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Verbal And Non-Verbal Communication. What Are They And How Do They Differ?

Verbal And Non-Verbal Communication. What Are They And How Do They Differ? 

The human being is a sociable being and, as such, needs to communicate with those around him, even at a distance. To satisfy this need, they use verbal and non-verbal communication to express their ideas in each of the different areas in which they operate (personal, work, and community).

Verbal communication allows people to express themselves through words and nonverbal communication through gestures or signs that are usually captured visually. They complement each other in a person’s daily life.

What Is Verbal Communication?

It is a form of expression that the human being possesses. Through verbal communication, people interact, express their ideas, and exchange them in most cases. For that, they use a common code (linguistic signs), which can be used in written or oral form.

This depends on the channel used for the transmission of the message or idea. This channel invisibly connects the sender, the person who sends the message, and the receiver or receivers, who are the ones or ones who receive the message.

This is very important for essay writers.

What Is Non-verbal Communication?

Shy Body Language

The ability of human beings to express their ideas without the use of linguistic signs and signals is called non-verbal communication. That is, it communicates a message assertively without speaking.

This is transmitted through facial expression, gestures, postures, sounds without words, body language, and visual language, among others. Therefore, it is associated with emotional intelligence.

Non-verbal communication also involves a sender and one or more receivers of the message or idea.

Differences Between Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication

Verbal and nonverbal communication coincide in several of their characteristics and/or elements, especially in their intention to communicate a message. Some aspects differentiate them markedly. Among them are:

  • Verbal communication, as its name indicates, uses words and linguistic signs. On the contrary, non-verbal communication does not require them to be effective; it uses paralinguistic signs.
  • Verbal communication tends to be supported or complemented by paralinguistic signs such as tone of voice, rhythm, and timbre when speaking. In contrast, non-verbal communication does not require relying on the aspects of the first one.
  • Verbal communication usually transmits previously rationalized messages instead of non-verbal communication, which transmits emotions and feelings, often without the person being aware of it.
  • In verbal communication, it is unlikely that the message conveyed will be incorrect, i.e., that there will be misunderstandings. However, in nonverbal communication, this happens frequently.
  • In order for verbal communication to be established, the speakers don’t need to be present in contrast to nonverbal communication, where the presence and visual attention of the sender and receiver is indispensable.
  • In verbal communication, feedback is generally rapid. Unlike non-verbal communication, in which the understanding of the message may delay the response.
  • Verbal communication allows recording evidence of the message. Non-verbal communication does not.

Advantages of Verbal Communication

Person Writing

Verbal communication has interesting advantages that facilitate rapid understanding by the interlocutor and often his response. Here are some of these advantages:

  • Verbal communication, both oral and written, is fast. Oral communication is the faster of the two.
  • The message that is emitted tends to be always clear.
  • It makes it easier to obtain immediate responses in relation to the message or idea emitted.
  • It provides the opportunity to quickly correct the message, if necessary.
  • It facilitates the recognition of the sender even when he/she is not being seen.
  • It is inexpensive if both the sender and the receiver are present.
  • Contributes to the development of the ability to listen actively, i.e., with real attention and thus be able to respond appropriately.
  • It facilitates the development of the ability to respond quickly and correctly with coherence.
  • It can be complemented with non-verbal cues and/or signals to facilitate the listener’s understanding.

Advantages of Non-Verbal Communication

Nonverbal communication provides excellent advantages to those who are unwilling or unable to communicate effectively verbally. Some of them are:

  • It transmits emotions and feelings, favoring the receiver’s understanding.
  • It contributes to strengthening interpersonal relationships, favoring the increase of trust.
  • It allows the transmission of the message without the need to use images, code, or a specific language.
  • It crosses cultural and geographic borders since it does not require previous knowledge of a language or customs to transmit a message.
  • It complements and reinforces verbal communication.
  • The message can be transmitted without sounds, that is, silently.
  • Facilitates communication for people with some disability to communicate verbally.
  • It requires only attention through observation to get the message.
  • It is useful in almost all areas of life.
  • It can replace verbal communication in most cases.
  • It is informal and does not require rules to elaborate a message.

Types of Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication

People Using Both Verbal and Non-verbal Communication

Communication is an innate characteristic of the individual. It is a fundamental part of the daily life of all human beings. The different actions that people carry out to transmit their ideas make it possible to establish a classification of the types of verbal and nonverbal communication that exist.

Knowing these types favors understanding and, therefore, effective communication. Undoubtedly, this is necessary for the socialization process and for achieving the different goals set by individuals and organizations.

The Following Types of Verbal Communication Can Be Distinguished:

  • Oral: in it, the interlocutors emit voice sounds using words for the exchange of ideas in a common code, that is, a common language. It is carried out in person or through technological means.
  • Written: it is a communication that does not require sounds. It is carried out through the use of a common code or written language in different materials, including some instruments currently provided by technology.

In Turn, Non-Verbal Communication Is Classified as Follows:

  • Paralinguistic: are the factors that complement oral verbal communication, such as tone, volume, and timbre of voice.
  • Proxemics: consists of the message conveyed by the distance that separates people during the exchange of ideas.
  • Kinesics: consists of all the gestures and signals that are made when transmitting the message. Such as posture, limb movements, gaze, and facial expression.

In Conclusion

Understanding the differences between verbal and non-verbal communication can benefit individuals, especially those who have a harder time picking out those non-verbal cues.

Because of that, we hope that this article was useful to you on your path to becoming a better communicator.

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