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Body Language

Interpersonal and Communications Skills - Week 8

Nicholas Cimini

on 7 March 2012

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Transcript of Body Language

Body Language: Paralinguistic and Non-Verbal Communication Dr Nick Cimini Interpersonal and Communication Skills Session aims To develop an awareness of paralinguistic and non-verbal communication skills

To examine how paralinguistic and non-verbal forms of communication influence our interpersonal relations

To practise encoding and decoding paralinguistic and non-verbal messages Definitions Vocal communication - by mouth

Verbal communication - with words

Non-verbal communication - 'messages expressed by nonlinguistic means'

(Adler et al. 2007: 147) The orientation of verbal and non-verbal communication According to Habermas, the 'telos' (or orientation) of language is directed towards a shared understanding between communicators (see Bohman and Rehg, 2007).

When we speak we do so on the basis that our interlocutors will be able to have some shared meaning of our words (although this shared meaning is often distorted or manipulated by 'instrumentally rational actions'). Non-verbal interactions, on the other hand, are most often subconscious and unintentional, and so they are less frequently orientated towards shared meanings ‘The notion of nonverbal communication presupposes some intention to communicate. It is useful to distinguish this from nonverbal behaviour, which may cause other people to decode messages that we did not consciously or deliberately encode’ (Burton and Dimbleby, 2006: 113) It has been suggested that non-verbal dimensions of communication account for as much as 80% of the content/meanings of face-to-face interactions (Burton and Dimbleby, 2006) Why is this important? The functions of non-verbal communication Creating and maintaining relationships
Regulating interaction
Influencing others
Managing identity
(Adler et al. 2007: 154-7) Non-verbal messages I'm tired
I'm opposed to capital punishment
I'm attracted to another person in the group
I oppose the teaching of creationism in schools
I'm angry with another person in the group Basic facial expressions Touch Eye contact see Verderber et al., 2007 Kinesics – communication through bodily movements Posture
Body orientation
Head movements
Emblems – gestures which replace words
Adaptors – gestures which meet a physical need

(Verderber et al., 2007; Hargie and Dickson, 2004) Haptics (touch)
Conveying emotion
Ritualized touch
Task-related touch
Potentially negative decoding of touch 'how communication is affected by the use, organization, and perception of space and distance’ (Adler et al., 2007: 163) Proxemics Physical appearance & clothing Paralinguistic messages volume
emphasis articulation
laughter (see Adler et al., 2007; Burton and Dimbleby, 2006) Note as many examples of non-verbal messages and behaviours as you can identify
Focus on one main participant: what appear to be the characteristics of their non-verbal communication style?
Do some participants use non-verbal forms of communication more explicitly or frequently than others?
What functions do non-verbal communication appear to serve in the interactions you’ve observed? Observation exercise
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