8 Types of Nonverbal Communication (With Examples)

These facial expressions are spontaneous and cannot be consciously controlled, according to more than 50 studies. Microexpressions, which are distinct from facial expressions or macroexpressions, were discovered through further research. When we are happy, fearful, or sad. We have no reason to return them or conceal them when they are in the presence of our loved ones.

However, we might be tempted to do this as a result of various events. For instance, when you’re giving a speech in front of a group of people and fear, guilt, or anxiety start to creep into your body You may feel tempted to conceal them due to what others may think of you.

What is nonverbal communication?

You can develop a better understanding of what your body might be communicating to others—even without your awareness—by learning about various forms of nonverbal communication.

The following list of eight nonverbal cues and workplace applications includes:

1. Vocalics

Vocalics, also known as paralanguage, is the way you speak, including your voice tone. Whatever you say, how you say it can convey more than just the words you use.

Vocalics can also refer to your voice’s volume and pitch in addition to tone. For instance, you might naturally speak quietly if you’re in an uncomfortable situation to avoid drawing attention to yourself. Conversely, talking too loudly can give the impression that you are trying to speak over the other person or sway their opinion.

Sarcasm, which entails saying words in a tone that conveys the opposite meaning, is another instance of nonverbal communication. Saying “Oh, great” in a sarcastic tone, for instance, would indicate that you are being ironically enthusiastic about a situation. Even though your words suggest a favorable reaction, your delivery belies that.

2. Proximity

Nonverbal cues include how close you decide to stand or sit next to someone. Your personal space is the area around you, which is typically between 6 and 18 inches around your body. Most people reserve entering this area for their closest friends and family only. In a professional setting, if that space is violated, you’ll probably find the interaction to be unpleasant.

Being conscious of your proximity to others can help you avoid invading their personal space and upsetting them. However, it’s also crucial to be able to hear each other clearly and effectively, so make sure you’re close enough to the person you’re speaking to. If you’re too far away, it may even seem like you’re not interested in what they have to say.

3. Body movements

Kinetics, or body movements, include nodding or making hand gestures. These typical examples of body language can show how enthusiastic you are about a conversation or subject. Involuntary movements can include wringing your hands, shaking when anxious, or frequently clearing your throat. Some can be distracting as well, especially if you’re giving a formal presentation or going through a job interview.

4. Posture

Your body language can have an impact on those around you. In professional settings, both standing and sitting are typical positions, so it’s crucial to consider how you appear in each. You convey assurance, strength, and confidence through your posture when you stand tall with your back straight. The opposite is frequently implied by a slouched posture with your back curved and your head pointing downward, making you seem uninterested or uncertain.

Your upper body and leg position can have an impact as well. To convey a friendly, approachable demeanor, try to stand with your head raised, arms extended, and legs slightly spaced apart. Crossing your arms could subtly convey to the other person that you don’t want to continue the conversation.

5. Touch

Touching another person is a key aspect of nonverbal communication. A hug expresses warmth and love, whereas a pat on the back can mean something was done well. Make sure your touch is always professional in the workplace because unwanted or unsolicited touch can make someone feel uncomfortable.

Touch also varies between cultures. For instance, physical touch is an essential component of all different types of relationships in Central America. Kissing on the cheek is a common greeting gesture in some regions of North America and Europe. People in the United States don’t touch each other as much outside of personal relationships.

The handshake, which is frequently used in professional settings and has a variety of meanings, While a firm handshake communicates strength and respect, a limp or weak handshake may indicate a lack of confidence.

6. Physiological changes

The most common correlation between physiological changes and discomfort and stress in a situation These types of changes include blushing, sweating or tearing up. Your body’s physiological responses to situations are out of your control, so they frequently reveal how you’re feeling.

7. Facial expressions

Your face can often reveal your emotions in a situation. Your facial expressions can convey a different meaning than the words you use or how you feel about something someone else has said to you. Raising your eyebrow, for instance, can indicate that you are curious or even cunning.

When you roll your eyes, you’re expressing how you feel about something. To better understand how others are responding to what you say, you can observe their facial expressions as you speak to them. It’s also crucial to be conscious of your own facial expressions, especially in a work environment.

8. Eye contact

Keeping your gaze fixed on the speaker demonstrates your interest in and engagement with them. When a conversation partner looks away, it’s a nonverbal cue that they’re distracted or uneasy. Another nonverbal cue is that when someone is lying, they frequently have trouble making eye contact.

Try to concentrate on what the other person is saying and look into their eyes as they speak to maintain strong, effective communication.

How to improve your nonverbal communication skills

The first step in developing your nonverbal communication abilities is recognizing your own nonverbal communication tendencies. For instance, it can be difficult to break a habit of making certain facial expressions during a video call, but it’s important to be aware of it in case the behavior needs to change.

To help you hone your nonverbal communication abilities in the workplace, consider the following quick tips:

Types of Non Verbal Communication | Psych Nerd


What are the 4 main types of nonverbal communication?

Eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, posture, and body orientation are typical nonverbal cues.

What are 5 types of nonverbal communication?

Face expressions, gestures, paralinguistics like volume and tone of voice, body language, proxemics or personal space, eye contact, haptics (touch), appearance, and artifacts are all examples of nonverbal communication.

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