Non-verbal Communication (“Sound Pedagogical Judgment”)
Main Take Away Lessons
- Adler, Rodman and du Pre (2017, p. 153) state that there is usually a gap between what individuals say or utter and how they actually For instance, a person may say that he or she is okay, but acts in a way that depicts anxiety and nervousness. Based on this understanding, non-verbal communication refers to vocal and non-vocal messages expressed in other ways other than linguistic means (Adler, Rodman and du Pre, 2016, p. 153).
- Nonverbal communication is not only principally relational, but nonverbal cues also perform various functions such as helping people manage their identities, helping individuals define their relationships and aiding people convey or display emotion.
- When it comes to emotions, affect displays are body movements, facial expressions, and vocal traits that project emotional states (Adler, Rodman and du Pre, 2016, p. 157).
- Adler, Rodman and du Pre (2017, p. 158) identify specific discordances between verbal and nonverbal communication. For instance, verbal communication entails one dimension, that is, words only, intermittent flow whereby silence and speaking alternate, less impact when verbal and nonverbal cues are contradictory and is also ordinarily deliberate and less prone to misinterpretation.
- On the other hand, nonverbal communication entails multiple dimensions, that is, posture, distance and gestures, continuous flow whereby it is impossible to communicate nonverbally, more impact when verbal and nonverbal cues are contradictory, and is also usually unintentional and more ambiguous (Adler, Rodman and du Pre, 2016, p. 158).
- Communication among people becomes more tolerant when the parties discern that many nonverbal demeanors that appear unusual are the outcome of cultural differences. As such, people should not judge others harshly due to the influence of their cultures on their communication because, despite the discordances, nonverbal demeanors tend to have the same meaning across cultures (Adler, Rodman and du Pre, 2016, p. 160).
- When it comes to gender influences on nonverbal communication, Adler, Rodman and du Pre (2017, p. 161) assert that social factors have more influence in impacting how women and men behave than their biological attributes. Nonetheless, gender still has a significant effect on nonverbal communication, with the difference being in the form of degree or level of nonverbal cues rather than the kind of nonverbal style.
- Nonverbal messages are related to verbal messages in that nonverbal communication repeat, substitute, complement, accent, regulate, contradict and sometimes deceive verbal communication (Adler, Rodman and du Pre, 2016, p. 162-164). This means that a person may communicate one thing verbally, but his or her facial expressions and body movement convey a discordant message.
- Deceptive nonverbal clues are more likely to appear when the speaker feels strongly regarding information being hidden, feels guilty about his or her deception, needs to package the message carefully when conveying it, seeks to hide emotions experienced at the moment, and feels apprehensive regarding the deception (Adler, Rodman and du Pre, 2016, p. 165).
- Adler, Rodman and du Pre (2017, p. 166) categorize the types of nonverbal communication into body movements, voice, appearance, touch, space, environment and time. For instance, body movements involve the posture that a speaker takes while communicating and gestures such as hand, eyes and face movements that the speaker may use to manipulate the listener.
- When it comes to a person’s voice in nonverbal communication, he or she may employ paralanguage, that is, non-linguistic means of vocal expressions such as pitch, the rate of speaking and tonal variation. For example, emphasizing the words “this” and “fantastic” separately in the sentence This is a fantastic communication book portrays different meanings, that is, not just any book but this one in particular and this book is exciting or superior (Adler, Rodman and du Pre, 2016, p. 169).
- Appearance as a form of nonverbal communication occurs in a person’s physical attractiveness and clothing that send a particular message about that individual. Space also projects nonverbal communication especially when the rules of personal space are broken. Finally, the kind of environment that an individual lives in says a lot about the type of person he or she is or her demeanor (Adler, Rodman and du Pre, 2016, p. 169-175).Non-verbal Communication
- Given the different prerequisites, expressions and meanings of nonverbal communication and messages, Adler, Rodman and du Pre (2017, p. 176-177) denote that an individual can build competence in nonverbal communication by utilizing perception checking, tuning out words, and paying attention to his or her own nonverbal demeanor so as to better discern nonverbal cues from other people.
How they affect my communication
Initially, I relied on the portrayal of nonverbal communication in the media whereby people from different cultures and genders were displayed as having specific nonverbal communication styles. However, after numerous interactions with people from discordant cultures and those of the opposite gender, I came to realize that nonverbal communication only varies in terms of the level of use and not in the kinds used by people. In other words, nonverbal cues had relatively the same meaning when used by males and females, as well as, people from distinct cultures. Based on this understanding, I stopped perpetuating negative stereotypes of nonverbal communication used by people from different cultures.
I have also learned that nonverbal communication can be used to emphasize a point or persuade other people, as well as, detect any from deception from other speakers. For instance, assuming an upright posture while speaking and using hand gestures and facial expressions that show approval are types of nonverbal communication that are crucial to convincing others to see things from my point of view. Moreover, looking at whether a person is avoiding eye contact, fidgeting, fumbling with words and insisting on the integrity of a deal have enabled me to ascertain whether a person is trying to deceive me or not. Overall, I ensure that I employ a good balance of verbal and nonverbal communication to be effective in my communication with other people.Non-verbal Communication
Relation of videos and readings to my professional life in education
The part of this week’s readings that resonates most with my professional life are the functions of nonverbal communication, and culture and gender influences on nonverbal communication. The majority of communication at the workplace is verbal. Nonetheless, this is not sufficient to drive a point home in convocations and influencing the opinions of others. In this regard, using nonverbal communication helps in repeating points such as pointing at the chart or graph after referring to it verbally. I can also complement my verbal presentations with nonverbal styles such as posture and gestures that project approval and emphasis of the points I am communicating to my colleagues. Just like in the video “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” I have learned to use appropriate body movements and display an appearance that is commensurate of the reverence I get from my co-workers.
The videos “Focus on Nonverbal Cues” and “Scene from Crazy, Stupid Love” emphasize the need for people to focus on nonverbal cues, especially when interacting with the opposite gender or people from other cultures. I no longer judge the nonverbal cues portrayed by people at the workplace based on stereotypes perpetuated by the media. Instead, I treat every person with respect and interpret their nonverbal cues equally without reckoning that their cues portray a discordant meaning just because they have a different culture or are of the opposite gender.Non-verbal Communication
Adler, R., Rodman, G., & du Pre, A. (2016). Understanding Human Communication (13th ed.).
Oxford University Press.