Monday, April 12, 2010

Nonverbal Communication

Chapter 14 was a very interesting chapter that focused on how to become a better communicator in the "Digital Age." The chapter discussed a few differences between communication styles. One for example was, Interpersonal Communication. Interpersonal Communication is defined as "all aspects of personal interaction, contact, and communication between individuals or members of a group." So basically, this is saying that this is communication that takes place more than with just words. Nonverbal communication is the subject that caught my interest the most however. There are "many different "channels" of nonverbal communication: facial expressions, the clues in our voices ("vocal paralanguage"), hand gestures, body movements ("kinesics"), touch ("haptics"), and personal space" (Archer 1). Chapter 14 states that in fact "65% of every conversation is partially interpreted through nonverbal communication" (Kreitner 410).
The chapter continues to outline a variety of different nonverbal signals, so one may become more aware of what they are and how to react to them.
The first is Body Movements and Gestures. This includes leaning forward into the conversation, or leaning back away from away. It is important to remember that body movements are on the of most misinterpreted signals of nonverbal communication.
The next is Touch. Touching as a form of communication is a powerful way to convey a message. For example, if someone were to have a conversation with you, and placed his/her hand your shoulder, there purpose is to grab your attention and have you understand the importance of what it is they're saying.
Facial Expressions, including smiling while listening to a speech can really give the speaker a positive attitude about he or she is saying.
Eye Contact is another form of nonverbal communication that can really let a speaker see inside the head of his listener. For example, if someone is giving a presentation or speaking one-on-one with another employee, and they are looking everywhere except into the eyes of the speaker, it should be as clear as day that the listener is not intrigued in what the speaker has to say.
Dan Archer, a communications professor from the University of Santa Cruz states that other key signals to notice are "personal space, the human voice, and cross-cultural differences" (Archer 3). This few tips can really help the communication process in the business atmosphere.

Archer, Dan. "Exploring Nonverbal Communication." University of Santa Cruz. 4/12/10.
Kreitner, Robert. Organizational Behavior. 9th ed. Vol. 1. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2010.

1 comment:

  1. This is so true. I mean, even when we are texting friends or e-mailing people, we often use different smiley faces to exspress the emotions we would normally gesture if we were face-to-face with that person. Gestures are often universily understood and can be used to communicate while traveling in a country where people do not understand English. Come to think of it, gestures are also often used without words, allowing people to communicate non-verbally their inner emotions (like shrugging one's shoulders, smiling, frowning, winking, and especially nodding yes or no).