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Demonstrative Communication

Essay by   •  October 1, 2013  •  Essay  •  727 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,441 Views

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Nonverbal communication can complement or contradict the words you say. Nonverbal communication involves sending and receiving messages without the direct use of words. The wide variety of nonverbal communication channels and the unwritten rules for each make up a complex aspect of interpersonal communication. Nonverbal communication may be conveyed through your general appearance and manner of dress, posture, facial expressions, body movements, eye contact, gestures and touch.

For example, when a speaker points to the west while giving a directive to walk two blocks west, her gesture conveys the same content as her words. A parent may use a negative tone in order to complement the words in his reprimand to a child. A nonverbal cue such as a wink may contradict the positive words of message. Nonverbal communication can also be a substitute for a verbal message. If a person puts her finger to her lips, she is indicating a need for quiet without using any words.

We all use some type of nonverbal communication each and every day. Sometimes, we don't even realize we are communicating without saying a word. Most of us are unaware how this mode of communication affects others as we most commonly mean no harm. However, when we are put on the receiving end of it becomes more complicated to listen and respond. In responding to nonverbal communication, we should always be willing to ask for clarification to what we don't understand. Repeating what you think someone is trying to communicate is a great way to let someone know how you have interpreted there gestures. It gives the sender an opportunity to either confirm or explain what was truly meant.

I remember a situation I was involved in about 5 years ago when working within a major healthcare organization where the nonverbal communication of someone's appearance was used and misinterpreted. A young woman who was on the committee we were all serving on came to a very important meeting dressed in a outfit that was misconstrued as her being disrespectful to the importance of the meeting we were having. She wasn't dressed in anything horrible but she wasn't as nicely dressed as people felt she should have been. What people failed to do in this situation was communicate on either end of the misunderstanding. Nobody said that there was a dress code for the meeting and nobody within the meeting communicated to the young woman what they were feeling about her choice of dress for the meeting. Instead, my colleagues gave this woman dirty looks and left her out of major conversations regarding the meeting. What I learned from this is that appearance is definitely a mode of nonverbal communication.

We also must be aware that nonverbal communication is extremely culture-bound, opening up many opportunities for misunderstandings when people from different cultures are involved in an exchange. A single unit of nonverbal communication could have several

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