Explain The Role Of NVC In Interpersonal Communication.

Authors Avatar

Beverley Fielden


Access Communication Studies

Explain The Role Of NVC In Interpersonal Communication.

During interpersonal communication only 30% is communicated verbally. The remaining 70% is messages sent, sometimes unconsciously, as non-verbal communication. NVC is seen to transmit emotional information that our ordinary speech does not. It can be divided into nine main areas and these can be divided into many sub divisions. It is worth remembering that all the areas interact with each other and they co-exist alongside speech. Also, NVC differs dramatically from culture to culture. Each culture has evolved its own particular NVC.


Gesture can be defined as an action or signal that is intentional and communicative. In other words, we are always aware of our gestures as we use them voluntary. It is often used in conjunction with speech (a wave and a spoken hello) or it can be used to communicate when speech is difficult or unnecessary. (Such as a finger to a pursed lip to indicate silence) Another common use of gesture is when we wish to communicate insults or displeasure. However, we must be aware of how gestures can vary from culture to culture. The thumb up gesture of Western Europe, that means good luck, is an extremely rude gesture in Iran.

Kinesics is closely linked to gesture. We use small bodily movements that emphasis our speech. Small hand movements, head nods, gaze shifts and facial expressions are all unconscious movements we use while engaged in interpersonal communication. These movements are often used alongside our speech to clarify and punctuate our utterances. Studies show that if we are trying to make our spoken conversation more persuasive we use more open hand movements.

Charles Darwin published the first major study of facial communication in 1878. Darwin concluded that many expressions and their meanings are universal.

Join now!

The facial area is the most important area of NV signalling, and although studies indicate that the facial expressions of happiness, sadness, fear and surprise are universal across cultures, judging expressions from individuals can be problematic. Negative expressions may be cancelled as culture often dictates. The Japanese are taught from an early age not to show negative emotions such as anger or sadness, they consider smiling as a courtesy and they may keep smiling even if you have angered them. The “eyebrow flashing” that occurs when people greet each other from a distance may be universal, except in Japan it ...

This is a preview of the whole essay