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Non Verbal Communication

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Non Verbal Communication

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