Introduction The first thing is to understand what the communication is. The basis of communication is the interaction between people. Communicate, it means to speak for and to listen. To speak for it’s: to formulate affirmatives sentences in the purpose to give information and to ask questions to obtain information or to check the information. To listen it’s: to be quiet when the interlocutor speaks, to try to understand what the interlocutor says, to observe the body language. There are two types of communication: the verbal and the nonverbal ones. Verbal communication is one way for people to communicate face-to-face.
It is sounds, words, speaking, and language. Some words may be imitative of natural sounds, but others may come from expressions of emotion, such as laughting or crying. Words alone have no meaning. Only people can put meaning into words. Over 3,000 languages and major dialects are spoken in the world today. The huge variety of languages usually creates difficulties between different languages, but even within a single language there can be many problems in understanding. These misunderstanding are emphasised because people uses the nonverbal communication too.
In a first part, we will speak about this type of communication and especially about the
II The real power of the nonverbal communication Useful in relationships Albert Mehrabian When our body language betray us? How read the body language? III To communicate efficiently: to know how to deal between words and the body language How manage to control our body language? What is the good behaviour at work? How to speak well? IV The nonverbal communication is different according the countries To avoid the misunderstanding Different meanings according to the country I The nonverbal communication What is exactly the meaning of the nonverbal communication?
It is facial expressions, eye contact, tone of voice, body posture and motions, positioning within groups. It may also include the way we wear our clothes or the silence we keep. There are many different types of nonverbal communication. Together, the following nonverbal signals communicate our interest and investment in others. – Facial expressions The human face is extremely expressive, able to express countless emotions without saying a word. And unlike some forms of nonverbal communication, facial expressions are universal. The facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust are the same across cultures.
When I am in a team, I haven’t difficulties to know what someone is thinking. I can see only by his facial expressions. For example, we can guess easily when someone isn’t motivated. He doesn’t smile, he doesn’t look in the eyes and utters sigh. [pic] – Body movements and posture We perceive people differently according to the way they sit, walk, stand up, or hold their head. The way we move and carry ourself communicates a wealth of information to the world. This type of nonverbal communication includes our posture, bearing, stance, and subtle movements.
When I meet someone, I can know what type of person he is. Generally, according to the way he stands, he moves, I can know if he is shy or self-confident. – Gestures Gestures are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. We wave, point and use our hands when we’re arguing or speaking animatedly. I found french and italian people speak a lots with gestures. By contrast, Lithuanian people are more stoic when they are arguing. – Eye contact The way we look at someone can communicate many things, including interest, affection, hostility, or attraction.
Eye contact is also important in maintaining the flow of conversation and for gauging the other person’s response. For me, it’s very important, I don’t like when I speak with someone who don’t look at my eyes. If someone don’t look at my eyes, I feel he doesn’t listen me. – Touch We communicate a great deal through touch. There are messages given by a firm handshake, a timid tap on the shoulder, a warm bear hug, a reassuring pat on the back, a patronizing pat on the head, or a controlling grip on our arm. In France, we said we can judge a person only by his handshake. It’s very important to do it well. Space We all have a need for physical space, although that need differs depending on the culture, the situation, and the closeness of the relationship. We can use physical space to communicate many different nonverbal messages, including signals of intimacy, aggression, dominance, or affection. Sometimes, some people speak very close, I think particularly Italian people. I don’t like this feeling to be surrounded. – Voice We communicate with our voices, even when we are not using words. Nonverbal speech sounds such as tone, pitch, volume, inflection, rhythm, and rate are important communication elements.
When we speak, other people “read” our voices in addition to listening to our words. These nonverbal speech sounds provide subtle but powerful clues into our true feelings and what we really mean. Think about how tone of voice, for example, can indicate sarcasm, anger, affection, or confidence. I don’t like the idea the voice translated your emotions but it’s true. When I speak in front of the class, sometimes my voice tremble. Thus, everybody know I’m not at ease even if I try to not show that. Why we need to know about that? [pic] In face-to-face communication, our messages are sent on two levels simultaneously.
If the nonverbal cues and the spoken message are incongruous, the flow of communication is wrong. The receiver of the communication tends to base the intentions of the sender on the non- verbal cues he receives. It’s for that the nonverbal communication is very important. The nonverbal communication pass our feelings – Through the touch Research has found that touching can create both positive and negative feelings. Our feelings are positive when the touch is perceived to be natural. A person gets the opposite feeling when the touch is perceived to be manipulative or insincere.
Touch is experienced in many ways. Handshakes, pats, and kisses are just a few of the ways one can communicate by touching. I noticed in Lithuania, people don’t like so much the touch. To speak with a lithuanian, we have to stand not to close because he will think we are intrusive. I used to touch the arm of the other when I speak but there, I don’t do that, I don’t want to be improper. – Through the time Time can be used very differently with respect to individuals and even cultures. Time perceptions include punctuality, willingness to wait, and interactions.
Time use affects lifestyles, daily agendas, speed of speech and movements, how long people are willing to listen, etc. The way time is used can provide information about people as individuals. There are different perceptions about time usage and its value. Also, cultures differ in their usage of time. For example, in European and American societies, when men are interacting with women, they generally control the time use, talk more than women, and interrupt more than women. In the business world, Americans are expected to arrive to meetings on time and, usually, even early. On the other hand, they arrive late to parties and dances.
We have seen that during the lectures. When we are a cross cultural team, we have to take care of the time. The perception is different according the culture. For example in a team with spanish, chinese and german people, if they want to meet them, they have to say different hours. If the meeting is at 12, they have to say to the spanish to come at 11. 45, to the chinese at 12. 15 and to the german at 12. Indeed, the spanish people are almost always late, the chinese people in advance and the german at time. – Through the artifacts Artifacts are often used to communicate information about oneself.
Artifacts are objects, often clothes, jewelry, pictures, trinkets, which express one’s interests, hobbies, status, or lifestyle. Often noted in democratic societies, where all are thought to be equal, artifacts are used to announce inequalities that for reasons of taste and conformity, cannot be expressed in words. One of the most influential artifacts a person possesses is one’s wardrobe. Much psychology and communication research supports that ,at least in the observer’s eyes, that clothes do make the man. Lefkowitz, Blake, and Mouton found in their own study that dress can even affect how willing others will be to follow you.
This study found that significantly more individuals would follow a model’s example in crossing against the « wait » signal when dressed in a business suit than when the same model crossed the street dressed in poor work clothes. Artifacts are key in establishing first impressions. We need nonverbal communication when we don’t have the verbal communication [pic] When we travel, when we are abroad in a country we don’t know the language,nevertheless we need to communicate. If we can’t use the verbal communication, we can use the nonverbal ones. I have my own experiences of that in Lithuania. I don’t speak lithuanian so I have to cope.
All the time, I use gestures to try to explain what I ask for example in a kiosk to pay my bus tickets. We don’t have to be embarrassed to use sign language. It works great, gets better with practice, and is an age-old and completely normal method of communication. There are some examples of sign language we can use to communicate: Eat, hungry, food, restaurant–Motion to open mouth, pat stomach. Don’t know–Shoulders shrugged, hands and eyebrows raised. Money, expensive, how much? –Thumb and fingers rubbed together. A little–Thumb and forefinger held close together. Time–Tap of wrist. Oops! -Fingers to mouth, eyes open wide. Which way, where? –Fingers pointed in opposite directions with quizzical look. Nice to see you–Smile. This isn’t what I ordered! –Face contorted to Munch’s The Scream. It is very useful for me to use these sign language in Lithuania. When I buy something or I want to ask something to Lithuanian people, it’s the only way to be understood. c) How the nonverbal communication intervene at work? During an interview An experiment by Forbes and Jackson (1980) observed behaviours of accepted candidates and compared them to applicants who were deemed unsuccessful for the roles on offer.
Consequently they discovered that the accepted candidates engaged more in direct eye contact, had more head movements and smiled more than who were unsuccessful. Non-verbal communication takes place every time one person interacts with another individual, and it can be intentional or unintentional Consider a candidate who is nervous for an interview. Unintentionally he may communicate this non-verbally through their body language such as fidgety hands, playing with jewellery or tapping their fingers on the table. The way he sit in the chair throughout the interview may also indicate how comfortable he is.
Some non-verbal behaviour may even suggest whether he is lying or telling the truth. However, the candidate may not even realise or be conscious of the non-verbal communicative signs he is emitting. – During a negotiation Another scenario is the negotiator in an Industrial Relations environment. In order to be successful during a negotiation it’s crucial that the individual is aware of what they are communicating verbally and that it additionally matches their non-verbal cues. Most notably cues are concerned with the hands and face, and they must be careful not to illustrate their true emotions or intentions in the heat of the moment.
Negotiations may be likened to poker, where players intend not to communicate to the others players the cards that they have been dealt, or where they intentionally express a particular emotion in an attempt to fool the other players. Through these examples, we can see the nonverbal communication is very present at work. II The real power of the non-verbal communication According to Fletcher (2000), facial expressions are almost eight times as powerful as the words we use. In this part, we are going to see how much the non-verbal communication is important. Useful in relationships [pic]
It takes more than words to create fulfilling, strong relationships. Nonverbal communication has a huge impact on the quality of our relationships. Indeed, nonverbal communication skills improve relationships by helping us: – Accurately read other people, including the emotions they’re feeling and the unspoken messages they’re sending. – Create trust and transparency in relationships by sending nonverbal signals that match up with our words. – Respond with nonverbal cues that show others that we understand, notice, and care. Unfortunately, many people send confusing or negative nonverbal signals without even knowing it.
When this happens, both connection and trust are lost in our relationships. The ability to understand and use nonverbal communication is a powerful tool that will help us connect with others, express what we really mean, navigate challenging situations, and build better relationships at home and work. I really see this importance during the cross cultural lectures. When we use nonverbal communication, first it’s more easier to be understood, then it gives more interest in our speech and at least it helps us to be more self-confident. When I can touch the desk or the blackboard, it’s maybe weird but it’s reasurring me.
Nonverbal communication, or body language, is a vital form of communication. When we interact with others, we continuously give and receive countless wordless signals. All of our nonverbal behaviors—the gestures we make, the way we sit, how fast or how loud we talk, how close we stand, how much eye contact we make—send strong messages. The way we listen, look, move, and react tell the other person whether or not we care and how well we’re listening. The nonverbal signals we send either produce a sense of interest, trust, and desire for connection—or they generate disinterest, distrust, and confusion.
Albert Mehrabian Mehrabian has created the «7% – 38% – 55% rule». His research (1981) indicated that when people are communicating feelings and attitudes only 7% of the message is conveyed by the words they use, 38% is conveyed by tone of voice and 55% by body language. [pic] This work shows us the non-verbal elements are particularly important for communicating feelings and attitude, especially when they are incongruent: If words disagree with the tone of voice and nonverbal behaviour, people tend to believe the tonality and nonverbal behaviour.
So, if you are trying to persuade someone, the fact that your tone and body language match your message is very important. For effective and meaningful communication about emotions, these three parts of the message need to support each other – they have to be « congruent ». In case of any incongruence, the receiver of the message might be irritated by two messages coming from two different channels, giving cues in two different directions. We can take a simple example. Someone said « I do not have a problem with you! » (verbal) but in the same time, he avoids eye-contact, looks anxious and has a closed body language.
The receiver will certainly trust the predominant form of communication, which to Mehrabian’s findings is non-verbal (38% + 55%), rather than the literal meaning of the words (7%). When our body language betray us? Studies indicate we have realistically closer to 4 seconds to make a good first impression on those we come in contact with. And this is used as a yardstick for all future communication by those whom we meet. In the first four seconds, people will make judgments about us and tell themselves: I will (or will not) buy from this person. I will (or will not) like this person.
I find this person kind (or not). I find this person intelligent (or not). We can’t make a good first impression through our words alone. In fact, nonverbal communication is between 60 to 75% of the impact of a communication. But despite being the most important aspect, body language is also the most misunderstood and misinterpreted. When I meet someone, I had prejudices only on his body language. Very often, it is not the thruth, I realize later in speaking, in learning to know them. I have some friends at the beginning I thought they were not interesting. I misinterpreted their body language.
Every action – or even the smallest micro-action – communicates subconsciously to others, so people could like (or not like) you through your gestures… without even knowing exactly why. You could be making the most wonderful compliments or praise to people, but it’s difficult to gain their trust or approval if your words contradict with your body language. d) How read the body language? To know read the body language of the other people is a real advantage. Thus, we would be able to know when people are lying, to understand people’s intentions. It is one of the most important language we can learn.
Indeed, it bypasses the verbal communication barriers and gives us an insight into what others might be thinking, or what actions they are likely to take. Here are some tips about how learn the body language: – The eyes give a lots of information If someone has dilated pupils, it means he is interested in the topic. People say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. They can tell so much information about the person if you know what you are looking for. As in most situations, the same signal can be interpreted in a different way. It depends entirely on the circumstances at hand.
The example above could also mean that the person is on drugs, or it could mean that they are focused. [pic] – The hands have many expressions If the person have open palm, it means she is relaxed and comfortable. Generally when someone’s hands are open it means that their defenses are relaxed. – The mimicking When you are talking to someone, if he is mimicking your body position and action it means that the is comfortable in the situation and most likely interested by you and what you are saying. – The arms can give information too The main two expressions with arms is that they are either closed (folded) or open.
When folded the person is possibly angry or disapproving. When their arms are open the person is in an honest position and is accepting of the situation. – The legs When stood up, legs are a good indicator of how confident someone is. If someone is standing with their legs shoulder width apart he is relaxed. If he is standing with a stance wider than that he is a confident and is in a grounded position to show he is in control. When stood up with legs crossed the person is probably shy. When sitting down if the legs are crossed it shows the person is in protective mode.
This is very much used alongside crossed arm action. If the legs are open when the person is seated then he is in a relaxed position. The same as when standing. – The fingers are very interesting for reading body language Indeed, they can create many gestures. A pointing finger can either be someone pointing to a item or place, it can also indicate anger. If someone is curling their fingers tightly they are usually pleading for something. Drumming or tapping with the fingers indicates frustration. The faster the beating, the greater the frustration and tension inside the person. – The eyebrows
The eyebrows have many uses. When the eye brows are raised, normally the person is shocked or surprised. The greater the surprise the more raised they will be. When someone flicks their eye brow up and down quickly they are greeting someone else or are showing they have acknowledged them. III To communicate efficiently: to know how to deal between words and the body language To communicate as well as possible, we have to control our nonverbal communication. It must match with what we are saying. «To effectively communicate it’s not always what you say, but what your body says, that akes the difference». Patricia Ball How manage to control our body language? The voice The voice plays has a very important function in the communication. According to the intonation, the sentence will be affirmative, interrogative, advice or reprimand. According to the sound level, the interlocutor can, or not, hear without effort, and measure the self confidence of his interlocutor. According to the rythm, he cans, or not, understand and know the interest the emitting has for him thus his self confidence. The voice uses to catch the attention and to be understand.
For that, it is important to vary: the intonation, the sound level and the rythm. To emphasize words/ideas, we have to slow, to leave silences, articulate and to strenghen the sound level. A slow or monotonous voice sends the listener to sleep. The voice informs about the emotional state of the emitting. A quiet voice and which has a good sound level informs the person is self confident. A high-pitched voice, with a strong sound level and a quick delivery informs the person is fretful. A quick voice, which tremble and have a weak sound level informs the person is ill-at-ease, or even is afraid.
This is the breathing which has an effect on the voice. More the breathing is deeper, more you can deal with your voice (intonation, sound level, rythm). When I’m speaking in front of the others, I’m not always at-ease, I think it’s difficult to control his voice. My voice is often rather weak, I don’t like that because I can see everybody is thinking I’m not self-confident. before to speak, I breathe deeply and generally it’s better. The breath is very important. – The look The look captures the attention of the interlocutor. We have to look at the interlocutor in the eyes, without staring at him nor to look him up and down.
To look at someone, it’s a way to accept his presence and to show our interest. The look supplies informations. To look at someone allows to observe the face’s expressions and thus to know his reactions with what you’re talking about. By example, if the person is looking away from your look, it means she doesn’t say what she is thinking. A look can stress the sentences (winks, wide-eyed… ). It is important to smile with the eyes, thus the face is welcoming. I have ever had this situation, someone smiled at me but not with his eyes, it was very strange. I wasn’t at ease, I could see he wasn’t sincere. – The gestures
The witting body language emphasizes the speech. We can: show a way with our finger, state the different points of our speech in counting on our fingers. The spontaneous or involuntary body language means an emotional state. For example, to have one’s fingers crossed means something. The smile The ways our face expresses emotion are varied, but the interpretations are pretty much universal. The first, and most important facial expression is a Smile. A Smile definitely is universal. It makes people feel liked and gives the impression you care about them. A Smile can instantly put people, including your audience, at ease.
It conveys warmth. It’s a powerful expression that communicates friendliness no matter what language people speak or where they come from. I’m totally agree with that. I’m always smiling, I think it’s very important and so nice, who don’t like to receive a smile? It make me feel better and ease any tension I might have. It translates happiness and it’s contagious. When I smile to someone, generally he answers by a smile. What is the good behaviour at work? The good way to communicate at work is named the Etiquette. The key to proper business etiquette is: « Do unto others as they would want you to do unto them. To be successful in the business world, a person must use proper verbal etiquette. One important aspect of verbal etiquette is a proper introduction. Every day we encounter people in a variety of business and social situations. The way we meet and greet them creates lasting impressions and paves the way for a productive encounter. Introductions project information. Besides the obvious elements of name, title, and affiliation, an introduction conveys a level of respect and reflects how the person making the introduction views the other person’s status.
Mastering the art of the introduction will help put you and the people you are introducing at ease. Another important aspect of verbal etiquette is the way in which people address others in a business setting. Once introduced, improperly addressing superiors, colleagues, customers and clients, or subordinates at future meetings may create tension and will create a negative impression. Generally, it is appropriate to address subordinates and others with whom an informal relationship has been established by their first name.
In formal relationships, or when the relationship status is unknown, it is necessary to refer to the individual using the appropriate gender-specific title. A third aspect of business etiquette is proper telephone procedure. Since much of today’s business is done over the phone, using correct telephone etiquette is more important than ever. Examples are: – We have to identify ourself, with our first and last name, when answering the phone. – We must never keep a caller on hold for more than a minute. If we have to take longer than that, we have to tell them and ask if they wouldn’t prefer that we call them back. «
How to speak well? To speak well, we need to pass a good nonverbal communication. Otherwise, successful nonverbal communication depends on emotional self-awareness and an understanding of the cues we are sending, along with the ability to accurately pick up on the cues others are sending us. This requires our full concentration and attention. If we are planning what we’re going to say next, daydreaming, or thinking about something else, we are almost certain to miss nonverbal cues and other subtleties in the conversation. We need to stay focused on the moment-to-moment experience in order to fully understand what’s going on.
For successful nonverbal communication, people must: – Take a time out if they’re feeling overwhelmed by stress. Stress compromises the ability to communicate. When they are stressed out, people are more likely to misread other people, send off confusing or off-putting nonverbal signals, and lapse into unhealthy knee-jerk patterns of behavior. Take a moment to calm down before jump back into the conversation is necessary. Once they’ve regained their emotional equilibrium, they’ll be better equipped to deal with the situation in a positive way. – Pay attention to inconsistencies.
Nonverbal communication should reinforce what is being said. If someone get the feeling that the interlocutor isn’t being honest or that something is “off,” he may be picking up on a mismatch between verbal and nonverbal cues. Is the person is saying one thing, and their body language something else? For example, are they telling “yes” while shaking their head no? – Look at nonverbal communication signals as a group. We have to don’t read too much into a single gesture or nonverbal cue. We must consider all of the nonverbal signals we are sending and receiving, from eye contact to tone of voice and body language.
Are our nonverbal cues consistent or inconsistent with what we are trying to communicate? III The nonverbal communication is different according to the countries a) To avoid the misunderstanding The way to communicate differs according to the countries. We use often gestures without thinking. However, the meaning of gestures can be very different across cultures and regions, so it’s important to be careful to avoid misinterpretation. From a country to an other, a misunderstanding is possible and sometimes, a simple gesture can be feel as very impolite. As example, we can take this sign:
Commonly, it means «everything is all right or perfect». However, in France the meaning is «worthless», in Japan, it means «money» and in Germany, it means «rude». This example shows us the importance to know these details before to use them in another country. It never happens to me and I hope it will never happen because it’s quite embarassing. It’s very useful to know all these meanings and to be careful. b) Different meanings according to the country We will present varying meanings from country to country. Thus, it is easy to see how misunderstanding may occur.
Culture gives meaning to manners, different hand gestures, how close we may stand when conversing, our patience, and even handshakes and greetings. Basic Courtesies and dining etiquette In Saudi Arabia; women are not allowed to drive. We have to avoid showing the sole of the shoe; it is considered the lowest and dirtiest part of the body. It is not proper to expose bare shoulders, stomach, or legs. In Brazil; we have to use good eye contact when conversing. Business cards are often exchanged, and business meetings usually serve strong black coffee. In Canada; it is polite to maintain good eye contact.
Men rise when women enter the room. It is considered bad manners to eat while on the street. – Simple hand gestures In Chile; holding the palm upward and then spreading the fingers signals that someone is stupid. In United States; by either raising the index finger or the hand (facing palm up) and waggling the finger(s) back toward the body means to beckon for someone. In Philippines; people have to not finish the food on their plate. – Spacing In China; people stand extremely close when conversing. Surprise is expressed with a quick and loud inhalation of air. Silence is respected.
Hosts will often refuse a gift many times before acceptance; this is proper. The main guest always sits at the head of a table, with their back to the door, and the special guest always sits to the left of the host. In Egypt; men and women stand relatively further apart, but men will stand closer together. In Israel, people stand close, and friends will touch while conversing. – Waiting in line In Ireland; people don’t shove in line. In Greece; there is often pushing and shoving in lines. In England, we have to never cut in line. – Shaking Head In Iran; to signal yes, dip the head down with a slight turn.
In Saudi Arabia; shaking the head from side to side means yes. In Greece; we have to tilt the head to the left and right sides to say yes. – Nodding Head In Saudi Arabia; by tipping the head backward and clicking the tongue, people signal no. In Lebanon; to nod the head means yes. To signal no, we have to point the head sharply upward and raise our eyebrows. In Canada; women greet with a slight nod. – Waving In United States; extending the arm, palm facing down and waving the hand up a down at the wrist joint. A variation is to raise the arm, palm outward, and move the whole arm and hand back and forth.
In Germany; moving your hand back and forth means no. Handshake In Italy; people do long handshakes In France; people do light and quick handshake; women offer hand first. In Egypt; handshakes are followed by a touch on the elbow. [pic] – Hellos and Good-bye In Brazil; greetings are carried out with handshakes accompanied with touching of the forearm, elbows, and pats on the back. In Zimbabwe; women and girls may often curtsey in greeting. In China; greeting is usually just a slight nod and bow. Sometimes people will applaud; this should be responded with applause.
Conclusion First, to communicate is difficult because it depends of the country. Every culture has its own customs. Each culture has a different way of communicating with its members. Haptics, environmental factors, chronemics, artifacts, proxemics and paralanguage are all examples of how cultures across the world differ from one another. Of course, the verbal communication isn’t similar, there are many languages spoken in the world. However, to communicate isn’t only to speak, we can use our body language, use gestures to be understand. It is the nonvrbal communication.
It can be very useful to use it, for example if we don’t speak the same language, but for that, we have to know the different meanings a gesture can have. Because naturally, each culture would also have a different way of communicating nonverbally. The main question was how communicate efficiently? In reality, that it’s not so important what you say but the way in saying it. That’s why, some people are powerful than others when it comes to convince somebody even that they use the same words. According to A. Mehrabian, any relationship is based on 92% nonverbal communication and only 7% of the message is conveyed by the words we use.
So, specially in business, it’s very necessary that verbal communication transmits the same things as body language. Hopefully, it’s a work and everybody can control his body language and pay more attention to the other’s body language, decoding it. Thus we’ll know them much better and we’ll efficiently communicate. Sources Nonverbal communication, Albert Mehrabian The Definitive Book of Body Language, Barbara and Allan Pease www. talkbank. org www. bizmove. com/ www. helpguide. org/ http://soc302. tripod. com/soc_302rocks/id6. html