There exists a myth that when a person speaks, only 35% of their communication is verbal and the rest of the 65% is nonverbal. That’s not entirely true as it depends on the context and the situation. It is, however, absolutely true that nonverbal communication can make or break a message.
Non-verbal communication is way more powerful than verbal communication. While communicating, 95% of the impact is of our non-verbal actions like the way our body acts and reacts on different occasions and situations.
Non-verbal communication has been classified into these following types based on different cues–
- Kinesics – a study of body movements including gestures, postures, and different facial expressions.
- Oculesics – a part of kinesics; the study of eye movement, eye-contact, eye behavior, gaze, and eye-related nonverbal communication It is effective communication through eye language.
- Haptics – related to touch which is the first communication humans experience. Haptics include hugs, kisses, and handshakes.
- Proxemics– the study of space. It involves how we arrange space and how it influences the way we relate to others. It also demonstrates relational standing with those around us.
- Paralanguage/Vocalics – the vocal but non-verbal dimension of speech. This involves vocal pitch, volume, inflection, rate of speech, and rhythm.
- Chronemics – is how humans communicate through their use of time. Good timing is very crucial while communicating. The study of chronemics involves punctuality, allocation of time to a particular event, speaking at the appropriate time, etc.
- Silence – serves as a kind of non-verbal communication when we do not use words or utterances to convey messages, rather our silence does the job.
Why is non-verbal communication important?
Each movement and combination of movements of the body – such as shifts in posture, the direction of the eyes, gestures of the limbs, and expressions on the face – provide signals to others. These cues may be subtle or obvious, and they can be contradictory: A person might say one thing while body language conveys an entirely different message.
Because nonverbal communication is often instinctive and typically not easy to fake, it is generally more indicative of a person’s true feelings. Hence, it is said to be the most important part of the communication process. Learn more about non-verbal communication here.