Nonverbal Communication Essay

Nonverbal Communication
Nonverbal Communication

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Nonverbal Communication


Nonverbal communication is where speech is not involved in getting the audience attention or passing the message. In most, cases nonverbal communication is employed to express thoughts, make the message appealing to the audience. Nonverbal communication has a great impact on the social sphere as well as communication (Wood, 2005). Moreover, nonverbal communication controls the relationship, support or substitute verbal communication in certain conditions. Various cultures use nonverbal communication in different ways to express themselves.

How does nonverbal communication express cultural values?

Nonverbal communication is used differently to express cultural values. In the US for instance, Latin Americans use hand gestures to show that they are romantically interested in an individual, and it is typically viewed as solicitation (Wood, 2005). Telling an individual to come among the Latinos the palm is extended downwards while moving the four fingers inward and outward for 3 or four times.

When using public transport, Latino elders hold their hands sideways with the four fingers extended to demonstrate that their pickpocket around. Moreover, across US majority of the ethnicities greet visors personally, but Latinos hug visitors while “besitos” or touching cheeks and kissing nose and lips is used for women visitors.

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How to improve effectiveness in using and interpreting non-verbal communication?

Managing stress

The ability to manage stress in the spur of the moment is the best way to improve nonverbal communication. Stress hampers not only one’s ability to communicate but to misinterpret others and transmit confusing signals (Wood, 2005). To be able to avoid unhealthy reflex behavior patterns, one has to manage stress by way of exercise or meditation. However, it all starts with being conscious of it.  Calm down before you proceed with the discussion particularly if you cannot bear with the stress.

Emotional Awareness

The effective way to transmit perfect nonverbal signals lies in recognizing emotions and how they affect you.  In the same breadth, it also calls for the recognition of other people’s emotions and the underlying feelings.  With this in mind, you can read other people’s emotions with precision and decipher what the unspoken body language connotes (Wood, 2005).  Moreover, you can develop honesty and candor in relationships by sending nonverbal signals that correspond to your words.  React in ways that demonstrate to others your compassion. 

Practice Observing

It takes practice to be able to decipher nonverbal communication. Some people use videotapes to enhance their skills. Eye contact, body posture, and facial expressions are crucial when it comes to non-verbal communication (Wood, 2005). An individual, whose arms are crossed, turns away from you and avoiding eye contact may be holding something back or simply not interested.

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Always use the response mechanism to enhance your behavior and the connection between what you communicate, voice quality and gesture (Wood, 2005). The impression you make on others matter as well.


Wood, J. T. (2005). Communication Mosaics: an Introduction to the Field of Communication. Belmont, CA: Thomson.

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