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If you’re wondering what a nonverbal communication example is, you’re not alone! Unfortunately, most people have a hard time pinpointing examples of nonverbal communication. That’s because nonverbal communication includes everything we do and say when we aren’t speaking!
It can be tough to identify all the different types of nonverbal communication, but you can start using them once you know what they are. So, what are some common nonverbal communication examples? Read on to find out!
What is a Nonverbal Communication?
Most of us are unaware that the majority of our communication is nonverbal. By definition, nonverbal communication is the transmission of messages or signals through a nonverbal platform such as eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, posture, and body language. In addition, it includes the use of social cues, kinesics, distance and physical environments/appearance, voice, and touch. There are four primary routes to attitude change: central cues, information dissemination & education, emotional contagion, and persuasion.
Out of these four routes, central cues have been found to be the most influential. Central cues are determined by a person’s ability to pay attention and accurately interpret the message that is being conveyed. In other words, central cues are about how we process information and make sense of the world around us. Because they are so influential, it’s essential to be aware of the nonverbal cues we send and receive daily. With this knowledge, we can then use nonverbal communication to our advantage in both personal and professional situations.
Why is nonverbal communication important?
It is said that nonverbal communication makes up most of how we communicate with others. This is because nonverbal communication cues can provide valuable information about a situation that verbal communication might not capture. For example, if you are presenting to a group of people and see that they have their arms crossed and are not making eye contact, you might infer that they are not interested in what you are saying.
On the other hand, if you see people nodding their heads and leaning forward, you might infer that they are engaged and want to hear more. Paying attention to nonverbal cues can help you better understand how your audience receives information and how to express yourself appropriately.
When it comes to nonverbal communication, it is important to remember that one cue should never be taken in isolation but rather as part of a larger context. By considering all of the nonverbal cues available to you, you can get a complete picture of a situation and make more informed decisions.
5 Examples of Nonverbal Communication
In order to communicate effectively, it is crucial to be aware of the various forms of non-verbal communication. Here are five examples of nonverbal communication:
1. Facial expressions
Whether we realize it or not, our faces are in constant motion, conveying our innermost thoughts and feelings. A simple smile can light up a room, while a furrowed brow can indicate frustration or concern. But unfortunately, our faces can also betray our emotions, betraying how we feel even when trying to put on a brave face. In some cases, our facial expressions can be so powerful that they can override our verbal communication.
For example, if we’re saying one thing, but our facial expression says something different, people are more likely to believe what they see. This is why it’s essential to be aware of our facial expressions and make sure that they match our words. After all, our faces are often the first thing people notice about us, and they can leave a lasting impression.
2. Eye contact
When you meet someone for the first time, one of the first things you notice is their eyes. Whether they are looking at you or not can convey a lot of meaning. Studies have shown that people who maintain eye contact are seen as more trustworthy and likable.
On the other hand, people who avoid eye contact are often perceived as being untrustworthy or even shifty. In addition, different cultures have different standards for eye contact. For example, it is considered rude to maintain eye contact for too long in some cultures, while it is seen as a sign of respect in others.
No matter what culture you are from, eye contact is an important form of nonverbal communication.
3. Physical touch
Another example of Nonverbal Communication is Physical touch. In a work setting, physical touch can be both positive and negative. For example, if someone is sitting at their desk crying, someone may put a hand on their shoulder and ask them what is wrong. This would be considered a positive use of physical touch.
However, if there is a conference room full of angry people, there may be many finger-pointing and personal space invasions. This would be an example of the negative use of physical touch. In this instance, the physical touch indicates that someone is in attack mode and is looking to “get” or prove a point to the other person.
All forms of communication involve some form of nonverbal cues. From the way you dress to the way you stand to how you gesture, every aspect of your nonverbal communication says something about who you are and how you feel. The use of gestures is a particularly important form of nonverbal communication. We use gestures to punctuate our speech, emphasize a point, or convey emotions.
The way we move our bodies can also be a form of communication. Our posture, bearing, and stance can convey confidence, relaxation, or intimidation. It is essential to pay attention to their nonverbal cues to understand someone truly. By reading the nonverbal communication of others, we can gain insight into what they are saying.
Humans are highly visual creatures, and our appearance is one of the first things that others notice about us. While we might not think about it consciously, the clothes we wear, the colors we choose, and how we style our hair send nonverbal messages to those around us. In addition, research on color psychology has shown that different colors can evoke different moods, so our clothing choices can say a lot about how we’re feeling on any given day.
The same is true of hairstyles – a messy bun might signal that we’re relaxed and comfortable, while a sleek updo could convey feeling more confident and put together. So the next time you get dressed in the morning, take a moment to think about the intended message you’re sending to the world.
What are nonverbal and verbal messages?
Verbal communication uses the spoken word to exchange information, emotions, and thoughts. The spoken words can be in the form of encouragement, asking or answering questions, or even small talk. Conversely, a nonverbal message conveys and exchanges messages without the use of spoken words. This can be in body language, eye contact, or even facial expressions. It has been said that nonverbal communication affects the actual words spoken.
For example, if two people are arguing and one person has their arms crossed, they may be perceived as being closed off to the other person’s opinion. Alternatively, if someone is nodding their head while another person is talking, they may be perceived as being interested in what is being said. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of verbal and nonverbal communication when exchanging information with others.
Related: Types of verbal communication
Example of Nonverbal communication in the workplace
Nonverbal communication is the process of sending and receiving messages without using words. It can include body language, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, and more. Nonverbal communication is often used in the workplace to communicate with coworkers and customers.
For example, if a coworker is telling you about their recent vacation, you can smile and nod along while you listen to show you’re enjoying their story. Nonverbal communication can be a powerful way to build rapport and create a positive work environment. However, it’s important to be aware of only using appropriate nonverbal expressions in the workplace. For example, avoid rolling your eyes or crossing your arms when someone is speaking to you. Doing so can send the wrong message and create tension in the workplace.
Related: Team Communication
What are seven basic human emotions?
Human emotions are complex and varied, but some are more basic than others. According to psychologist Paul Ekman, there are seven basic emotions: fear, anger, joy, sadness, disgust, contempt, and surprise. Furthermore, these emotions are universal, meaning that people from all cultures experience them.
However, the specific expression of each emotion may vary from culture to culture. For example, it is acceptable to express anger openly in some cultures, while in others, it is not. Yet, despite these cultural differences, the underlying emotions are the same. Therefore, understanding the seven basic emotions can help us better understand our feelings and the feelings of others.
Related: Kinesics Communication
Nonverbal communication is a powerful tool, and it can be used to your advantage in several ways. By becoming aware of the different types of nonverbal communication and learning how to use them effectively, you can strengthen your relationships with others, communicate more effectively, and even boost your sales.
So, what are you waiting for? Start paying attention to the nonverbal signals you send and receive every day, and see how they can help you achieve your goals. Do you have any questions about nonverbal communication or tips to share? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!