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Facing the Pandemic: Nonverbal Signs and Communication

Face-to-face communication and the Covid-19 pandemic

According to world famous psychology professor Albert Mehrabian (1971), the essence of our face-to-face communication is conveyed 55% by body language, 38% by tone of voice, and only 7% by spoken words. As a result, nonverbal signs play a key role in interpersonal communcation as facial expressions, touches, body language, spacing, eye contact, tone of voice and other gestures all help to ensure the successful delivery of the intended message (Hinde, 1972; Phutela, 2015). Unfortunately, the wearing of extra protective layers like gloves, caps, glasses and masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic makes the coding and decoding of these expressions and gestures more difficult, causing several communication, and thus relationship difficulties (see also our previous article).

 

The three wise monkeys

Images from Unsplash.com

What could we do to tackle this communication issue?

The fans of the popular American sitcom How I Met Your Mother might already know why facial expressions are so important (“The two faces of the Captain” – S6E11). 

 

The role of facial expressions – Are eyes really the window to the soul? 

For the ones who are not familiar with the aforementioned episode the following little “game” will help to understand the importance of facial expressions:

Can you guess the feeling?

Nevertheless, face-to-face communication still can be effective even in today’s constrained times if the following points are taken into consideration:

 

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Author:

Griszbacher Norbert

Article Writer & Content Contributor

Norbert Griszbacher article writer at GiLE

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The opinions expressed in this article/publication are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of GiLE or its members.

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