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Friday, 23 January 2015

Importance of facial expressions and body movements in communication


NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION

It involves those non-verbal stimuli in a communication setting that are generated by both the source
(speaker) and his or her use of the environment and that have potential message value for the source or receiver (listener). Basically it is sending and receiving message in a variety of ways without the use of verbal codes (words). It is both intentional and unintentional. Most speakers/listeners are not conscious of this. It
includes but is not limited to :
l. Facial expression
2. Gestures
3. Eye contact and gaze
4. Body movement
5. Posture
6. General appearance and dress
7. Touch and smell
8. Para language

1. Facial Expression :
A facial expression results from one or more motions or positions of the muscles of the face.
Meaning attached to facial expressions are identical but differs from culture to culture. Majority opinion is that these do have similar meaning worldwide with respect to smiling, crying, showing anger, sorrow or disgust. However, it differs in many parts of the world.
For example,
1. Women smile more than men.
2. Too much smiling viewed in as a sign of silliness

2. Gestures :
Gestures are made with hands and arms. Some of these are culture specific, others are universal. Think of the gesture that is used to indicate that somebody may be crazy you do so by pointing the finger at the head or by tapping the head with it.
For example,
In US, index finger is used for pointing.
In Germany, little finger is used for pointing.
In Japan, entire hand is used for pointing.
Similarly another example of gesture is counting.
In Germany, thumb is used to count 1, while in Japan thumb is used to count 5.

3. Eye-Contact and Gaze :
Eye-contact and gaze indicates degree of attention or interest, influences attitude change or persuasion, regulates interacting, communication emotion, defines power and status and has a central role in meaning impressions of others.
For example,
In western culture, direct eye to eye contact is seen as positive sign while in Arabia it shows interest and helps.them understand truthfulness of the other person.
In Asia, direct eye to eye contact is avoided to show respect of elders.

4. Body Movement :
We send information on attitude towards person (facing or learning towards another) emotional status (tapping fingers, jiggling coins) and desire to control the environment (movement towards or away from a person).
We cannot categorize the body movement, it is more than 700,000 possible motions. To be aware of the body movement and position is a key ingredient in sending message.

5. Posture :
Posture involves the whole orientation of the body one can immediately recognize a casual posture. Relaxed, learning back with hands clasped behind the head indicates a very casual mood. If the body is rigid, erect with hands folds across the chest, it suggested aggression. We are also familiar with body posture with suggest dejection. Bowed down body as if something is weighing one down with head in hands shows dejection learning forward can suggest interest.

6. General Appearance and Dress :
All cultures are concerned for how they look and make judgments based on looks and dress. Appearance almost obsessed with dress and personal attractiveness consider differing cultural standards on what is attractive in dress and on what constitutes modesty. It is also used for the sign of status.

7. Touch and Smell :
Touch is basically concept of part of the body one may touch, what may not touch. Basic message of touch is to affect or control-protect, support, disapprove. It varies from place to place.
Smell is concept the body react with the environment to smell something.
For example,
If a person smell the smoke he immediately moves from that place to safe area.

8. Para Language :
The feature of emotion, voice quality and speaking style send different message to different tone.
For example,
In Arabian culture, the loudness indicates strength while softness indicates to weakness. Besides this, in Germany, softness indicates confidence and authority.

Importance of Non-Verbal Communication

Basically, it is one of the key aspects of communication (and especially important in a high-context culture).
It has multiple functions :
1. Use to repeat the verbal message, e.g.. point in a direction while stating direction.
2. Often used to accent a verbal message, e.g., verbal tone indicates the actual meaning of a specific word.
3. Often complement the verbal message but also may contradict a started positive message.
4. Regulate interaction it conveys when the other person should speak or not to speak.
5. May substitute for the verbal message, especially if it is blocked by noise interruption. For example, finger to lips indicates need for silence.

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