A layman would define communication as “transference of messages.”…However, we have defined communication in our previous article as a two way process i.e. expressing and understanding.
Various means of communication include letters, emails, body movements, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact etc. But knowing the classification and appropriate usage of different types of communication is significantly necessary, especially when you are working in a corporate sector. Your technical skills may fetch you a job but your extraordinary communication skills can make you a leader.
Communication is a constant process. We are communicating through words, expressions, clothing, vocal cues, space, etc. But seldom we are unaware of the form of communication we are using to define ourselves and convey our message. And this is the reason, I shall illustrate the categories of communication so that you become more aware of your speech and actions.
Communication is of two types:
img source: wikipedia
It’s very much simple to understand and doesn’t need much explanation. It entails the use of words to delivering a message. Seminars, discussions, conversations, meetings, voice and video chats (s), etc. come under verbal communication. Simply put, it’s the principal mode i.e. “talking” to reach out to people.
When it comes to non-verbal communication, it has a whole world of its own.
You may not be conscious while communicating non-verbally because it happens mostly at a very low level of self-awareness. But you can relate well with the following examples
Let’s begin with the Albert Mehrabian rule:
It states that 55%of our communication is through facial expressions, 38% includes tone of voice and 7%includes verbal communication. Thus, you can see we communicate non –verbally to the larger extent. Surprised right?? Let’s dig in deeper for non-verbal elements have some intriguing terminologies.
Kinesics– facial expressions and body movements
img source: geek-week.net
Expressions in your face – happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, anger, surprise, etc. are non verbal ways to communicate.
Body postures- when you stand slouching it shows you are inattentive while your upright posture demonstrates your interest in the subject being discussed before you.
img source: www.proprofs.com
Then there are certain universally accepted hand gestures. For e.g., we give a “thumbs up” to say okay, or all the best.
Oculesics- communicating through eye contact
You communicate a myriad range of emotions through your eyes. Isn’t it? Your eye movements are expressive of love, respect, trust, anger, jealousy, grief, passion, and everything.
Proxemics- communication through space
img source: commons.wikimedia.org
For instance, don’t you feel uncomfortable when a stranger stands really close to you say in lift or sits overly close to you on the park’s bench. He or she uses your personal space, which is why you feel uncomfortable. So how you express your irritation without speech? Simple- you move away.
Chronemics- value of time in non verbal communication
Time is interpreted in different ways by different cultures across the world. Your punctuality, attention span, communication time, speed of actions, etc. are some non verbal techniques to define your character.
Haptics- communication through touch
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How do you greet a friend? You offer a generous handshake or hug. In India we touch our elders’ feet to seek their blessings. Well, this comes under non verbal communication too.
An interesting thing to share…Did you know how Eskimos greet each other? They press the tip of one’s nose against the other. They call it kunik and we know it as Eskimo kiss.
I am sure after reading this piece you have gained a fair knowledge about communication types and how they represent our behaviour and individuality.
We are blessed to have the ability to speak, perceive and express, so use your skills aptly.