Verbal / Nonverbal Observations Essay

1252 words - 5 pages

It is not what you say; it is the way you are sitting. Have you ever listened to someone and heard what he or she said, but felt puzzled for some unknown reason? If so, you probably were receiving nonverbal communication that was not consistent with the verbal communication. Personal behavior is critical in a person's ability to communicate effectively. Both verbal and nonverbal communication is related and very important in our interactions with others. "Nonverbal communication is all intentional and unintentional messages that are neither written nor spoken. These messages may be contradictory, complementary, or reinforcing" (Abbott, 1992). There are many types of non-verbal communication that can be used to contradict verbal messages, such as facial expressions, eye contact, hand gestures and personal appearance. Observing and identifying behavior in verbal and nonverbal interactions of others can help increase a person's ability to communicate more effectively. Following are examples of observed communication situations in which verbal and nonverbal messages are contradictory.Communication Situation # 1"According to a UCLA study, people evaluate one another using the three V's visual (appearance), vocal (voice), and verbal (what you see). And about 93 percent of a person's communication effectiveness is determined by nonverbal communication" (Knight Rider, 2003, pg. 1). This is very true during a job interview. The applicant is being interviewed for an administrative assistant position to work for a vice-presidents of the organization. The applicant arrived on time and was dressed appropriately in a business suit. The applicant greeted the interviewer with a very firm handshake and friendly smile. The interviewer started the interview with small talk and the applicant seemed to be relaxed and appeared to be upbeat, personable and comfortable with small talk. The interviewer started to ask specific questions relating to the applicant's last job. The applicant seemed to hesitate before answering the question and the applicant's voice tone dropped. When the interviewer asked the applicant to elaborate on reasons for leaving their current employer, the applicant did so but the interviewer noticed that the applicant was now looking down rather than giving the interviewer direct eye contact. Although the applicant was able to give appropriate verbal responses to the questions, the applicant's body language or nonverbal communication left the interviewer feeling that something was not right. The applicant's nonverbal communication was contradictory to the nonverbal communication. Eye contact indicates confidence, voice, and volume of your speech convey a strong impression. The interviewer was unsure of the applicant's true abilities because of mixed messages during the interview.Communication Situation # 2A manger of an organization often gives verbal and or written feedback to their employees about performance on a specific project or assignment....

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