Session Tag: Verbal communication

Session 1: Different forms of communication

Participants will learn how different forms, channel, codes and levels of communication are always applied in daily communication and how they may affect flow of communication.

Learning outcomes

  • Being able to recognize the appropriate channel, code and level to communicate.
  • Being able to apply the appropriate method and avoid inappropriate solutions

Session Content


We spent the 75% of our day communicating.

Now, we know that not only what we say is important, but also HOW we say it, considering both the CODE we are using and the selected CHANNEL (type of communication used, as well as the tool, communication technique or communication level).

In particular, by CHANNEL we mean both the technical means external to the subject (i.e. telephone, mobile phone, mail, etc.) and the sensory means involved in communication, that is the communication technique.

A joint use of the different communication methods produces the most effective results. Learning varies with the variation of communication techniques and therefore of the different channels of perception.


Communication technique Channel of perception % learning
Verbal Only hearing 20%
Gestural-graphic Only sight 30%
Mixed 1 hearing + sight 50%
Mixed 2 hearing + sight

+ discussion

Mixed + experience hearing + sight

+ discussion + habits



The transmission of the message can be direct (verbal, para-verbal or nonverbal) or indirect (use of external means, such as writing).


Communication levels and nonverbal communication

The communication we’re going to analyse, which is of greatest interest in the care relationship, is the “direct and interpersonal” one, that is, involving two or more people in a face-to-face-situation..


We can identify 3 main communication levels:




This refers to the content we express through the use of words (both oral and written).


  • Vocal productions that “shape” our way of speaking: tone, rhythm, accent, volume, but also coughs, pauses, laughter
  • It is expressed through the variations of the voice and it is possible to capture the emotional conditions of the interlocutor (rhythm and pauses)
  • If we move the voice towards high tones, we denote tension and irritation
  • Towards the low tones, calm and security
  • Lowering the volume of the voice, insecurity, raise it shaking or bullying.



It considers the mimic, gestural and spatial aspects: facial expression, gestures, mimicry, posture, physical distance with people.


It is less easily controlled by the broadcaster and therefore portrays actual feelings, moods, opinions.


On this communicative level we can see the importance of the SPATIAL BEHAVIOR factor, that means how we act and how we manage the space in the interaction (ease / discomfort).


We can identify different spaces thanks to the proxemics (“Language of proximity”):

  • Intimate (0 to 0.5m)
  • Personal (from 0.5 to 1 m)
  • Social (from 1 to 3/4 m)
  • Public (more than 3m)


We also have to consider:

  • Aptica = body contact; vulnerable and non-vulnerable areas; culture of contact.
  • Orientation = face to face, side by side, from behind.


Functions and limits of non-verbal communication


  • It is an expressive communication (emotions)
  • It facilitates interrelationships
  • It’s a regulator of interrelationships / communication (source of feedback)
  • It supports – replaces – emphasizes – colors verbal communication
  • It’s spontaneous, sincere, immediate and powerful communication.



  • Unsuitable for conveying definitions or knowledge
  • Fast but to a small extent (quantity)
  • We cannot speak of universality (culture, sex, age).
  • Hardly controllable