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Non Verbal Communication
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Non Verbal Communication

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Non Verbal Communication Non Verbal Communication Presentation Transcript

  • Non-Verbal Communication A Presentation by Rajiv Bajaj
  • Nature of Non-Verbal Communication
  • Does Not Use Words
    • Non-verbal refers to any communication that does not use words.
    • Takes place extensively at every level – individual, family, social and organisational.
    • One of the oldest forms of communication - developed much before oral communication or languages came into being.
    • Constitutes gestures, postures, signals and facial expressions – anything but spoken words.
    • Accounts for more of a total message than words do - plays a reinforcing role.
    • It is a broad subject, and because it is so broad, it is quite vague & imprecise.
  • Universal in Appeal
    • Verbal communication has limitations in terms of reach.
    • Non-verbal communication has no such limitations.
    • Words have boundaries, but non-verbal communication rises above language & cultural boundaries – because it does not use words.
    • Best example - Silent movies of the olden times – they were understood by everyone.
    • However, the meanings we give to non-verbal communication will depend on how our culture has conditioned us.
  • Relies on Observation & Interpretation
    • It is closely associated with the power of observation.
    • The receiver should be in a position to see, hear, and even feel the communicator.
    • It may be both intended and unintended.
    • Intended
    • When the communicator tries to convey certain messages to the target audience through –
    • Conscious gestures,
    • Postures,
    • Attire;
    • And other forms of body language.
    • Unintended
    • When body language, posture or appearance of the communicator is interpreted by the receiver, even though not done consciously.
    • A sloppy posture or casual attire may be interpreted as lack of seriousness, although the speaker may be quite intent.
  • May Complement or Contradict
    • Although non-verbal communication can take place independent of other forms;
    • It often goes along with oral or verbal communication.
    • Body language & non-verbal messages can supplement and complement the verbal messages.
    • Together, they make the message loud, clear and forceful.
    • However, if they are not consistent, the resulting message would be ambiguous or garbled.
    • Interpreting each non-verbal message provides a useful clue.
    • However, listeners or observers should not jump to conclusions.
    • They should take note of the totality of the messages communicated.
    • It takes conscious effort on the part of the communicator to convey the message;
    • And keen attention on the part of the receiver to interpret the messages correctly.
    • One needs to make some allowance for errors in the meanings one receives from non-verbal messages.
    • As a listener one needs to go beyond the obvious to determine what non-verbal symbols mean.
    • Realise that nonverbal symbols can have many meanings.
    • They communicate feeling – the primary way of expressing our emotions or instinctive reactions.
    • They are more reliable – difficult to fake !
    • It means we can never Not Communicate.
  • Types of Non-Verbal Communication
    • There are many ways to classify non-verbal communication.
    • However, we will examine four of the more common types:
    • Body Language, Space, Time and Paralanguage.
  • Body Language
    • Much of what we send to others without using words is sent through physical movements of our bodies.
    • These are sent through our arms, fingers, expressions, postures and so on.
    • When we wave our arms and fingers, wrinkle our foreheads, stand erect, smile, gaze at another person, dress well etc;
    • We convey certain meanings; and others convey meanings to us in return.
    • The face and the eyes are by far the most important features of body language.
    • For example, fear, happiness, surprise, anger and sadness usually are accompanied by definite facial expressions and eye patterns.
    • One should be aware of these two aspects of body language as one speaks and listens to others.
    • Gestures are another way we send non-word messages through our body parts.
    • Gestures are physical movements of our arms, legs, hands, torso and heads.
    • Through the movement of each of these body parts, we can accent and reinforce our verbal messages.
    • And we can observe how others punctuate their verbal efforts with gestures.
    • By observing gestures, one can get a good picture of the internal emotional state of the person.
    • Moreover, speaking and gestures appear to be linked.
    • The louder someone speaks, the more emphatic are the gestures used. And vice versa.
    • Another aspect of body language is physical appearance.
    • Appearance of our body indicates how our body movements are seen.
    • For example …
    • How would you perceive a speaker at a formal function dressed in faded jeans?
    • No doubt, the speaker’s gestures, facial expressions, posture etc would be perceived in relation to his attire.
    • Ensure that your appearance fits the situation.
    • It is an important part of body messages that we send out and receive in oral communication.
  • Space
    • Each of us has a space language, just as we do a body language.
    • This space language is crafted by our culture.
    • We create 4 different types of space:
    • 1. Intimate – Physical contact to 18 inches.
    • 2. Personal – 18 inches to 4 feet.
    • 3. Social – 4 to 12 feet.
    • 4. Public – 12 feet to the range of seeing and hearing.
    • In each, our communication behaviours differ and convey different meanings.
    • For example, consider the volume of your voice when someone is 18 inches from you.
    • Do you shout ? Whisper ?
    • Now contrast the tone of your voice when someone is 12 feet away.
    • Unquestionably there is a difference, just because of the distance involved.
    • Our behaviours in each type of space are learned from our cultures.
    • One needs to be sensitive to the spaces of others – especially those from other cultures.
    • When people’s attitudes towards space are different, their actions are likely to be misinterpreted.
  • Time
    • There is also a time language – how we give meaning to time communicates with others.
    • How do you manage your time ?
    • Do you arrive early for appointments ?
    • Do you prioritise telephone calls ?
    • Do you prepare an agenda for meetings ?
    • Your response to time in these ways communicates to others;
    • And, of course, others’ use of time communicates to you.
    • Recognise that time orientations are not always the same – especially in the cross-cultural arena – but they do communicate.
    • Monochronic people tend to view time as linear and always moving ahead.
    • They expect events to happen as scheduled.
    • Polychronic people have a more indefinite view of time.
    • Time orientations become parts of the messages that we send to and receive from one another.
  • Paralanguage
    • Paralanguage means “like language”.
    • It is the closest to communication with word symbols.
    • It is associated with the speaker’s voice, the “how” of it – those hints and signals in the way words are delivered.
    • For example –
    • Same words, but the emphasis differs !
    • Emphasis or stress on highlighted words in each statement can change the meaning of the statement from the others…
    • … even though you used the same words.
    • You do so by the way in which the word sequence sounds.
    • Paralanguage is the communication effect of the speed, pitch, volume, and connectivity of the spoken words.
    • Are they fast or slow ?
    • High pitched or deep ?
    • Loud and forceful or barely audible ?
    • Smooth or disjointed ?
    • The symbols become a part of the meaning that is filtered from a spoken message.
    • Depending on circumstances, a person’s voice may or may not be consistent with intended word meanings.
    • Make every effort to avoid inconsistencies that will send a confusing message.
    • Consistency among words you choose, and how you deliver them to create clear meaning should be your goal.
    • Whether real or imagined, people infer –
    • 1. Background factors (race, occupation etc);
    • 2. Physical appearance (age, height, gender etc); and
    • 3. Personality (introversion, social orientation),
    • when they receive and filter voice patterns.
    • Do whatever you can to influence these expectancies positively.
    • Active listeners will also want to listen between the lines of a spoken message to determine the true meaning a speaker is sending.
  • Questions ?