Limitations of Non-verbal Communication
Non- verbal method of communication can be used simultaneously with written and oral methods of communication. Although non- verbal communication enjoys a lot of advantages in exchanging information, it has some limitations. Its key limitations are as follows:
Lack of formality: Non-verbal communication is not formal and well structured as like as written and oral communication. So it cannot be used in any formal situation.
Expressing contradiction with verbal statement: Though non-verbal cues help in expressing the meaning of verbal message more accurately, they may express contradictory meaning with verbal statement.
Ambiguity: When the sender uses ambiguous or unfamiliar non-verbal cue, the receiver may fail to understand the meaning of the message. As a result, communications between them may also fail.
Culture boundness: Use of non-verbal cues are generally culture bound. Therefore, non-verbal cues of one culture cannot be used in another culture. Although some cues remain same across cultures, their meaning differ significantly. For example, in United States, a circle forming with the thumb and index finger indicates the symbol “OK” or “everything is right.” But in France, this symbol means “zero”, while it means “money” in Japan.
Lack of explanation of message: Although non-verbal cues can convey message like verbal communication, it cannot carry any explanation of the message to the receiver.
Problem relating to preserving information: Non verbal communication occurs through various body movements, symbols, signs, colours, sounds etc. As a result, such information cannot be preserved for use in future.