Do you think communication is a No-Brainer? Communication is consistently listed as one of the keys to success in business and life, and just as frequently identified by employees as a key missing link to maximum productivity and job satisfaction. We communicate every day verbally and nonverbal to co-workers, to people on the phone, and to our family. Weve been communicating since the day we were born. Actually, we were communicating before we were born, in our mothers womb. What is communication? Communication is the process of constructing meaning together. We live in a world of meaning, and communication is the process of collaboratively constructing these meanings. We hope in this process, that presenting something to other individuals that we are getting our ideas across precisely. We would hope that through this process the receiver would be able to translate our messages into ideas. Unfortunately there are a lot of barriers to this process. I will be discussing four different topics, verbal & nonverbal communication, perception, listening, and self-disclosure. Through the presentation of these topics, I will demonstrate several ways in which we can communicate among ourselves more effectively. This paper will demonstrate how we can become more effective as communicators, and to be able to apply the four topics covered.
Verbal communication includes anything written, or spoken. Nonverbal communication includes eye contact, body movement, facial expression, tone of voice, touch, silence, and several different expressions. This book discusses verbal & nonverbal communication jointly. It has become obvious that you can’t really separate the verbal ; nonverbal parts. As stated by D.J. Higginbotham ; D.E. Yoder, “It is impossible to study either verbal or nonverbal communication as isolated structures. Rather, these systems should be regarded as a unified communication construct.”
One example that the author s John Stewart ; Carole Logan use is that language be regarded in terms of a sliding scale. The main communication blocks on a sliding scale that runs from primarily verbal (written words) to mixed (vocal pacing, pause, loudness, pitch, and silence), to primarily nonverbal (gestures, eye gaze, facial expression, touch, and space). The degree that you can isolate the words speakers use, they might be considered primarily verbal, but spoken words always come with vocal pacing, pause, loudness, pitch and silence, and as a result these are labeled mixed. Gestures, eye gaze, facial expression, touch, and space are labeled primarily nonverbal because they occur without words, but they are usually interpreted in the context of spoken words. This is why language is considered soup. As humans, we’re immersed in language beginning at birth and ending at death, like a fish is immersed in water. This soup includes all of the verbal & nonverbal parts of our communicative life. Language is more than a system we use or an activity we perform it is a subject that we manipulate or use.
Movements and gestures reflect the type of relationship that exists between individuals. When communicating with people, I have a tendency of crossing my arms across my chest and slightly leaning away from them. It’s a habit that I don’t even realize I do. When I cross my arms I feel like I create a negative attitude. I need to practice leaning forward, and letting the individual know that I am truly interested in what they have to say. Crossing my arms and leaning backward is just one example of how body movements and gesture make up still another important category of nonverbal communication.
When we perceive we select, organize, and make meaning out of the things and events we see, hear, touch, taste and smell. Language and perception are thoroughly interrelated. This means that everything that we perceive, all the things that make up our world is affected by the language in which we live.
The author, Julia T. Wood, uses the word Totalizing in her reading It’s Only Skin Deep. She describes this word, as communication that emphasizes one aspect of a person is the totality of that person. Wood makes the point that totalizing has negative effects on both those who do it and those who are its targets.
Once we totalize we tend to perceive others through the labels we use to