contact or downcast, minimal facial expressions, arms crossed in front of the body, body posture turned away
  • Interested and engaged : Eyes look away and engaged contact when responding, finger stroking on chin, hand to cheek
  • Lying : Little or no eye-contact/rapid eye-movements with pupils constricted, hands/fingers in front of mouth when speaking, body posture turned away, breathing rate increases, complexion changes (red face/neck), perspiration increases, voice changes in pitch, throat clearing. Eyes glazed or glazing elsewhere, hands picking at something/fiddling, head down

One of the most important nonverbal communication modes is body Language

Body language conveys non-verbal cues and it is also a means of communication.

Eye contact, facial expressions, and posture send silent messages in communication.