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Contextual Levels Of Communication Essay

1409 words - 6 pages

Personal vs. Professional LifeMany situations demand the communication between two or more people. The responses to these situations, however, can make or break potential relations between the communicators. Telling a potential employer about your problems with your girlfriend during your job interview, for instance, can cost you an employment opportunity and leave you very embarrassed. This is why it is crucial for communicators to assess the appropriateness of their messages given the context at hand. In the episode of the popular television show, Gossip Girl, titled The Revengers, one scene in particular demonstrates appropriate behavior regarding the different communicative contexts. In this scene, Daniel negotiates an agreement with his business associate, Bart, before his ex-girlfriend walks into the room. By regulating his verbal language and his nonverbal cues in accordance to the varying contextual levels of communication, Daniel is able to effectively separate his personal and professional lives.While Daniel and Bart are alone, they experience a face-to-face conversation in which Daniel asks a favor of Bart. This falls under the organizational contextual level of communication because the only two participants are members of the same organization. Bart is Daniel's employer, and as far as he is concerned, nothing more than that. Because strictly business matters, and not personal content, are being discussed, a more formal and professional tone is kept throughout the conversation. This sets up some social expectations for the remainder of the discussion, and ultimately influences the choices Daniel makes in regard to his verbal and nonverbal communication tactics.While in the organizational contextual level of communication, Daniel restricts himself to a professional demeanor. Throughout his entire conversation with Bart, Daniel uses high language and avoids the usage of slang and other informal words or phrases. By using more formal and polite language, Daniel conveys his respect for Bart and shows him that he is sincerely interested in their business arrangement. If he were to use lower language or even just his ordinary way of speaking, Bart may not have taken him seriously and cancelled the agreement. Some of the more obvious alterations to his behavior that Daniel makes are found within his nonverbal communicative actions. Before Bart takes a seat on the couch next to him, Daniel keeps his legs comfortably uncrossed. As soon as Bart sits down and crosses his legs, however, Daniel is quick to follow suit. This change in kinesics is part of Daniel's effort to accommodate his business partner. It is appropriate for Daniel in this case to mimic Bart's actions so that Bart feels more comfortable around him. This, consequently, will allow Bart to feel more at home while discussing the terms of the agreement. Furthermore, throughout their entire conversation, Daniel keeps a respectful distance away from Bart. This use of proxemics lets...

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