5.29.2006

Nonverbal Communication

Here's an interesting little pop piece on nonverbal messages. It repeats the belief that 80 percent of a message comes from the nonverbal--a belief for which I know of no evidence. It makes good copy but is probably far from the truth. The impact of a message depends largely on the message itself and blanket percentages are simply inadequate.
Kansas City Star | 05/29/2006 | Body lingoO

1 comment:

Terri said...

I am glad to hear you say this. I, too, wonder at such blanket statistics which are bandied around not only in the popular press, but among academics as well.

I teach online courses and students complain about the lack of nonverbal cues. And this does make communication harder, but I think it is one of the strengths of computer mediated communication. First, you are not distracted by a person's expression (which may or may not be interpreted correctly). Secondly, it forces you to be precise in your language. And finally, you need to judge the other person strictly on her or his ideas rather than on how he or she looks.

Of course, I prefer to look at someone when talking to them. But it seems that nonverbal cues are more likely to be misinterpreted than the verbal ones.