Nonverbal communication Articles

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Is there ever any doubt in your mind as to the mood of a coworker upon their arrival at work? Nonverbal communication is the single most powerful form of communication. More than voice or even words, nonverbal communication cues you in to what is on another person’s mind. The best communicators are sensitive to the power of the emotions and thoughts communicated nonverbally.

Nonverbal communication ranges from facial expression to body language.

Gestures, signs, and use of space are also important in nonverbal communication. Multicultural differences in body language, facial expression, use of space, and especially, gestures, are enormous and enormously open to misinterpretation.

Each link leads to pictorial quiz questions and explanations.

One of the funniest – yet saddest – nonverbal exchanges I have ever witnessed occurred in the registrar’s office at a major university. A multinational student tried to communicate his problem to an older, white female. He gesticulated constantly waving his hands to punctuate his communication.

He tried to narrow the distance between himself and the university employee who kept backing away to maintain her desired amount of distance comfort. By the end of the conversation, the student was chasing her the length of the counter top still gesturing with his hands heatedly. The employee told me later that she had been terrified of the student who was merely trying to tell her that he had already paid the bill he had just received from the university.

One study at UCLA indicated that up to 93 percent of communication effectiveness is determined by nonverbal cues. Another study indicated that the impact of a performance was determined 7 percent by the words used, 38 percent by voice quality, and 55 percent by the nonverbal communication.

If you want to mask your feelings or your immediate reaction to information, pay close attention to your nonverbal behavior.

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