Group Theory

Verbal and Nonverbal Communication While Working with a Group


Verbal Communication

Verbal communication generally refers to the written or oral words we exchange; not just the words we speak, but pronunciation, accent, the meanings of the words being used, and the many variations in the way people speak. Language is also a central role in communication; some argue that it is our use of language that makes us human.

Nonverbal Communication

Helps us express and interpret the verbal aspects of communication such as when a person smiles to reinforce an expression of thanks, use the ‘OK’ sign to substitute for saying ‘I am all right,’ laughs flirtatiously to contradict the words, ‘I don’t like you,’ and putting one’s fingers close together to illustrate how thin their new computer is.”

Verbal Communication’s Current State in Society

Currently, the written and spoken word are being used less and less due to technology such as cell phones and social media. The use of text messaging, emails, as well as social media has created a society where spoken words aren’t often needed to communicate.

Music is still one of the primary examples of verbal communication that hasn’t been negatively impacted by technology; it instead is greatly benefited by it.

Society in the Past

Before technology advanced to its current state, verbal and nonverbal communication were drastically different. When many of us grew up, we didn’t have cell phones or even the internet for a lot of our childhoods. Due to this, we were more used to actually speaking to someone in person. Because we were often face-to-face with a person when commutating in the past, nonverbal communication was also increased.

Predictions for the Future of Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is set to change drastically as our technology progresses. Cell phones could end up being an implant in our skin or an application such as Google Glass would both make actual verbal communication obsolete.

Predictions for the Future of Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication is also going to be significantly reduced due to not having to actually speak to someone in person. Even with webcam video chat services, it is hard to tell the body language and other forms of nonverbal communication of the individual who is speaking. Emojis often help us convey our physical communication to someone for than typed words.

How Verbal Communication is Used in a Group Setting

Proper verbal communication is a necessary skill when working with a team. The many benefits of working with others are lost if the individuals involved can’t share ideas and solutions to the problem at hand.

Working in a group that has poor verbal communication skills can actually be worse than working alone. If communication isn’t as it should be, the work that needs to be done will not be appropriately delegated or assigned to an individual who isn’t up to the task.

How Nonverbal Communication is Used in a Group Setting

Nonverbal communication is essential when working with a team as well. You can always say the right thing to your teammates in any given situation, however, if your body language or facial expressions are not matching what you are saying, for example, your teammates might not fully understand.

To improve your nonverbal communication skills when working with a group, it is recommended to first get a good idea of who you are working with. Things like religion, gender, race, and their basic personalities can be critical when deciding what the best forms of nonverbal communication to use.



 Lucas, A. (2015). The Importance of Verbal & Non-Verbal Communication. Retrieved August 15, 2016, from

Human Communication in Society. Jess K. Alberts, Thomas K. Nakayama, Judith N. Martin


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