Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

11225 Words May 31st, 2009 45 Pages
Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
When we are attempting to transfer our meaning to another person, we use three different modes, methods, or channels to carry our intentions. We use these modes to tell people who we are, how we experience the world, and the meaning we attach to our experience. We communicate verbally and nonverbally, and often with mixed signals or noise.
When two persons, A and B, are attempting to communicate with each other, their communication is distorted by their personalities, attitudes, values, belief systems, biases, the assumptions they are making about each other, their experience, background, and so on. A's communication to B flows through A's screen and through B's screen. When B responds to A, B is
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There are a number of forms of body language. Ambulation is a first form. We associate different meanings to different ways people carry their bodies from one place to another. How one carries her body, whether she glides, strides, stomps, etc. tells a great deal about who she is and how she is experiencing her environment.
Touching is perhaps the most powerful nonverbal communication form. The skin is the body's largest organ, and through the skin we take in a variety of stimuli. We can communicate anger, interest, trust, tenderness, warmth, and a variety of other emotions very potently through touching. People differ, however, in their willingness to touch and be touched. Some people give out nonverbal body signals that say that they do not want to be touched, and there are other people who describe themselves and are described by others as "touchy feely." There are many taboos associated with this form of communication. Persons can learn about their own personalities and self concepts through exploring their reactions to touching and being touched.
Eye contact is a third form of nonverbal communication. We tend to size each other up in terms of trustworthiness through reactions to each other's eye contact. Try a little experiment with yourself. Remember the last time you were driving down the road and passed a hitch-hiker. The odds are very high that you did not look him in the eye if you passed him up.
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