Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nonverbal Messages

Nonverbal Messages - Messages expressed without using words

There are 7 types of these:
1. Apperance
2. Facial Expressions
3. Eye Contact
4. Voice
5. Gestures
6. Posture and Walk
7. Space, Time, and Place

Suppose you are in a city you are not familiar with.  Who would you ask for directions to a store: a old women with dirty, torn up clothes, who looks like she hasn't showered in a while, or a cute elderly couple walking in the nearest park next you? You would probably choose the elderly couple, right?  This is because clothes, body size, hairstyle, makeup, and other items, all show how one sees themselves.  Usually, due to apperance, you would choose the cute elderly couple walking in the park.

Facial Expressions
A man smiling, meaning he's happy.
Facial expressions usually describe the way one is feeling.  Although one can try to hide their emotions, you can usually see the way they are feeling through their facial expressions.  For example, you may be sitting in one of your hard classes and not understand a thing the teacher is trying to teach.  However, the teacher will notice your factial expression and assume you are completely lost.  They will usually then react to this expression and begin to explain, in a different way, the material again.

Eye Contact
While listening to a lecture or assembly at school, do you usually pay attention when someone is reading word for word off a notecard or paper and without even acknoweleging the audience?  Or do you pay more attention to the speaker who has eye contact?  This is an example of eye contact and the effects eye contact can have on the listener, or even the speaker.

Voice includes the pitch of one's voice, their volume, the vocal quality (tone or sound), and the rate of one's voice.  Through these, important nonverbal messages are delievered to the listener.  Suppose you may have to give a speech at school for a class.  You start to stumble over your words and your voice becomes shaky.  The audience will then interpert the nonverbal message of your nerves.

Whenever your talking to someone, have you ever noticed using hand gestures describing the size or placement of what your talking about? The way people move their arms, hands, and fingers plays a part in nonverbal messages.  When using gestures, many speakers get the point acrossed more effectively.  It's proven that gestures relate the listener to their memories.

Different Posture Positions
When one uses good posture, such as sitting in a chair or simply walking, they send nonverbal messages to others as how they perceive themsevles, or how focused they actually are to the listener.  If you were sitting in class with your back slouched against the back of the chair, the teacher may think you aren't interested in learning or the topic, or they may suspect you are day dreaming.  Also the way your stand or sit creats a great view of your mood or feelings.

Space, Time, and Place
Space, time, and place are also known as your context.  Depending on how close you sit or stand next to someone explains a lot about the relationship between you two.  However, different settings an also shape the way you communicate with someone.  Such as, you may not talk to a friend in a public place about personal things, but you may talk about things in a more conservitive enviroment.  Along with the place and the space between you and your communicator, is also time.  The less time you have, the more rapid you speak.  This may show the peson your communicating with how much you are actually care abou the conversation between you two.

The setting and the people that surround a message is known as context.  Context, a lot like space, time, and place, provides the background that helps reveal the message's real meaning.  The context is an essential element of communication that touches all the other elements, influencing the messages, people, feedback, and channels people use to communicate.

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