Non Verbal Communication Essay

754 words - 4 pages

We are constantly communicating in one way or another – even if we say nothing at all. Whereas language seems to be the obvious form of communication, much more information is communicated beyond the pure words that are exchanged during a conversation. Birdwhistell (1970) claimed that up to 65% of a message's meaning is communicated through non-verbal clues. Today, some researchers put the amount of information being transmitted non-verbally even higher. For example Fromkin and Rodman (1983) claim, that up to 90% of the meaning of a message is transmitted non-verbally.

In the business world, the importance of non-verbal clues has not often been discussed extensively. Whereas other ...view middle of the document...

Particularly the importance of non-word utterances, such as a throat clearing noise, is highly debated. Not negating the importance of the debate, this chapter regards anything else than word utterances as non-verbal communication, i.e. any communication that takes places using non-linguistic signs, or "non word signs" (cf. Harrison, 1974).

Although it has been argued that non-verbal communication can be roughly divided into two categories, such as active and passive non-verbal communication (cf. Victor, 1992), this distinction seems complicated. Although Victor argues that there can be some distinction between non-verbal behaviour that can be more actively controlled than other types of non-verbal behaviour , and this is not disputed, it seems disputable weather or not a distinctive line can be drawn between the two types of behaviour. It seems more likely that there is a scale of active and passive control of non-verbal behaviour on the side of the communicator, and that therefore there are different degrees of ‘active' and ‘passive' control over non-verbal behaviour associated with each individual non-verbal behaviour.

There are a number of categories into which non-verbal communication can be divided into. This chapter will look at eight main categories:

Kinesics looks at (body) movement as a factor in non-verbal behavior whereas oculesics, or eye behavior, looks at the influence of visual contact on the perceived message that is...

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