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Business Communication Skills

Is Sigmund Freud (the psychoanalyst) once said “he that has eyes to see and ears to hear may  convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters his fingers, betrayal oozes out of him at every pore”. Basing your answer on the quotation, discuss the importance of the following aspects of non -verbal communication :

According to (Lesikar Raymond V, 1997) Non -verbal communication refers to all communication that involves neither written nor spoke n also without the use of words.

In non -verbal communication they are concerned with thing such as body movements, space, time and voice rhythm as well as general characteristics of the environment and layout or design. It has various aspects such as kine sics, paralanguage, proxemics and haptics.

This is the most basic form of communication such that all gestures, vocal qualities and attitudes towards times that allow us to communicate without the use of words. Anthropologists theorize that long before h uman beings used to over, our ancestors they gritted their teeth to show anger, they smiled and touched to indicate affection (Thill John V, 1997) .

Non -verbal communication is exchange of information without the use of the word of mouth only body movements such as face and eyes, gestures, postures and appearance they express body communication. Individuals have the role to learn what these movements of the body say about a person.

Kinesics refers to the changes that occur in th e body position and movements that show what the person is thinking or feeling.

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most people are not aware of their body language; but it makes a powerful impact on others. Body language can make or spoil a presentation or speech, it c onsists of many aspects such as facial expressions, posture, gestures and other body movements (Rai Urmila, 2010) . Thus you com municate just by being, nodding your head, blinking y our eyes, waving your hands and making some physical movements you send messages to others (Lesikar Raymond V, 1997) , this can best describe kinesics because there is no use of words rather body movement.

Gestures and postures , when ones moves his or her body, they can express both specific and general messages .Some types of body movements are unintentional and express more general messages such as leaning forward, fidgeting are all signals that can reveal whether one feels confident and nervous, friendly or hostile (Lesikar Raymond V, 1997) . For instance , when one waves back to the other he or she would have used hand gestures without even the use of word to respond to the other person. This also can best describe what Sigmund Freud once said ‘if his lips are silent, he chatters his fingertips, betrayal oozes out of him at every pore’.

(Dr Hans Anjali, 2015) he describes the face and eyes which are aspects of k inesics. The face and eyes are the main point of focus during communication along with our ears take in the most communicative information around us. A speaker can use his or her eye contact to tell whether the audience is confused, listening attentively o r bored. Our eyes also send information to others that we are paying attention for example during a class presentation one can tell if the other students understand the concept one is trying to explain and the eyes can also be used to intimidate others. Eyes are especially effective for indicating attention, influencing others and regulating interaction. Anthropologists theorize that they are a core group of facial expressions: happiness, sadness, fear, anger and disgust are identifiable across cultures . Our faces are the most important part of the body and can communicate various different emotions . This aspect helps in effective communication as it assists one to improve body language and the way one interacts and manage some body movements which might give a wrong impression abo ut ones character and attitude . Also when dealing with the public can learn facial expressions to express so that they don’t develop an attitude towards him or her.

However, kinesics has limita tions such that body language can give one away and sometimes will not be able to help it if they don’t know how to control body language and give negative signs. for example , one may frown just because it’s his or her nature and the audience will then tak e it that the person is angry therefore if one has no control over that, can make the other people have a wrong impression about the other. (Dr Hans Anjali, 2015) A few other gestures seem to be universal and studies have shown that humans of all cultures smile when happy and frown when unhappy (sad). However, non – verbal symbols seem to be different from any “essential meaning” than verbal symbols . Gestures seen as positive in one culture may be the opposite in another cultu re. Also while watching someone’s eyes one may miss something significant in a hand gesture. Everything is happening at once and it’s co nfusing to keep with everything.

(Jain Charul, 2010) Whe n a teacher asks in class whethe r students have understood or not some students nod their heads up and down, some tilt their heads either side in and up and down motion instead of standing up and answering verbally. These nods can be interpreted diffe rently, h owever, one has to take note of the gestures to use depending on which culture the audience belongs to, so as to avoid being misinterpreted.

Paralanguage refers to the study of non -verbal elements of the voice and this includes vocal qualities such as pitch, rhythm, tempo, control and pace . In addition to these qualities the study of vocalic examines purely non -verbal elements as screaming, sighing, laughing, crying and vocal; segregates as “ah” and “um”. Whether the voice is thick, vibrant or flat it indicates the level of confidence of the speaker. (Anderson Peter A, 1999) (Rai Urmila, 2010) the non -verbal aspects of the spoken word are known as paralanguage. It includes the qualities of the voice, the way we use our voice, as well as the sounds we make without uttering words.

It is also possible to control and use para language effectively by becoming aware of it and paying attention to one’s voice and speech.

Paralanguage is basically use of non -verbal cues for example, the same word can have the different messages depending on how it is said; for instance, ‘come her e’ (shouting) and ‘come here’ (softly) would send completely two different messages to the other individual. And he or she can sense either anger or happiness from the person calling him or her thus because of the change in tone.

Accent this is the way a person pronounces the sounds of the language; every language has its own way of forming the sounds. Good accent in a new language is learnt by listening to native speakers of the language (people in which the lang uage is their mother language for example if someone wants to learn Shona he or she will listen to the people who speak the language originally in terms of how they pronounce, accent.) This is important as the verbal tone indicates the actual meaning of th e specific words so when one listen to the accent correctly he or she will not have difficul ties in learning a new language.

(Qiang kang, 2013) The pronunciation pause is the physiological needs that the speaker needs the cush ion in the process of sending out or acceptance of information between the speaker and listener.

For example; the use of pauses like ‘um’ makes the listener want to hear more on the subject being discussed about and it assists to manage the flow of info rmation. (Dr Hans Anjali, 2015) Despite the merits of paralanguage as the aspect of non -verbal communication it is not free from its limitations which it is quite vague and imprecise. Since there is no use of words which expres ses clear meaning to the receiver and no dictionary can accurately classify them, their meaning varies not only by culture but by the de gree of intension of the sender.

Another aspect of non -verbal communication is proxemics -which is the study of how we co mmunicate within the space around us, how we arrange it and what we arrange in it. This may also be referred to as personal space language. (Lesikar Raymond V, 1997) (Dr Hans Anjali, 2015) proxemics refers to the study of how space and distance influence communication. For example, when we are content with and attracted to someone we say we are “close” to him or her. When we lose contact with someone we say we are “distant” therefore space influences how people communicate and behave. Unexpected breaches of personal space can lead to negative reactions to the other person especially if feel someone has violated voluntarily meaning there is no situation that forced them into one’s space. (Rai Urmila, 2010) A manager can create or use space to create an impression of status, that he or she is superior. However, efficient use of space is important as it give some sense of order and less conflicts may result because no one invades others space.

In India, it is acceptable to have tactile contact with the person of the same sex but not with the oppo site sex. Man shake hands and pat each other and women as do the same among themselves but a man may think twice before shaking the hand of a women or even peck at each other’s cheeks, this is generally acceptable in the western culture. However, one has t o have clear understanding of these proxemics symbols depending with the culture if not miscommunication will result eventually .

(Anderson Peter A, 1999) defines chronemics as the study of the way we structure and use time . The way one values time is reflected by non -verbal communication in terms of spending time, wasting time, postponing time and minimum or maximum use of time. People arrive at work early or late depending on their inherent sense of t ime. Moreover, high s tatus individuals such as managers or politician who may deliberately arrive late to assert their importance to subordinates o r waiting people. In interviews more time is spent for candidates that the panel are interested in. Time is either mono chromic or polychromic.

Monochromic perspective of time, time is seen as a scarce resource, hence it is budgeted and controlled. People who have mo nochromic type of time believe time is precious and cannot be wasted.

Therefore , they come up with strategies of how best they can achieve their set targets quickly. However , this perception of time may not be the best to use because ther e are many procedures to be followed and more time will be s pent coming up with strategies, they also don’t pay attention to activities not involved in their ongoing schedule (Anderson Peter A, 1999) . Polychromic perspective of time is flexible and people with this kind of perception are multi -skilled. This is significant in the manner that individuals should know others perceptions of time in order to avoid or minimize miscommunication. However, this might be a challenge to indivi duals who do not understand the concept of time and how precious it is . A person who uses his time and other people ‘s wastefully creates an impression of being inefficient and disorganized Haptics refers to the study of communication by touch. Touch is necessary for human social development and it can be welcoming, threatening, or persuasive. There are several types of touch, including professional, social -polite, friendship -warmth level and love -intimacy and is also more important at more intimate levels at this level touch is crucial because they serve a relational maintenance purpose and communicate clos eness, li king, care and concern (D r Hans Anjali, 2015) .

This aspect of nonverbal communication is crucial as touch has the power to comfort someone in moment of sorrow when words alone cannot. However , it h as limitations as one might make negative judgments towards the other because of lack of knowledge on non -verbal communication related to haptics(touch). (Dr Hans Anjali, 2015)

To conclude, non -verbal aspects of communication are not important since it is not always the case that the receiver of the non -verbal signal will understand what is being communicated. There are chances of mis -interpreting especially where people are not from the same cultures; signals have different mean ing in different cultures.


  1. Anderson Peter A. (1999). Non -verbal Communication: Forms and Functions.
  2. Dr Hans Anjali, M. H. (2015). Kinesics, Haptics and Proxemic: Non -Verbal Communication. Humanities and Social Science , 47 -52.
  3. Jain Charul, C. M. (2010). Actions speak louder than words: Non -verbal mis/communication. Media and Communication Studies , 22 -26.
  4. Lesikar Raymond V, P. J. (1997). Business Communication. USA: A.I.T.B.S Publishers and Distributors.
  5. P, K. H. (1989). Speech Chronemics -A Hidden Dimensio n of Speech. Department of Psychology, University of Witzburg , 5 -12.
  6. Qiang kang. (2013). Paralanguage. Canadian Social Science , 222 -226.
  7. Rai Urmila. (2010). English in communications skills. Mumbai: Himalaya publishing house.
  8. Thill John V. (1997). Excelle nce in business communication. USA: Library of congress.

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Business Communication Skills. (2019, Nov 14). Retrieved from

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