Different Types of Nonverbal Communication in Business Nonverbal Communication is not a word-based communication and it does not take place separately and independently from verbal communication. It may be used alone or as the supplement of verbal communication. There are different Nonverbal Communication types some of which are discussed below:
- Visual Communication: Visual Communication is one kind of non verbal communication where some visual means or methods or techniques are used to make the communication vivid, natural and more effective. We use gesture, posture, facial expression, eye contact etc. while talking; graph charts, color etc. to present something in written all of these techniques are known as visual communication. In most of the cases, visual communication takes place as a complement to take it most effective and most fruitful, though it can take place alone or solely.
- Body Language or Kinesics: Body language or kinesics refers to the movements of the different parts of the body that indicate some specific messages. The physical movements of body are a unique mode of non verbal communication. These movements can be unconscious and conscious.
- Gestures: A gesture is a conscious and deliberate body movement intended to convey specific message. Many different attitudes and intentions are expressed in gestures. For example, standing when you are introduced to people who are older or n higher-ranking positions shows respect. A thumps-up gesture shows that things are under control.
- Posture: Posture means the position in which you hold your body when standing or sitting. It is an important body language that has specific meaning. The manner in which one sits, walks or stands may communicate specific feelings.
- Physical Appearance: Physical or personal appearance is one of the most important kinesics that plays a vital role in communicating messages to others. Physical appearance includes clothing, ornaments, cosmetics, hairstyle etc. that a person puts together before appearing in public. The totality of physical appearance provides visual signals to a person’s interest, age, personality, style, sex, attitude, social standing, and religious affiliation and so on. Business Communication
Types of Nonverbal Communication
- Facial Expression: Face is an important type of non verbal communication. It is the index of mind. It expresses a great range of emotions, from joy to sorrow, from frustration to pleasure. It reveals both the type and the intensity of feelings. The entire face of a person is expressive, especially the eyes. The situations like happiness, surprise, fear, anger, sadness etc. are identifiable form someone’s facial expression.
- Touch: The first non verbal communication we get first in our life is touch. By touching, we can express a wide range of emotions. Communication by touch should consider both cultural patterns and individual preferences.
- Proteomics or Distance: Proteomics is an important type of non verbal communication which refers to the study of how we communicate with the space around it. Space and distance can be a powerful media of conveying message. In many organizations, space has become an indicator of the relative importance of persons. Visitors and other employees get a clear idea about the position or importance of a person by observing the location, spaciousness and decoration of his office. Distance also expresses the degree of intimacy and of cultural and individual acceptance.
- Chronemics or Time Language: Time is an important language in case of non verbal communication that conveys specific message to others. In some countries and cultures, time is an important factor in everybody life. The use of time by a person reveals his seriousness and general practice.
- Communication through Action: Action or general practice of a person is another form of non verbal communication which can be a best means of communicating specific message. The liking, disliking, desire, nature, habit etc of a person may be revealed by his action. For example, if a manager comes to the office on time regularly, it means that he is very much punctual and other employees should follow him strictly.
- Symbols: Symbols are an important media of non verbal communication. We use different types of signs or symbols to communicate specific message to the viewer. We use signs or symbol as representations of something. For example, we use ‘V’ sign for victory; ‘+’ for add, ‘-‘ for minus or subtraction, ‘X’ for multiply or prohibition, skull and cross bones for danger and so on.
- Audio communication: When message is conveyed to the audience through sound only, it is called audio or audible communication. It is an important media of non-verbal communication. We use various types of sounds to communicate different messages to others.
- Paralanguage: Paralanguage means similar to language but not exactly like language. It refers to the voice intonation which is an important communication tool. Paralanguage consists of vocal aspects of communication that relate to how something is said rather than to what is said. By its quality, volume, rate, tone, etc., it the voice of a person may either emphasize or contradict his verbal message.
- Calling Bell: Calling bell is another audible means of nonverbal communication which is widely used in offices or homes. The ringing of a calling bell means someone is waiting for another desired person. Here no verbal communication is used.
- Ringing Bell: Like siren, ringing bell also conveys different meanings in different situations. For example, in an educational institutions, ringing bells refers to information related to particular class. But in railway station, ringing bell means that train is coming.
- Audio-Visual Communication: When communication takes place by using both sound and pictures, it is called audiovisual communication. It is based on both audio and visual means of communication. Audio-visual communication may be used with oral or written communication. Some important and powerful media of audio-visual communication are television, cinema, overhead projector, video tapes etc.
- Silent Communication: When message is conveyed through silence, it is called silent communication. It is a very powerful tool of communication. There are some situations where silence best communicates the message. Silence has positive or negative meaning. The meaning of silence depends on the situation. Attention, carefulness, carelessness, displeasure, lack of interest, failure to understand, anger, resentment, approval and disapproval or refusal etc. can be communicated very effectively by using silence.
- Siren: A siren is a device that makes a long loud sound as a signal or warning. It is an important means of nonverbal communication. It conveys different messages in different situations. For example, during the Ramadan, the ringing of siren at the evening means the time for ‘Iftar’ whereas during war-time, it means incoming attacks by enemies.
Beside the above mentioned types there may be some other forms of nonverbal communication media like traffic signals, printed pictures, posters, slides, danger mark, fragile mark, charts etc. we should use nonverbal communication carefully to make it effective. More information about What is Nonverbal Communication?