1. How does verbal and vocal communication differ? How do we separate out the vocal
nonverbal cues from the oral, for purposes of analysis?
Non – verbal communication is the first impression of any individual. This is seen in the
way they sit, stand, how they hold hands and even in their facial expressions or even through the
lines of sight of their eyes. There are three features in Non – verbal communication which is;
Body Language, Gestures and Facial Expression (Mehrabian, 2017). On the other hand, verbal
communication is mainly concerned with conveying the message which you would wish other
people to hear. In oral communication, there are important aspects that one needs to take a keen
interest on such as pronunciation, pace, intonation, pausing, turn taking and exchange of roles
such as being a speaker and a listener at one particular time and the other (Jones, 2002). For
effective vocal communication, an individual must emphasize Information Gap, Choice of words
and feedback. These are essential verbal cues which are significant for analysis. In summary,
Verbal communication is inclusive of sounds, words or speech. More importantly are the tone of
voice, volume, and pitch for effective verbal communication. Non – verbal communication is
inclusive of gestures, facial expressions, body movement, timing, touch and any other thing
which is done without necessarily speaking. People tend to notice nonverbal communication
more readily compared to verbal communication.
2. What role do you think pausing and silence should play in conflict? When people in a
romantic, intimate relationship argue, what positive uses can they make of pausing and
silence? What are some malicious applications of pausing and silence?
The relationship that a person has with silence is very personal in most cases, and people
have varying reasons for pauses and silence. Just like conflict, silence is equally energy which is
exerted by an individual, and it is neither bad nor good. Silence can be both constructive and
destructive depending on how an individual uses it. Silence can be a resource, a tool and a
weapon at the same time. It may be a channel of keeping secrets for the good of the parties
involved or for fear of some factors. In a conflict, everyone has the right to say anything or not to
say anything. Depending on how information is relayed, it can either bring a solution or not.
Silence can be used either passively or aggressively as a means of avoiding a situation or to call
time out in an assertive manner (Davis, 2002). Silence therefore can become a punishment which
contributes more to the escalation or perpetuation of the conflict. Silence can assist us to reach a
place of grace and calm in a conflict. In conclusion, a call for silence does not need to be
destructive or a temporary solution till the conflict features again. When someone is not speaking
to us, it may act as a weapon against us. Because we cannot force somebody to speak, we can use
their silence to learn a few lessons.
3. What rules did you learn growing up about interruptions and overlaps? Have you
strayed from those rules as you have become an adult and participated in your own social
situations? Describe in detail.
Interruptions refer to a speaker violating the turns of the current speaker that is taking
over the conversation before the other speaker finishes. On the other hand, overlaps refer to a
speaker starting to speak before the end of the current speaker’s turn. To some linguists,
interruptions do not seem proper, but there are times when you have no otherwise but to interrupt
someone, for instance, someone making a wrong citation. There are however some appropriate
ways that you can interrupt a speaker without appearing rude. One such method is to ask for the
permission to do so explicitly (Cerny, 2010). The second point is that you should apologize for
the interruption and thirdly is that you should come in with a relevant point so that you are not
out of topic. Lastly, you should lay ground rules from the onset so that you don’t appear
irrelevant. Similarly, one can overlap a communication when the speaker seems to be getting out
of topic or when he feels that he or she can explain better what the current speaker is talking
about. However, before one does so, they should equally excuse themselves and explain their
reasons for overlap from the onset. These lessons are significant from my childhood experience
in the sense that they will make you not to appear rude or at the same time not aware of what you
are talking about.
Cerny, M. (2010). Interruptions and overlaps in doctor–patient communication
Davis, T. L. (2002). Voices of gender role conflict: The social construction of college
men's identity. Journal of College Student Development, 43(4), 508-521.
Jones, S. E., & LeBaron, C. D. (2002). Research on the relationship between verbal and
nonverbal communication: Emerging integrations. Journal of Communication, 52(3), 499-521.
Mehrabian, A. (2017). Nonverbal communication. Routledge.