Communication is very important because it is the process of sharing information, ideas, and opinions. It makes teams bond stronger, get to know each other and find solutions to problems.

Effective communication and correctly identifying the nonverbal cues when having meetings or hot discussions is essential. We often try to hide our emotions, feelings, and ideas but our bodies still send some subtle messages.

Learning about non-verbal communication means that you can get better at reading body language.

However odd it may seem; we all display behaviors that have the same function duringstressful situations and not only. Emotions are universal.

Let’s learn more about the 5 types of nonverbal communication.

The 5 Types of Nonverbal Communication: Key Takeaways

  1. Universal Expressions: Facial expressions are global, providing clear insights into emotions such as happiness, sadness, and anger, regardless of cultural backgrounds.
  2. Gestures and Posture: Gestures, whether deliberate or subconscious, alongside posture, can indicate comfort levels, openness to ideas, or defensiveness.
  3. Paralinguistics: The tone, pitch, and loudness of voice convey underlying emotions, altering the perceived meaning of words.
  4. Eye Contact: Eye gazing establishes connections, indicates readiness to communicate, and can vary in meaning across different cultures.
  5. Microexpressions: These quick, involuntary facial expressions reveal true emotions, even when individuals attempt to conceal their feelings.

What Is Nonverbal Communication?

Nonverbal communication or body language is the use of gestures, tone of voice, expressions, body posture, and so on to send a message. But why are these wireless cues so important to identify?

Body language is an essential part of communication and it helps you send an emotion or feeling to other people.

Depending on how you sound and act, you can put people at ease, draw them to you, build trust, or make them be afraid or have a negative impression on you.

Body language is a key part of communication that is important not only in a personal area when talking with your family, spouse, or children.

It is essential in your job too.

Business people and managers get huge benefits if they are aware of non-verbal communication. It helps you:

  • better communicate your ideas, opinions, and emotions
  • better connect with others
  • build stronger bonds
  • increase trust and clarity

And all these benefits are of huge help when you lead a team and work with many stakeholders.

According to Rona Beck, a weekly contributor to an Assignment service on communication topics, there are many facets of non-verbal communication most people are not aware of.

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Facial Expressions

One important thing that many people are not aware of is that facial expressions are universal. I

f you have watched the series Lie to me, you already know that there are seven basic emotions. These are sadness, anger, disgust, fear, surprise, contempt, and happiness. Even though our cultures can shape our worldviews and behaviors, facial expressions are universal throughout the world.

There are over 50 studies that have shown that these facial expressions are spontaneous and cannot be consciously controlled. Further research discovered micro-expressions, which are different from the macro or facial expressions. When we are happy, fearful, or sad. In the presence of our closest ones, we do not have any reason to take them back or hide them.

However, when we go through different events, we might be tempted to do this. For example, in the case of a public speaking situation, when fear, shame, anxiety, and other negative emotions creep through your body. You will be tempted to hide them because of what people may think about you.

No matter how much we think that we can hide our feelings, they come to surface in the way of micro expressions. They are difficult to identify and you need training and exercise because they are quick and fleeting.

Gestures

There are many types of gestures. We all know that some of them are deliberate, such as waving or pointing, while others are not.

For example, there are adapting gestures such as touching some body parts, rings, clicking pens, and so on. They are often displayed when someone is in distress. During a presentation, you can notice that some speakers will adopt this kind of gesture.

There are also illustrator gestures, maybe one of the most natural ones. They are used subconsciously and illustrate the verbal message.

Posture and Movement

Posture and movement are key factors of body language. Most people will adopt comforting behaviors or actions during stressful moments.

Posture and movement can tell you how someone is feeling. For example, an arm-crossed posture sends the message that you are not open to new ideas or solutions.

Or, the leg-crossed posture is known as a posture of defiance and defensiveness. Posture and movement send information about attitude.

Paralinguistics

Nonverbal communication is a broad domain that includes all the subtleties of our bodies. Paralinguistics are represented by your tone of voice, pitch, loudness, and inflection.

Think about how the meaning of a sentence can be changed just only by how you pronounce and articulate different words.

You can identify how the other is feeling just by carefully listening to what and how he presents his ideas. A cold tone of voice is related to negative emotions, while a warm one to more positive ones.

Eye Gazing

Eyes are the window to the soul. And they never lie. We all know this. Eye contact is used in a conversation by everyone because it helps you gather information. It also helps you get feedback from the environment and notice the body language of your interlocutor.

However, eye contact helps us establish a connection with others. I have learned during my practice as a psychology student that when people gaze, I must not interrupt them. Gazing means that someone is deep thinking. Eye contact means that someone is ready to communicate and to listen to you.

Eyes can also be used to send different signals as well. Depending on the culture and society you live in, prolonged eye contact can send a signal of intimidation. Or, in another context, flirting.

Nevertheless, eyes can help someone establish a rapport or connection. And this is so important in the life of a businessman or manager.

Final Words

The 5 types of nonverbal communication are also known as body language. It is something that is present in every moment of our lives and can offer valuable information about others.

The way you sit, talk, gesticulate, or walk can send subtle but powerful messages. Macro and micro expressions are universal.

Body language is important for everyone. It helps you adjust your behavior to some people. It helps you form stronger connections. It makes the process of supporting and helping others easier.

What’s your opinion on this topic? Do you think body language is important? Leave me a comment and let’s discuss it.

Read more: Leveraging Your Nonverbal Communication At Work