Having examined verbal and non-verbal communication, it is also necessary to examine the differences and interconnectedness. This unit focuses on the differences and interconnectedness between verbal and non-verbal communication
At the end of this unit, students should be able to:
- outline the differences between verbal and non-verbal communication
- discuss the differences between verbal and non-verbal communication
- outline the interconnectedness between verbal and non-verbal communication
- examine the interconnectedness between verbal and non-verbal communication.
3.0 MAIN CONTENT
3.2 The Interconnectedness between Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication
According to Rothwell (2000) there are distinctions, between verbal and non-verbal communication. Below is the interconnectedness.
Repetition: Repetition reduces ambiguity and enhances the accuracy of message perception. Also consistency of verbal and non-verbal codes increases the clarity and credibility of messages. For instance when a speaker says “yes” and nods in approval; when we profess our love for a person, and then hug the person; and curse at another driver, then shake our fist for emphasis. All these non-verbal cues repeat the verbal message.
Accentuation: Accenting enhances the power and seriousness of verbal messages. When we use the vocal emphasis, it adds emphasis when desired. For instance, “Don’t you ever shout at me again” accents the unqualified nature of the verbal message. Again, pounding your fist on a table as you express your anger non-verbally repeats the message but also accents the depth of your emotion.
Substitution: A yawn can substitute for the verbal “I am tired” or “I am bored”; “a wave”, “goodbye”; an “uh-hum”, “I understand; and shaking your head in disapproval, “no”.
Regulation: Conversation is regulated by non-verbal cues. Students can signal intention to speak by raising up their hands, and a teacher can regulate by recognising a student’s desire to speak by pointing to the person, meaning it is “your turn to speak”.
Contradiction: Sometimes we contradict verbal messages with non-verbal cues i.e. there are inconsistencies between verbal and non-verbal cues. Essentially the words say one thing, but gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, posture, tone of voice, and physical proximity leak contradictory information. For example, “Sure, I love you”, when said with eyes cast sideways and flat vocal tone does not exactly inspire believability.
This unit examined the differences and interconnectedness between verbal and non-verbal communication. It was stated amongst others that verbal and non-verbal communication differs in various ways; and are interconnected in the following ways: repetition, accentuation, substitution, regulation and contradiction.
In this unit, we compared verbal and non-verbal communication. The differences and interconnectedness were highlighted.
SELF ASSESSMENT EXERCISE
- List five differences between verbal and non-verbal communication.
- List the similarities between verbal and non-verbal communication.
6.0 TUTOR-MARKED ASSIGNMENT
- Discuss two of the differences between verbal and non-verbal communication.
- Discuss four forms of interconnectedness between verbal and non-verbal communication.