Communication involves far more than merely words. The majority of communication, in fact, occurs through the use of facial expressions and bodily movements. Many, in fact, view non-verbal communication, such as facial expressions and bodily movements, are providing more communication than words. “Research shows that 65 percent to 93 percent of communication is nonverbal” and includes not just facial expressions and bodily movements, but also how close together people stand and the tone they use to speak (Widhalm, 2005).
The fact that non-verbal communication is such a significant part of communication means that its impact is also significant and can be more significant than merely the words used to communicate. People often plan their message by determining which words to use to communicate but neglect to consider the non-verbal communication they use. To understand when non-verbal communication is effective or not, therefore, one needs to consider whether the person receiving the non-verbal communication walks away with the message the speaker/communicator wanted that person to have.
Widhalm, S. (2005). What did you say? Body language often more telling than words. The Washington Times. Retrieved October 28, 2010, from http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-4845950/What-did-you-say-Body.html
2.What factors should you consider when you choose a communication channel for your messages? Should you always use the richest channel? Why or why not?
Communication channels can be described in terms of their richness. Richness refers to “the degree to which a channel is able to convey the amount of information transmitted in face-to-face communication” (Bowman, 2002). Face-to-face communication, as it provides both verbal and non-verbal communication, is considered the richest form. However, a communication channel should be selected on the basis of how effective it will be in accomplishing the goals of the communication. The three basic channel forms are oral, written, and non-verbal. The type of message being delivered, the perceived reception to the message (happy, confusion, anger, etc.), the ability to deliver the message clearly, and the length of the message are all factors that should be considered when selecting channels.
The richest channel may not be the best option at all times. There are times when clarity and the need to ensure all details are properly noted make written communication better but there are times when the need to be empathetic or helpful require the message to be provided orally and preferably face-to-face. It is the considerations that help determine which channel to use and this means that not all channels are appropriate for all circumstances.
Bowman, J. P. (2002). Understanding communication channels. Western Michigan University. Retrieved October 28, 2010, from http://homepages.wmich.edu/~bowman/channels.html
3.When you develop messages, what factors should you consider as you choose your words? Which considerations do you think are most important? Why?
Although editing and writing are necessary in developing any written or oral communication for best effect, too many people fail to understand the need to carefully select words for their messages. Words communicate not only dictionary meanings but also, through the connotations associated with words, communicate much more. Some words are also considered to be kind while others are viewed as harsh and can upset persons even when they both communicate the same “dictionary meaning” (Connotation, 2010). All of these facts directly indicate that words must be carefully selected.
When deciding which words to use, of course, one must consider their dictionary meanings, their connotations, and how clearly they communicate the message one wants to communicate (Connotation, 2010). A failure