People, all over young, infants, and the elderly, communicate in very diverse ways and in the varied setting. The important thing to note is that it is however very difficult to analyze communication since it is a complex and at times fascinating. According to Haslett, rarely do we have a satisfactory definition of communication but as the noted psychiatrist and nonverbal communication scholar, Scheflen, describes communication as “an organized, standardized, culturally patterned system of behaviour that sustains, regulates, and makes possible human relationships.” According to Haslett, a number of assumptions are made in this definition, firstly, that communication is a shared activity enabling human relationships to be established and maintained. The aspect of sharing comes in due to the fact that communication makes people share time, interaction, space and other activities (1987).Secondly, communication is a multi-modal act since it occurs verbally and non-verbally. Thirdly, communication has to be structured and is not always random or haphazard but has got purpose or intention and normally goal-oriented. Haslett notes that the most fundamental purpose of communication is to establish relationships among humans. He states that language is the symbolic code that underlies all communications with many scholars suggesting that verbal and nonverbal communicative behaviours are related and that language may be regarded as a model for analyzing the nonverbal communication (Haslett, 1987).In a number of ways the channels of modes of communication may differ but meaning or intent has to be passed or relayed to the recipient. Some would resort to body language while other would speak aloud producing sounds that are decoded as words through the voice. When people are communicating either verbally or nonverbally, they are establishing a relationship. People in a relationship create a set of expectations, reinforce old ones or change an existing pattern of interaction (Littlejohn, 2003). This is the basis of our discussion in this paper; starting by a look at the following situations and the effect of verbal and nonverbal communication:
Police situationsIn an interview, suspects will probably know and remember most of what they have said. Riggio and Feldman assert that it will be very difficult for them to indicate exactly how they behaved for instance hand movement, tone of the voice and so on. In these instance, police may always take advantage of the fact that most people do not take note of their nonverbal communication while it is always important for the security personnel to cause such communication to come through (2005). When police make announcements in the public or to the press, they may use little speech to relay their message that could be intentional and in such situations an observer, in this case the press, has almost no other choice than examine other communication behaviour which probably is nonverbal or the gesture they make to their colleagues (Riggio & Feldman, 2005). In this case, it is very necessary for the public or press to understand the mode of communication well enough to receive the information contained in the verbal as well as nonverbal communication.Courtroom setting (testifying)
Limited time Offer
Riggio and Feldman suggest that non-typical verbal and non verbal behaviour by defendants or even witnesses in a criminal or civil case often speak loud to suggest to the judge or interpreted by the jury as evidence of guilt. The kind of body language can be associated with dishonesty include shifty eyes, hesitancy in tone of voice, lack of expected emotion and the general inconsistencies among the verbal and non verbal messages (2005). The fact that context of communication is very important would make a negative effect for a witness in the courtroom. The witness may be using the same language when outside the court and hence it is very important to consider verbal as well as nonverbal behaviour relative to their social context. The interpretation of these languages in the courtroom setting and the reaching of a conclusion about guilt or liability, the trial judges and jurors must assess both the written pre-trial, trial records as well as a person’s verbal and nonverbal communication in that very closed context (Riggio & Feldman, 2005). As it is a well known fact by some courtroom familiars that the juror and the lawyers use the behavioural language to report that the person testifying or defendant performed nonverbally in a way that was consistent with expectations surrounding the presence of guilt. In this context, the familiar will ensure that they manipulate their language in the verbal or nonverbal sense to distract the lawyers and juror, to emphasize or de-emphasize trial facts resulting in the help on their part (Riggio & Feldman, 2005).Corrections facility In a correctional facility, nonverbal communication plays a very important role in passing very strong information to the inmates. Fiske says that nonverbal communication normally carried out through gestures, eye movements or quality of the voice. These normally give messages about here and now. For instance, a warden using his button to tap the floor or door of an inmate’s room would signify something like “don’t mess with me; I will do what is within my power”. This is very threatening information that when relayed to the inmate (1990). The first thing this language does is to convey the indexical information. The inmate learns this information about the warden of his or her emotions, attitudes and so on. The warden knows that using gestures, he/she can dominate the inmates, be conciliatory to them or shut off from them.It is, however, important to use verbal communication in these facilities in order that the inmates not have wrong interpretations of the nonverbal communication. At times the nonverbal language may expose some anger or rage in a manner that the inmates would want to fight back hence causing more harm than the communication modes or channels at the facility being appropriately utilized for the purpose of instruction and correction (Fiske, 1990).In conclusion, verbal and nonverbal communications are very important in interpersonal relations and the study of these two has great effect of guidance on practice and character to adopt when communicating. To comprehend the verbal and nonverbal communication comprehensively and understanding the varied messages and meanings or implications in the behaviour under effect of any situations or factors, makes it not hard to behave properly, orderly and make correct judgments thus improving interpersonal communication and relationships.
Related Communication and Media essays