What Is an Example of Unintentional Communication?

Examples of unintentional communication include: postures, facial expression, eye gaze, pitch of voice and gestures displayed through body language (kinesics) and the physical distance between communicators (proxemics). According to experts, a significant percentage of human communication is nonverbal or unintentional. Nonverbal cues and behaviors such as handshakes and hairstyles reveal details of who a person is and have a considerable impact on how a person relates to others.

More often, people communicate information in nonverbal ways using a mix of behaviors. For instance, they can combine a frown with crossed arms and an unblinking eye gaze to denote disapproval. Non-verbal signals can provide clues and additional information and meaning over and above spoken (verbal) communication). Non-verbal communication sets the tone of a conversation and can seriously emasculate the message contained in the words if one is not careful to control it. For instance, if an individual slouches and shrinks back in his chair during a business meeting, it makes him look less confident. This may cause people to doubt his strength of verbal contribution. On the other hand, leaning over an employee’s desk and invading his personal space is likely to turn a friendly conversation into an aggressive confrontation that leaves the employee feeling undervalued and victimized. People often prefer the need for personal space. Other forms of communication are verbal (oral communication) and written communication.