Types of Non Verbal Communication

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					over a phone, radio communication, tape recording etc. There are also occasions when persons
can be face to face and yet they cannot communicate due to a language barrier.

       In many situations and occasions oral and face to face communications are same and
hence the merits and limitations of oral communication will also operate in the case of face to
face communication. There are a few distinct additional advantages and disadvantages of face to
face communication.


      a) Facial expressions and gestures help to communicate better.
      b) It is particularly suitable for discussion.
      c) Feedback can be obtained not only by ears but also by eyes.


      a) It is difficult to practice in large-sized organization.
      b) Ineffective if the listener is not attentive.
      c) Not effective in large gatherings.


       Bartol and Martin defined non-verbal communication as “communication by means of
elements and behaviors that are not coded into words.”

        Mary Munter defines non-verbal communication as “any message you give than literal
interpretation of your words – the way you move, speak, appear.”

       Non-verbal communication is very important because it is believed that the manner in
which you say something is more important than what you say.


      1) Facial Expressions and Gestures:

         Oral communication involves verbal as well as non-verbal elements. The non-verbal
      elements include facial expressions and gestures as well as the pitch and tone of the voice.

          These are described by George Terry as “body language”. Some of the expressions and
      actions that constitute body language are mentioned below:

              a)   Twisting the lips.
              b)   Staring in vacuum with blank.
              c)   Biting the nails.
              d)   Clattering the teeth.
              e)   Fumbling the pockets.
          Anger, fear, determination, sympathy, horror, pity, nervousness, lack of
   understanding and resentment can be better expressed through body language than
   through words. Face to face communication becomes more effective if accompanied with
   appropriate body language.

           A gesture is a movement of the hand, head or body to indicate an idea or a
   feeling. Gestures are used to show emotions and convey definite message or information.

          The use of gestures is known as gesticulation. A few gestures that are commonly
   used are:

       a)   Tracing a circle near the forehead with index finger – madness.
       b)   Moving the hand sideways – refusal.
       c)   Pointing the index finger – accusing or showing direction.
       d)   Wave of hand – Greeting or good-bye.
       e)   Waging index finger – scolding.

          Sometimes we are so overcome by emotions that we cannot speak or a utter a
   word. Our silence tells the other person of our strong feelings. Pause is a short period of
   silence between words and sentences. The pause before a word, phrase or sentence
   generates a feeling of expectation. The best way to highlight or emphasize a word is to
   pause slightly before it and even after it.

2) Signs AND Signals
           The words „sign‟ and signals are both derived from the Latin word „signum‟
   which means a mark. When the communicants do not have a common language, signs
   and signals become very important. Even though when the communicants know the same
   language the use of signs, signals and symbols has found to be a speedy way of
   communication. There are various types of signs or symbols used by different people.
   Mathematicians have their symbols (+, , ×, ÷, <, >, =).
           Proof readers who correct printed copy in the printing press have their own signs
   (= / / ≠) and motorist are expected to read road signs which are put up by the traffic
           Signals are dynamic and require some movement and therefore they are different
   from signs and symbols. A traffic signal flashes green light telling the motorist and
   pedestrians to move on the blowing of whistle by a policeman or referee are examples of
   signals. Pilots and military men have their own sets of signals e.g. the V sign, thumbs up,
   thumbs down, etc.

3) Graph, Maps and Charts:
           A graph is a diagram consisting of curved lines to show the variations of two
   quantities. They are used to show profits in different years of companies, a price index,
   production rise and fall, and variations in temperature.
           A map is a drawing on the paper that displays the position and size of countries,
   towns, rivers, mountains, etc. They are useful for giving at glance information about
   crops, rainfall, production, position of troops during war etc.
           Graph or maps are mounted on charts for better visual effects. Charts are very
   often pasted on cardboard or drawn directly on thick chart paper. In business houses
   charts are usually used to communicate with workers and at the managerial level.

4) Dress and grooming:
   People wish to make a good impression and be remembered at their best. They judge you
   by the way you dress, the colour of your cloths etc. A salesman who is dressed in
   crumpled clothes appearing for a job interview will never get the post however cleverly
   he talks.

5) Colours:
          Business houses are said to be “in the red” when they incur losses and “in the
   black” when they do well.
          Henry Drefuss after a good amount of research concluded the following.
   Colour                       Positive Message             Negative Message
   Red                          Warmth                       Danger
                                Passion                      Devil
                                Life                         Death
                                Liberty                      War
                                Patriotism                   Revolution
   Blue                         Justice                      Discouragement
                                Truth                        Doubt
                                Religious feeling
   Purple                       Nostalgia                    Registration
                                Love of truth                Penitence
                                Royalty                      Regret
                                Power                        Mourning
   Green                        Prosperity                   Envy
                                Freshness                    Jealousy
                                Hope                         Opposition
                                Nature                       Disgrace
   Yellow                       Wisdom                       Impure love
                                Intuition                    Malevolence
                                Divinity                     Cowardice
      In India, religious is still an all powerful force. Colour has an added significance. For an
example green is associated with Islam and saffron colour is associated with Hinduism.

      6) Posters:
                 Pictures speak louder than words. Poster is a type of visuals communication.
         Businessmen have started using filmstrips, slides, photographic displays, cartoons,
         graphs, diagrams, maps and colour posters for internal and external communication. Most
         of the companies which do not have literate or educated staff make use of posters to
         convey messages.
                 The posters are displayed at important places and show how to operate machines
         with safety, demonstrate working procedures and can also be used to educate the workers
         on the evils of drugs, smoking, etc.
                 Posters are generally used for advertising films and products and also for political
         propaganda. They can be used in business houses for internal communication.
                 Posters are advantageous because:
                     a) They are cheap.
                     b) Messages can reach illiterate and semi-illiterate workers if presented
                     c) They attract immediate attention if bright colours and pictures are used.
                     d) They can be frequently changed at a minimum cost.


         Conventional modes

      1) Mail.
      2) Telex.
      3) Telegraph.

      1) Mail
                Mail is also known as postal services. In the modern time most countries in the
         world have a highly advanced postal system which covers the urban as well as the rural
                A postal system consists of three parts:
                   a. Collecting letters.
                   b. Sorting them according to their destinations.
                   c. Delivery of letters or parcels.

                 The postal system has become efficient with advancement in transportation and
         communication. Telecommunications a work have still resulted in faster and more
         efficient mail services.
           We can send messages across oceans and continents in a matter of moments with
   the help of computers and satellites.

2) Telex:
         Telex is the name given to the teleprinter device managed by postal department.
   The subscriber is provided with a teleprinter and a direct line to one of the many
   automatic telex exchange in the country for an annual fee.
         The following are the advantages of telex services:
              a) Through direct dialing written communication can be sent by one
                  subscriber to another.
              b) It is a quicker means of communication than telegram and cheaper than
                  trunk calls services.
              c) The teleprinter can be used both for letter writing and telephoning.
              d) It can be used for booking inland and overseas telegrams by contacting the
                  central telegraph office.
              e) In case at the time of transmission if the receiver of the message is not
                  present then the message will be left on the teleprinter machine and he can
                  reply later.

            The following are the disadvantages of telex services:

               a) Connections are not easily available when required.
               b) The message may get distorted.
               c) Lines are frequently out of order.

3) Telegraph:
           Telegraphs are system of electric signaling. Signals are sent by making and
   breaking the current in an electrical circuit so that the signals are heard in short and long
   clicks which can be easily heard. In 1874, Thomas Alva Edison invented a method of
   sending four messages over the same wire at the same time.
           Messages sent over the telegraph are known as telegrams. The main advantage of
   communicating by telegram is that a message can be sent quickly to any part of the
   country and even overseas. Telegrams should be carefully worded as they are very
           The main disadvantage of telegram is that sometimes messages may get changed
   or distorted in transmission.

   Electronic Communication:

       a) Telephone.
       b) Computers.
       c) Fax.
       d) Telex.
       e) Voice systems.
       f) Teleconferencing.
       g) Storage by optical technology.
       h) Desk top publishing.
       i) Electronic data processing.
a) Telephone:
           Telephone is a means of communication. It is now used to send messages in
   writing, pictures, graphs and copies of document. We can send telephone messages over
   long distances and even across oceans with the help of submarine cables. Originally radio
   was used for telegraphy but now it is used for telephone transmissions.
b) Computers:
           Today computer technology has dramatically changed the landscape of business
   communication. It is now possible to communicate with people inhabitating the remotest
           The world-wide web is widely used for publishing a variety of information on all
   subjects. By pressing just a few key strokes it lets you access information which could be
   residing in computers anywhere in the world.

c) Fax:
           The Fax or Facsimile Transmission Machine enables us to send pictures,
   reproduction of documents and handwriting or any other printed matter by wire or radio,
   with rapid speed.
           The main advantage of fax transmission is that exact reproduction of printed
   material and picture is possible and that the message is transmitted within moments. A
   skilled operator is also not required and can be used by anyone just like a telephone.

d) Telex:
           It is similar to e-mail but slower and it is prone to transmission of errors. It is
   connected from one subscriber to any other on telex terminals. It uses the television
   system for receiving and sending information. For an example, information on air-time
   tables, stock prices and railway times are conveyed with the help of telex.

e) Voice Systems:
          The answering machine is the simplest form of a voice message system. It
   receives as well as retains messages which can be played back at a later time.
f) Teleconferencing:
           Teleconferencing uses television technology in which the participants are able to
    see each other on the screen and as they talk. It can be held within a complex by using
    closed circuit T.V.

    The following are the basic principles of effective communication:

    1)   Communicate for a purpose.
    2)   Compose your message with care.
    3)   Compose your message in order to attract attention.
    4)   Remove all barriers to effective communication.
    5)   Study the receiver of your message.
    6)   Select your medium with care.
    7)   Provide for feedback and
    8)   Act promptly on receiving response.