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messages

Non-verbal Messages Allow People To:

Non-verbal Messages Allow People To:

      -Reinforce or modify what is said in words. For example, people may nod their heads vigorously when saying “Yes” to emphasise that they agree with the other person, but a shrug of the shoulders and a sad expression when saying “I’m fine thanks,” may imply that things are not really fine at all!

 

      -Convey information about their emotional state.

 

      -Define or reinforce the relationship between people.

 

      -Provide feedback to the other person.

 

    -Regulate the flow of communication, for example by signalling to others that they have finished speaking or wish to say something.

Non-verbal Messages Allow People To

Interpersonal communication not only involves the explicit meaning of words, the information or message conveyed, but also refers to implicit messages, whether intentional or not, which are expressed through non-verbal behaviours.

Non-verbal communications include facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, gestures displayed through body language (kinesics) and the physical distance between the communicators (proxemics). These non-verbal signals can give clues and additional information and meaning over and above spoken (verbal) communication.

Non-verbal Messages Allow People To:

      Reinforce or modify what is said in words. For example, people may nod their heads vigorously when saying “Yes” to emphasise that they agree with the other person, but a shrug of the shoulders and a sad expression when saying “I’m fine thanks,” may imply that things are not really fine at all!

 

      Convey information about their emotional state.

 

      Define or reinforce the relationship between people.

 

      Provide feedback to the other person.

 

    Regulate the flow of communication, for example by signalling to others that they have finished speaking or wish to say something.

Paraverbal Messages

Paraverbal communication refers to the messages that we transmit through the tone, pitch, and pacing of our voices. It is how we say something, not what we say. Paraverbal message accounts for approximately 38% of what is communicated to someone. A sentence can convey entirely different meanings depending on the emphasis on words and the tone of voice. For example, the statement, “I didn’t say you were stupid” has six different meanings, depending on which word is emphasized.

Some points to remember about our paraverbal communication:

      When we are angry or excited, our speech tends to become more rapid and higher pitched.

When we are bored or feeling down, our speech tends to slow and take on a monotone quality.

When we are feeling defensive, our speech is often abrupt.

Paraverbal Messages:

1. Account for about 38% of what is perceived and understood by others.

2. Include the tone, pitch, and pacing of our voice

RECEIVING MESSAGES Listening

The key to receiving messages effectively is listening. Listening is a combination of hearing what another person says and psychological involvement with the person who is talking. Listening requires more than hearing words. It requires a desire to understand another human being, an attitude of respect and acceptance, and a willingness to open one’s mind to try and see things from another’s point of view.

Listening requires a high level of concentration and energy. It demands that we set aside our own thoughts and agendas, put ourselves in another’s shoes and try to see the world through that person’s eyes. True listening requires that we suspend judgment, evaluation, and approval in an attempt to understand another is frame of reference, emotions, and attitudes. Listening to understand is, indeed, a difficult task!

Often, people worry that if they listen attentively and patiently to a person who is saying something they disagree with, they are inadvertently sending a message of agreement.

When we listen effectively we gain information that is valuable to understanding the problem as the other person sees it. We gain a greater understanding of the other person’s perception. After all, the truth is subjective and a matter of perception. When we have a deeper understanding of another’s perception, whether we agree with it or not, we hold the key to understanding that person’s motivation, attitude, and behavior. We have a deeper understanding of the problem and the potential paths for reaching agreement.

Listening

      1. Requires concentration and energy

2. Involves a psychological connection with the speaker

3. Includes a desire and willingness to try and see things from another’s perspective

4. Requires that we suspend judgment and evaluation

“Listening in dialogue is listening more to meaning than to words . . .In true listening, we reach behind the words, see through them, to find the person who is being revealed. Listening is a search to find the treasure of the true person as revealed verbally and nonverbally. There is the semantic problem, of course. The words bear a different connotation for you than they do for me. Consequently, I can never tell you what you said, but only what I heard. I will have to rephrase what you have said, and check it out with you to make sure that what left your mind and heart arrived in my mind and heart intact and without distortion.”

Learning to be an effective listener is a difficult task for many people. However, the specific skills of effective listening behavior can be learned. It is our ultimate goal to integrate these skills into a sensitive and unified way of listening.

Key Listening Skills:

Nonverbal:

      Giving full physical attention to the speaker;

Being aware of the speaker’s nonverbal messages;

Verbal:

      Paying attention to the words and feelings that are being expressed;

Using reflective listening tools such as paraphrasing, reflecting, summarizing, and questioning to increase understanding of the message and help the speaker tell his story.

Being Aware of the Speakerís Nonverbal Messages

When we pay attention to a speaker’s body language we gain insight into how that person is feeling as well as the intensity of the feeling. Through careful attention to body language and paraverbal messages, we are able to develop hunches about what the speaker (or listener) is communicating. We can then, through our reflective listening skills, check the accuracy of those hunches by expressing in our own words, our impression of what is being communicated.