Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication – Term Paper Example

VERBAL AND NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication Affiliation Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication Communication is one of the most essential needs of a human being. Without communication, each individual will not be able to convey messages to facilitate interaction with other fellow humans. There are two main types of communication which is commonly used: verbal and non-verbal communication. Verbal communication refers to communication which makes use of language to put across an idea. Conversely, non-verbal communication denotes an exchange of ideas without the use of language. Most often than not, non-verbal communication is expressed with the use of the senses, the interpretation of which may vary to certain degrees depending on the culture, environment, gender or other similar factors.
It is said that only 7 percent of one’s message is communicated verbally; the remaining 93 percent is communicated non-verbally through speech tenor and tone, body language, and physical demeanor (Bloom & Powdermaker, 2006). As such, much emphasis is given to the non-verbal aspect of transmitting a message from source to receiver. The study of non-verbal communication can be further subdivided into proxemics, kinesics, chronemics and paralinguistics. Proxemics pertains to one’s personal space; kinesics is more popularly known as “body language”; chronemics takes note of how fast or how slow a message is delivered. Paralinguistics is more into the sound of speech and not the content (http://www.stephanpeskin com/PracticeAreas/NonVerbalCommunication.asp).
Verbal and non-verbal communication is significantly affected in different situations by diverse users and in equally distinct contexts. Four situations will be tackled here and each will be discussed in greater detail in the next paragraphs.
Police Situations. Police officers encounter a lot of situations in their daily routine which require communication with suspects, victims, complainants as well as dealing with accidents, reports, and other similar circumstances to enforce the law and prevent crime. It is a necessary evil in their line of work to take risks, nevertheless, it is part of their job to uphold the law and go after criminals, and hence should be adequately prepared for thru sufficient knowledge and training.
Police officers are trained to look at verbal and non-verbal cues in investigating crimes. Suspects are subjected to interview and questioning where gestures, facial expressions, body movements, and other non-verbal signs are noted as much as the verbal replies elicited.
In dealing with the media, the police are caught in a quandary as to how newsworthy issues will be kept under raps while it is under investigation. Verbal and non-verbal communications are not the issue here, but the rather the immediate delivery of what will make good news. Due to the Freedom of Information Act which was signed into law in 1966, the media was given access to all types of information, hence, the media can demand and the police enforcers sector has to maintain openness and transparency at all times. Conflicts sometimes arise, but depending on the situation, as long as the human rights of an individual are not infringed by the press, then press freedom can prevail.
Courtroom setting. The courtroom is also another area where both verbal and non-verbal communication occurs. There are a lot of participants in the courtroom setting: the judge, the jury, the legal counsels, the witnesses, the complainant, the accused and the courtroom audience.
When testifying in court, a witness is supposed to show credibility as soon as he enters the courtroom. This is said to be necessary so that he can immediately get the favor of both the judge and the jury. From here, the non-verbal signals like stance, manner of dressing and bearing will interplay to make the impression. Eye contact signifies competence and confidence. The witness should also use clear language to give a clearer view of the case. The judge and the jury will also be on the lookout for non-verbal indications which will also form part of the witness’ overall testimony.
In the same manner, the verbal and non-verbal signs shown by the jurors and the presiding judge are good markers by which one can gauge the possibilities of a case.
Correctional Facility. Detainees in the correctional are expected to treat their inmates fairly and equitably. They are advised to communicate with each other in a professional and respectful manner. The detainees are also required to address their concerns to staff in a courteous and polite way.
Staff members in correctional facilities are trained to handle prisoners who are of the aggressive or violent type. Officers in this type of profession also know how to prioritize security and safety measures so that the detainees, visitors and staff are always unharmed. They are skilled at being in control of the situation at all times.
Juvenile Facility. A juvenile facility -- more popularly known as the juvenile hall -- is a detention facility for minors who have committed crimes. In a juvenile facility, all juveniles are placed under the supervision and control of Juvenile Detention Officers. These minors undergo counseling and attend classes which will make them more productive citizens of society.
Communication and visitation rights are given to juveniles. The rehabilitative nature of juvenile justice requires that juveniles placed in secure detention must have adequate opportunity to meet and confidentially communicate with family, attorneys, probation officers, counselors, caseworkers and the clergy (http://www.wyjuvenilejustice.com/detention_standards.asp). As such, both verbal and non-verbal communication options are allowed for juveniles, their families, peers as well as detention officers.
Since officers in these facilities deal with minors, it is relatively easier to get any message across compared to those detained in correctional facilities. Although the problems encountered in these two facilities are similar, the degree of consequence is lesser for juveniles.

References
Bloom, Jason & Powdermaker, Karin (June 2006). Texas Bar Journal. 540-543.

Non-Verbal Communication. 2010.Tolmage, Peskin, Harris, Falick. 28 March 2010
< http://www.stephanpeskin.com/PracticeAreas/NonVerbalCommunication.asp>
Wyoming Juvenile Justice. State Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice. 28 March 2010