Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

Verbal And Nonverbal Communication Success today greatly depends on the quality of communication. This can include success in the work environment or success in our personal relationships. People communicate in a number of different ways that can either be classified as verbal or nonverbal. Verbal communication consists of the actual content of our language (task ordering), how we say it (process orientation), and how we describe individuals or group members (narrative.   This type of communication often takes more cognitive effort (Harris & Sherblom, 2008). While nonverbal communication is all behaviors including facial expressions, body position, posture, movement, hand gestures, and paralinguistic behaviors (Fichten, Tagalakis, Judd, Wright, & Amsel, 2001).

Nonverbal communication tends to be more effective and believable, however verbal communication if used correctly can also be very powerful (Harris, 2008).The first two functions of verbal communication are task ordering and process orientation. Task ordering is the cognitive meaning of the language, and establishes an awareness for the purpose and process of the particular group. When groups come together it is crucial to establish their goals so that the group can work more effectively and can then create an understanding of the order of tasks involved. This involves planning time constraints, resources available to the group, and any other data that may be relevant.

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A common goal is productivity which is accomplishing the purpose that was established collaboratively as a group. Task ordering can also tell us whether or not the group has been successful. If a group does not order their tasks, they are more likely to be less successful. This emphasizes the idea that it is the process itself that determines success, and not just the end product alone. If the goal is accomplished the leader was task oriented, however, how the leader accomplished the goal is the process orientation…



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