The Difference Between Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

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The Difference Between Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

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There are two main types of communication: verbal and nonverbal. Verbal communication is the spoken word, while nonverbal communication includes body language, facial expressions, and gestures. Both types are important for effective communication and success in your career and personal relationships.

In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between verbal and nonverbal communication. We will also look at some examples of each type of communication so that you can better understand them.

verbal and nonverbal communication

Verbal vs. nonverbal communication

Conscious vs. subconscious communication

One of the main differences between verbal and nonverbal communication is that verbal communication is conscious, while nonverbal communication is subconscious.

Verbal communication involves language, while nonverbal communication involves sending and receiving messages through body language, facial expressions, and gestures.

These nonverbal messages are often sent and received unconsciously, so we are not always aware of them.

Nonverbal communication is often triggered by emotions, which means that it can be difficult to control. For example, if you feel angry or frustrated when talking to someone, your body language and facial expressions will likely show this even if you try to hide it. However, verbal communication can be more controlled depending on the situation.

Examples of verbal communication

Verbal communication is a powerful tool, and it should not be underestimated. However, it is important to remember that nonverbal communication can often be just as impactful. When communicating with others, pay attention to verbal and nonverbal cues to ensure that your message is received correctly, whether through speaking or writing.

Speaking may involve face-to-face communication, phone conversations, or video conferencing. Writing can include emails, reports, memos, and texts.

Examples of nonverbal communication

Nonverbal communication includes:

Gestures: Gestures can include things like waving, pointing, or crossing your arms over your chest.

Facial expressions: Facial expressions can communicate various emotions, such as happiness, sadness, anger, and frustration.

Posture: Your posture can communicate a lot about how you’re feeling. For example, if you’re hunched over or if your arms are crossed, it might suggest that you’re defensive or angry.

Eye contact: Making eye contact is an important part of nonverbal communication. It shows that you’re paying attention and are interested in what the other person is saying.

Touch: Touch can be a powerful way to communicate emotions like encouragement, confidence, and trust. Touch might include a handshake or a pat on the back.

Proximity: Proximity refers to how close or far away you are from the person you’re speaking to. Proximity can communicate a range of emotions, such as intimacy, dominance, or lack of interest.

For example:

If your customer is upset, you might use verbal communication to apologize and explain what went wrong. You might also use nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions and gestures, to show that you’re sorry and want to help.

Or if your colleague got a promotion, you might say congratulations verbally, while shaking their hand to congratulate them nonverbally.

Nonverbal communication is powerful

Even though verbal communication is conscious, nonverbal communication is just as powerful as verbal communication.

Nonverbal communication can influence a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. It conveys a lot of information. Your tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language can communicate important messages that words cannot.

Also, nonverbal communication is more subtle and ambiguous than verbal communication. This means that it can be interpreted in multiple ways, which can lead to misunderstandings.

verbal vs nonverbal communication

Communication is an important part of everyday life

Without communication, we would be unable to share our thoughts, feelings, and ideas with others. In fact, communication is so vital to our lives that we do it every day, whether or not we’re aware of it. Verbal communication and nonverbal communication are two different ways of communicating with others. Both play an important role in how we interact with the world, but they are also different in many ways.

By understanding the differences between verbal and nonverbal communication, we can become better communicators and build stronger relationships with the people around us.

Do you want to know how to communicate better with your colleagues and customers? Check out these tutorials to improve your verbal and nonverbal communication skills:​

The Importance of Body Language in Communication​​

Positive and Negative Body Language at Work: What to Look For​​

How to Avoid Nervous Body Language in Job Interviews​​

How to Speak with Confidence at Work

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