Communication involves three individual components:
Verbal – the content (our choice and the arrangement of the words we use)
Nonverbal – body language
Para-verbal – How we say what we say
For communication to be effective, all three components are used to accomplish two things:
- Send clear, concise messages.
- Receive and correctly understand messages sent to us.
- Keep messages brief and succinct.
- Keep messages free of jargon
- Reduce resistance
Non-verbal communication is the primary way that we communicate
- Facial expression and eyes
- Posture and gestures
- Sitting quietly with hands folded loosely in our lap conveys a feeling of anticipation and interest
- Sitting with our arms crossed on the chest sends a message of inflexibility
How we say something, NOT what we say.
- Tone, pitch and pacing of our voices
- What words are emphasized
Important para-verbal points to remember:
- Anger or excitement may cause our speech to become more rapid and higher pitched.
- Boredom or sadness may cause our speech to slow and take on a monotone quality.
- When we are feeling defensive, our speech may take on an abrasive or harsh tone.
Be consistent in your verbal, nonverbal and para-verbal communication so that you do not confuse your listener.