The Echoes of the Mind (137) Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication

There is language in her eye, her cheek, her lip. ~ English playwright and poet William Shakespeare

Nonverbal communication occurs without words: a metamessage that accompanies what is spoken.

What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The bulk of interpersonal conveyance is nonverbal. In comprehending a conversation, only 7% comes from the words said. Tone of voice and pace of speech accounts for 38%. 55% is conveyed by facial expression and body language.

Much nonverbal communication occurs subconsciously, both in transmission and reception. Impressions register and are fed back.

The ability to communicate nonverbally is at the core of social intellect. ~ Nalini Ambady & American social psychologist Max Weisbuch

Verbal languages are culturally bound. Nonverbal communication does have cultural aspects, which are inculcated during childhood; but much nonverbal transmission is a product of evolutionary descent, and so transcends culture. A smile is universally understood, as is the look of anger.

Early impressions are hard to eradicate from the mind. When once wool has been dyed purple, who can restore it to its previous whiteness? ~ Latin Christian priest Jerome

Initial impressions are invariably a product of stereotyping, which is an innate heuristic. People seek to reduce uncertainty in initial encounters, and so suss what they can from instant appearance.

We often make a number of instant social judgments about people on the basis of their physical characteristics and on the basis of their behavior. These judgments, quick and without reflection, may be extremely important for subsequent social interaction. ~ English psychologists Geoffrey Beattie & Heather Shovelton

Unsurprisingly, people who smile are deemed more likable and approachable than those who do not or who pretend to smile.

Skill in nonverbal communication is part of social competence. ~ American communication scholar Mark Knapp & American social psychologist Judith Hall

Nonverbal communication can be a gating factor to verbal communication reaching its audience with any effectiveness whatsoever.

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said. ~ Austrian-born American management consultant Peter Drucker

Nonverbal communication may accent, complement, or reinforce the oral message; or it may contradict it. A receiver may not consciously notice incongruity, but it will register. In the instance of inconsistency between a vocal message and its nonverbal communication, people believe what was expressed but not said.

The body says what words cannot. The body never lies. ~ Martha Graham