How is non-verbal communication affected by the enviroment?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First allow me to share the definition of non verbal communication according Tortoriello, Blott, and DeWine

". . . the exchange of messages primarily through non-linguistic means, including: kinetics (body language), facial expressions and eye contact, tactile communication, space and territory, environment, paralanguage (vocal but non-linguistic cues), and the use of silence and time."

Therefore, in terms of environmental effects, non-verbal communication extends to the way in which we accommodate our surroundings in order to establish communication strategies such as eye contact, kinesthetics, mannerisms, and  paralanguage (non-verbal attitude).inesthetic

For example, if you work in a bank, the way that the lines are arranged, the way each teller is placed, the height of the stalls, the ease of comfort to move around all propitiate a good non-verbal experience where "the flow" of business can continue. THe height of a desk can allow for the teller and the client to see each other eye to eye, the openness of the personal space prompts confidence and trust, and if a bank wants you to feel like you made the right choice in choosing them, there will be a lot of smiling, grinning, eye-to-eye contact, a nice and comfortable amount of space, and places where people can locate to do private transactions.

All of these dynamics are non verbal and are only successful when the environment is conducive to it.

The same situation occurs in churches, schools and many other places where social groups intermingle both verbally and non verbally. For there to be good communication there must be an environment set up for it to occur without obstacle.