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Observing Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

ObservingVerbal and Nonverbal Communication

ObservingVerbal and Nonverbal Communication

Thereare four different types of communications, they include: visual,written, verbal and nonverbal. The most commonly used types ofcommunication are the oral which involves the use of spoken words andnonverbal which uses other elements other than words such asgestures,facialexpressions, tonal variation and eye contact. Most people believethat the spoken words contain most of the meaning of what wecommunicate however, this is not the case, scholars have establishedthat the greatest meaning our communication is passed through thenonverbal cues. It is important that we observe the two forms ofcommunication so that its purpose can be achieved. We need toconcentrate on the nonverbal cues that are used by the people weconverse with to infer the meaning of what they are saying. Besides,we should be keen when using these cues to avoid unintentionaltransmission of a wrong message(Jolly,2000).

Accordingto Wood (2015), there is a connection between the use of nonverbalcommunication and both gender and culture this is because itexpresses the meanings of our culture moreover, we use it to presentourselves as gendered beings. The meaning the various types ofnonverbal cues that we use differs depending on our culture as wellas gender. This, therefore, present a risk of misinterpretation ofthe cues. For instance, a particular signal may have a given meaningin one community but an entirely different meaning in anothercommunity. Besides, men and women communicate differently hence theyuse the two forms of communication in a different manner(Wood,2015).

Theway in which we use verbal and nonverbal communication in publicvaries based on gender. Men and women have a different approach toconversation, they use different rules and have differentinterpretations of discourse. The focus of men during conversation isusually independence and gaining status while the women focus oncreating intimacy. Men are more aggressive and will always dominate aconversation. They have a greater personal space in public which is asign of status and power. On the other hand, women have a tendency ofreducing their personal space. For instance, they converse within thereach of their arm whereas their male counterpart converse within adistance that is beyond their arm length. It is a common practice formen to leave a seat that is between them empty while in public placessuch as theater while women will tend to sit close to one another(Jolly,2000).

Thereis a significant variation in the use of verbal and nonverbalcommunication between men and women. To begin with the nonverbalcommunication, females has less territory, they talk at a closedistance, and regularly reveal their emotions through facialexpression. Also, they maintain eye contact more frequently, and thisshows that they concentrate more to the conversation. On the otherhand, men claim more territory, they keep longer distance whiletalking and rarely use facial expression thus making it difficult todetermine their emotions. The use of verbal communication also variesbetween the two genders the female speak slowly in a soft tone andmost cases their voice is high-pitched. Additionally, they are lessdirect in their speech. On the other hand, men speak quickly theyuse loud tone and a deeper-pitched voice, they usually speak moredirectly for the purpose of getting the point(Wood,2015).

Ourtraditions influence the manner in which we use the nonverbalcommunication it defines the nonverbal cues that a particular genderis expected to use and categorize them into masculine and femininenonverbal communication. However, most people especially men tend toignore the traditional expectation of for the nonverbalcommunication, this is because they use the cues indiscriminatelywithout establishing whether they are masculine or feminine Most menhave a tendency of assigning a nonverbal cue new meaning thus causingconfusion during its interpretation(Wood, 2015). It is a generalobservation that women follow traditional expectations for thenonverbal communication, this is because they use it for the intendedpurpose. A review of how people speak in public indicates that mostpeople mostly use the nonverbal forms of communication as compared tothe verbal forms, this pattern confirms the assertion of scholarsthat most of the meaning of what we communicate is contained in thenonverbal cues(Lieberman, 2016).

Violationthe nonverbal expectation occurs when the cues are not used for theintended purpose. It is the men who usually violates theexpectations. Violation creates language barrier which may lead tomisunderstanding or even cause conflict.It is our responsibility to learn the gendered language and use itappropriately, and this is because people develop an impression aboutan individual based on how he or she speaks. We need to develop theright mannerism of verbalcommunication so as to gain a positive image. Women are usually morecautious about language use and adopt good communication behavior ascompared to the men who are reckless in their language(Wood,2010).


Itis evident that communication that the two forms of communication,that is the verbal and nonverbal communication plays a critical rolein defining our relationship with other people. Besides, itinfluences the manner in which we interact with others both publiclyand at a personal level. We need to comprehend the various aspectsthat make up the two form of communication to enable us to use themeffectively in our conversation. Likewise, we need to recognize thatgender and culture influence our way of communicating.


Jolly,S. (2000). Understanding body language: Birdwhistell`s theory ofkinesics. Corporate Communications, 5(3), 133139. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/214191069?accountid=27965

Lieberman,&nbspS.(2016, February 2). Differences in Male and Female CommunicationStyles. Retrieved fromwww.simmalieberman.com/simma/differences-in-male-and-female-communication-styles-2/

Wood,&nbspJ.&nbspT.(2010). Gendered lives: Communication, gender and culture(9th&nbsped.). Beverly, MA: Wadsworth.

Wood,J. T. (2015). Gendered lives: Communication, gender and culture (11thed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.