'Non-verbal communication may be as powerful as oral or written communication.' Discuss.

Essay by parthvpUniversity, Bachelor's November 2004

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The most basic form of communication to human beings is non-verbal, which is often unplanned and spontaneous but can give a greater impact than verbal communication.

*Body language is the main medium for communicating non-verbally and takes place through facial expression, gestures and postures and physical contact; these all provide important clues as to our own and other people's behaviour and real feelings.

*Facial expressions and eye movements, such as smiles and frowns,

showing signs of anger or disbelief, reveal both the type and intensity of feeling and are particularly effective in communication.

*Gestures and postures such as pointing, and the way an individual moves, sits or stands, can express a number of different feelings: friendliness, hostility, assertiveness and power. In copying gestures and postures, our body language confirms that we are thinking and feeling the same way as the other person. In an international business environment it is important to be aware of cultural traditions, which, if they are not observed, may cause barriers to communication and therefore constrain your ability to transmit the desired message and to receive feedback.

Gestures and postures must therefore be used to express important feelings and enhance the communication.

*Physical contact such as shaking hands and touching another individual accounts for about 60% of all greetings and farewells and is an important method for conveying professionalism, for example from a sales executive to a client, and warmth and reassurance amongst colleagues and friends.

This may be an important way of breaking down initial barriers and therefore opening up the opportunity for effective communication.

*Voice characteristics form an important part of our personality and relay a great deal of information. They are extensively used in verbal marketing communications such as radio and television advertising. Accents and tones reflect psychological characteristics, seductive...