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Communication is a vital tool in my daily life. It is through communication that I pass ideas and notions to other people and also gain from them. This, therefore, puts communication as a necessary skill for an easy living. I have worked in the field of human resources for a number of organizations and the skill of communication was beneficial while carrying out my responsibilities.

I believe nonverbal communication is concerned with the nonverbal stimuli which are found in a communicating setting which are caused by the speaker and their manipulation of the environment thus the receiver benefits from the value in the message. In other words this type of communication involves no use of verbal codes in receiving and sending messages. This communication is both unintentional and intentional to the speaker. Non-verbal communication is divided into two groups; the communication caused by the body and that of the environment. I believe that nonverbal communication has got its benefits in many areas of one’s life. For example, in my experience it was useful in emphasizing verbal messages. It tends to draw attention to the already spoken words or message. This communication has been widely used for a long time by different cultures and communities; the difference being that they use unique forms to suite their needs.

In this paper I give my own experience and understanding of non-verbal communication and its elements. The paper uses my professional knowledge and integrates the personal and professional experiences I have obtained from my career. The different organizations and positions of work make the main concern of the subject. The contact I made with individuals working in these organizations was useful in giving reliable data for the paper and its requirements.

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Effects of Space (Proxemics) and Time

Description of Concrete Experience

The way by which one approaches space determines communication. I came to learn that there is a governing or determining factor for the proximity of interactions through communication. This is to say that depending on the proximity of the speaker and receiver there is a category for their level of communication. While I working as a Human Resources Manager, I came into contact with many employees who we interacted at different categories of informal space. It was my responsibility to assess the potential of workers in the company and later give the administration feedback. These four categories of informal space are the close distance for whispering or embracing (usually between six and eighteen inches), the personal space for good friends to have a conversation (between one and four feet), there is the social space acquaintances having conversations and the distance that is used by public speakers (which is not less than twelve feet).

Reflections

I respect the personal space that is usually between speakers. It is in the perception of humans to develop a suitable space for conveying messages and interacting. I have done my personal research on behavioral studies, and it has show that violation of this personal space affects communication. I found out that it is crucial to respect the personal space of other individuals especially those that are new. This realization was triggered by an incident that happened in my experience. A certain employee could not help harass his new colleague at work because he saw her as being inferior. The result of this was continued disagreements between themselves. It is clear that the older employee had violated the new colleague’s space thus their communication became hostile. My lesson from the incident was that the ability to respect one’s personal space grants them the attribute of being socially attractive thus pulling external interests.

Generalization, Principles & Theories

I will define proxemics as the study of appreciation and utilization of space. I have come across study results showing that human beings are territorial beings who react when their space is violated. This term was created by a renowned researcher called Hall in the year 1963 while he was studying the physical environment. In his study, Hall realized that unmovable boundaries characterize the fixed feature space. He added that the personal region which varies from one individual to another is called the informal space.

Testing and Application

People find security in their own personal space so violating space is a breach of their safety as this proxemics determines attitudes of people. Consider for instance, a recently released prisoner who was charged with sexual harassment on his wife; the wife is protected by a restraining order which denies the man from getting close to her space. I would conclude that America records the highest cases of violation of personal space. Intimacy and interest are denoted by the distance between two people. This space can also bring about issues of fear like when police are carrying out their interrogations. From my professional experience, the administration needs to be close to their subordinate staff because this enhances communication. For instance, working as a director of human resources I always saw it fit that the staff develop a personal interaction with each other so that the company could run smoothly.  Vocal messages are conditioned and qualified by how distance is handled. Changes that occur in space offer a tone to communication in a way that can counteract any spoken word and I fully agree with the idea.

Appearance and Body Language

Description of Concrete Experience

I have had my share of speeches and also as part of the audience. The most important point that I noted was the speaker’s appearance. Appearance in most cases is not considered part of presentation skills or even communication. Speaking in a public gathering is usually done by individuals who represent an organization or themselves. Whatever the case the point still remains that the individual is before the gathering and not the whole organization. During such occasions the speaker paints a picture of the organization or whoever they are representing by way of appearance. Assumptions are usually made by the crowd even before delivering the speech; these are usually conscious and subconscious assumptions. I have learnt that there is no second chance in making a first impression. Consider a similar scenario where I was to interview some candidates for the position of the company’s secretary. It was evident that the candidates had different knowledge on the importance of appearance in such cases. Majority of those individuals that I handled dressed casually for the meeting and this gave them little consideration even before the interview. The board of assessors was inclined to the candidates who dressed appropriately for the occasion. This does not mean that this impression leads to bias but it gives more information of how the individual is organized. Personally, I value official dressing from all my colleagues; I always set the best example for the rest of my colleagues.

Appearance does not only affect the mode of dressing but also the individual’s overall relations to the subject at hand. While I am communicating to a group of people it is vital that the information is emphasized completely. This is to ensure that there has been maximum retention of the message being put across. I can surely say that visual impact is as vital as verbal impact made by the orator. A perfect example of total utilization of appearance is done in school’s extracurricular activities like music competitions. I was invited in one of these competitions in 2003 where I was the guest of honor; the presenters dressed in accordance to their presentation and the same is seen for any executive body of an organization. I often gave my staff advice on the value of appearance for the purpose of reputation.

Reflections

The reaction of the body to a sentiment through facial expressions or mannerisms gives more information on how I feel as a speaker. The body tends to have its own way of communicating; the best example is nervousness or anxiety. The way I sit or stands will give the audience information on my condition. In cases where one is anxious, their bad habits become more noticeable. It is, therefore, crucial that the body’s reaction under pressure be understood so that the speaker can work to hide those habits. Good communication skills demands that the weaknesses on body language be worked on through practice. Many orators catch fright before any presentation but the idea is to hide and overcome exposure. For example, the head of operations in a certain organization used to maximize on his movement while speaking, this hides his fidgeting which comes out vividly in a stationary position. I practice a wide range of activities that reduce on unwanted body movements while I am giving a speech.

Generalisation/Principles/Theories

The main idea in appearance is finding the right and appropriate image that suites the event. It does not run similar in all organizations that the workforce should be dressed in official clothing. For instance, an administration was advised to wear official attire during working hours without any exceptions. The question which is left is if all the staff is to wear the same attire. Organizational structures demand that personnel who work in the field or operate machinery dress to suite their environment. Most industries provide their laborers with protective clothing.

I will explain the significance of body language as the next subject. Body language forms a principal part of non-verbal communication. Comprehending body language is a huge milestone in personal presentation. The critical point in body language is that the message being conveyed should rhyme with the body’s movements. I have personally attended many executive meetings, presentation and conferences hence I have seen many good orators fail in body language. For instance, while attending a conference on the contemporary issues facing organizations, I noticed that the speaker of the session was not matching his sentiments with his body. It is not practical for a speaker to nod in acceptance when they are disagreeing with an idea in spoken. This leaves the audience confused and uninterested in the matter. Such issues portray the speaker as incompetent and disorganized. Here the significance of non-verbal communication is fully realized.

Body language complements the message being communicated by the speaker. I prefer actions like hand movements and facial expressions as they provide back up for the message. Research on human behavior has shown that many successful projects have merited due to effective communication. It should not the case that these body manipulations be exaggerated when speaking as they end up creating a picture of mediocrity for the audience. For example, when I wear a smile even when the situation is saddening, it shows lack of connection with my emotions. An organization’s spokesman was keenly trained to offer an effective channel of communication for staff and organizational issues.

Testing and application

Body language has been used in many other areas that hide the real feeling of the speaker. Consider a situation where the staff of an organization is being suspected of embezzling goods and misconduct. It is the responsibility of the human resources body to address the problem through conducting interrogations. Finding the person responsible for these allegations is difficult as the suspects can hide their body movements in order to evade. They can manipulate their actions to rhyme with their arguments thus avoid being punished. I handled many cases of this nature as a manager of human resources. This is a vital tool in communication for all scenarios far from organizational issues. For instance, a doctor would determine the extent of pain by touching the patient’s body while observing their reactions.

Environmental Cues

Description of Concrete Experience

I will look at the first factor that can change the way a speaker communicates in a nonverbal way; appropriateness. This is how particular behaviors are used or applied in accordance to the context. For instance, I once summoned a staff member to inform him of a notification on his termination, it will be inappropriate for me to laugh while addressing the employee. These cues do not necessarily have to be intended actions. In some cases the factors are prevalent or inevitable. Consider a married man who bears a wedding ring on his finger; it would be inappropriate for him to suggest sexual offers to other women. The ring communicates that the person is already in marriage with their partner.

Generalization, Principles & Theories

Environmental cues are significant in the study of nonverbal communication. The environment, in this case, is the physical location where communication is taking place. These cues are known to stimulate the communicators to present their ideas in a specific manner.

Reflections

I will discuss scent as an environmental cue. The scent associated with an area is a big factor in determining the characteristics of the area. The behavior of people in an environment is affected by the smell it has. Scientific study on human behavior shows that scents trigger past memories, this is because they are able to relate the similarity.

Climate forms another environmental factor. Climate affects both an individual’s behavior nonverbally and the behavior of residents of the area. Areas of certain climatic conditions tend to pull individuals of similar nonverbal behavior.

Testing and Application

It is important that the scent of an environment be conducive in order to prevent attracting negative behavior. As an administrator I had to enforce high standards of sanitation from the staff in all sectors of the company. It was critical in offering a friendly environment to work thus company performance increased. Another application of climate’s influence on communication is seen from people living in cold regions as they use more of their body language than those in hotter areas.

Eye Contact

Description of Concrete Experience

I use eye contact as a tool to show the amount of interest an individual has in communication. In other it portrays truthfulness and trust, in many incidences an individual fails to establish eye contact if they are not being honest. It is rare for a liar to use eye contact as the fear showing their guilt through the eyes

Reflections

In a certain scenario a coordinator of supplies had been accused of carrying out sinister activities with the company’s goods. I had to confront him so that I could determine the truth. The employee could not face me while answering and when I asked why he said that he was ill. This was a scapegoat for his guilty actions.

Generalization, Principles & Theories

I determine the extent of concentration and attention through eye contact .The attention of an individual in communication is shown by how they make eye contact with the speaker. A serious and attentive individual ensures that they have constant eye contact while attending oratory sessions. Distracted and poor listeners show a tendency to make little or no eye contact with the speaker.

Testing and Application

The eyes are able to communicate a particular message independently. This behavior influences social interactions in a strong way. The message put across through eye contact varies with the community. In the western lifestyle, it is seen a confirmation of confidence by the speaker. Looking at the perception of eye contact in Asia, doing this to the authority is a sign of rudeness thus unethical behavior. Some groups see it a way of communicating sorrow or sadness without speaking.

Gestures

Description of Concrete Experience

I have recommended various candidates for employment who cannot speak but use gestures a means of communication. While many look at gesturing as a useless activity, other individuals rely on it primarily as their way of communication. Using gestures in daily activities helped me associate with these employees easily and in friendly way.

Reflections

For many years these gestures have been used by the deaf and dumb in communicating. This is because they cannot speak thus they pass information through signs and gestures. Understanding gestures helped me communicate with minimal strain. In managing human resources, it is a requirement that all individuals be considered for any vacant position in spite of their physical health.

Generalization, Principles & Theories

These are an important aspect of body language. Gestures follow the introduction of information to an audience. The common gestures are hand expressions that mostly illustrate the idea being communicated. I believe that the importance of nonverbal communication is to reinforce comprehension of the information. Some gestures vary in the way they are perceived by the community. For instance, it is important that employees in any organization that works in processing or manufacturing have good skills in gesturing. In chemical companies, it is crucial for employees to use these gestures in communicating especially in a noisy environment. This allows easy communication that would avoid misunderstanding thus crisis.

Testing and Application

I use gestures are in almost all situations that form my daily life. For instance, an employee in a firm might throw his hands in the air as a sign of defiance to authority. The message that I will get from these gestures is of a wide range. An upright and steady position in speech is a sign of confidence and competence. 

Voice (Paralinguistic)

Description of Concrete Experience

I am convinced that the tone that a speaker uses communicates a lot about the information and speaker. This is usually how sympathetic they seem. This tells of the speaker’s mood as the choice of words show the feeling that the speaker has on a subject. When a speaker uses words that show rudeness or contempt, the audience is bound to lose interest in the message.

Reflections

The volume that a speaker uses is researched to be a sign of confidence. While interviewing candidates for a job vacancy I looked for agility and confidence apart from the required qualifications. I consider loud and assertive speakers as confident speakers and this helps them in delivering the message. Employees should always use a tone that shows humility and loyalty in whatever case. It is unethical for an individual to demand for a pay increase from the administration despite their efforts. Choosing the words while speaking is wise for all orators.

Generalization, Principles & Theories

Paralinguistic communication is involved with the voice and the use of words in communicating. Opening the mouth to speak reveals a great deal of information about the speaker regardless of the words spoken. These form every element of the speech being given by an orator. The use of this nonverbal communication is not readily noticed in terms of passing a message.

Testing and Application

The quality of voice is the uniqueness of the speaker. This is through identification of a person’s voice in communication. The way my voiced is perceived is different from others. Voice quality is important when the situation involves a large group of administration such that specific instructions are to be communicated by only certain people. This affects the response to the message as the person delivering the information is the right authority for it.

Communication Art

Description of Concrete Experience

It was a requirement while I was the manger of human resources that all information to be put in public be perfect. Communication art is crucial for many organizations. Marketing of services by firms is through communication art, specifically advertising and posters. Every company wants a unique logo or slogan so communication art enables the message to be passed across effectively. It is the association of the advertisement or logo that brings the related company into mind.

Reflections

I chose to bring all vacancies to the public by way of publishing, advertising and posters, this is vital for maximization of potential candidates. I have worked in the field of human resources for a number of organizations and the skill of communication was beneficial while carrying out my responsibilities.

Generalization, Principles & Theories

This is basically visual communication. It is concerned with advertising, illustration and even graphic designs. Logos, television, posters and magazines are all part of communication art. Communication art is important in building on the understanding of the message communicated. Communication art is mainly related to the use of media in passing information from place to place. This field prepares many of its students for the oncoming public discourse. 

Testing and Application

Communication is a vital tool in my daily life. It is through communication that I pass ideas and notions to other people and also gain from them. This, therefore, puts communication as a necessary skill for an easy living. I believe nonverbal communication is concerned with the nonverbal stimuli which are found in a communicating setting which are caused by the speaker and their manipulation of the environment thus the receiver benefits from the value in the message.

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