Nonverbal Communication

1445 Words 6 Pages
Verbal and Non-verbal Communication Differences across Cultures
Communication refers to the use of messages to create meaning within and across a variety of cultures, contexts, media, and methods (Ting-Toomey 12). The two major types of communication, verbal and non-verbal, are very important in today’s globalized business environment. On the one hand, verbal communication involves use of express words/sound to convey specific messages (De Meuse and Robert 11). On the other hand, non-verbal communication involves use of symbols/signs that may imply different meanings in varying cultures and contexts. Nonverbal communication is more immediate than verbal communication, but the meaning of the former is often ambiguous (Goodall, Sandra, & Jill
…show more content…
Nonverbal expressions that are fine in one culture may be offensive, meaningless, or carry a different meaning in another culture (Ting-Toomey 276). Examples of nonverbal communication include facial expressions, hand and arm gestures, head movements, eye contact, physical space, physical postures, and touching among others. To the Americans, a smile is a way of expressing friendliness or being comfortable with a person or an idea. As such, Americans freely smile with strangers. On the contrary, smiling to strangers is considered unusual and sometimes impolite. Similarly, a smile in the Asian cultures is not necessarily an expression of friendliness or joy; it can be used to express embarrassment or pain. In the Scandinavian society, smiles or other facial expressions are uncommon because they believe it is a weakness to express one’s …show more content…
Always, they expect the person to answer such questions rather than brush any personal questions aside. This shows that the person has nothing to hide, and is confident of his or her personal life. In the Chinese, African, and Middle East cultures, asking a personal question in the public is often considered offensive. People from these cultures ask personal questions in private, and therefore prefer the same. However, sometimes such questions should never be asked because some are embarrassing in nature. Works Cited
De Meuse, Kenneth P., and Robert C. Erffmeyer. "The relative importance of verbal and nonverbal communication in a sales situation: An exploratory study." Journal of Marketing Management (10711988) 4.1 (1994): 11-17. Business Source Complete. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.
Ferraro, Gary, and Brody, Elizabeth, K. Cultural Dimension of Global Business. New York, NY: Routledge, 2015. Print.
Gao, Ge, and Ting-Toomey, Stella. Communicating effectively with the Chinese. Thousand Oaks [u.a.: Sage Publ, 1998. Print.
Goodall, H L, Sandra Goodall, and Jill Schiefelbein. Business and Professional Communication in the Global Workplace. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Pub, 2010. Print.
Ting-Toomey, Stella. Communicating across culture. New York, NY: Guilford Press. 2012.

Related Documents