NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

By: ERNEST HERNANDEZ

How nonverbal communication is used


REPLACING SPEECH

Communication can be done without speaking. For example:

  • Pointing with feet, legs, hands, head or whole body
  • Gestures with fingers, hands and arms.
  • Tilting of head
  • Movement of any combination of the 90 muscles in the face.

Replacement for speech can be direct one-for-one gestures with clear meaning or may be less obvious or conscious movements that signal requests, attitudes and intent.

NON VERBAL COMMUNICATION

Body language is not a “language.”

As mentioned, there is no dictionary for nonverbal communication. The meaning of a particular nonverbal cue, such as a certain gesture or eye movement, can depend on the context, the individual, and the relationship between the “sender” of the cue and the recipient. The exception are certain gestures, known as “emblems” – gestures that take the place of the spoken word, such as the “ok” symbol made with thumb and forefinger, or flipping someone the bird – the meaning of these emblems is clear!