Nonverbal Communication Analysis
Nonverbal Communication Analysis
Nonverbal communication is the conveyance of information using other methods other than writing or speaking. In daily activities, a lot of communication goes on between people most of which is nonverbal. It is not always necessary to use words in order to put a message across since one’s conduct can communicate the emotions or opinions of the person. The analysis of nonverbal communication is therefore crucial in understanding the various messages they communicate. During our group discussion, I got an opportunity to analyze, John, one of the group members.
Facial displays are the use of facial expressions to convey a message. John smiled a lot and that identified him as a jovial person. His face appears symmetrical with conspicuous eyes that catch ones attention with dark circles below them. This identified him as an attractive man. The dark circles portrayed a person who did not get enough sleep probably due to his busy schedule or a person under stress. At the beginning of the discussion, he smiled a lot, but towards the end he smiled less frequently. This shows that, at the beginning, he was full of energy but at the end he was exhausted due to the intensity of the discussion. When asked a question, he would raise his eyebrows. This communicated that he was paying attention to the queries. This was unintentional, and it made me think that he was keen to the issues raised during the discussion. During an interactive session at the end of the group discussion, he wore a forced smile. This could mean that he was tired, or he was probably not willing to interact. This was an unintentional behavior since he thought people would not notice his forced smile. This expression prevented me from interacting with him because he seemed disinterested.
The body movements include emblems, which are gestures that could be used in place of words since they serve the same purpose (Quilliam, 2004). When picking a person who was to ask a question, he would point at the person using his index finger, which made his choice clear. To ask a question to the person addressing the group, he would raise his hand to show that he wished to respond or raise an issue. This was an intentional action addressed to the presenter to make his intentions known. It made me think he was an organized person who values order. When referring to the whole group, he would move his hand in a circular motion as he said, ‘we are all…’ to mean that he was referring to all the group members and to emphasize his point. This is an example of an illustrator which is a gesture accompanied by words illustrating the meaning of the words. It was an intentional gesture (Burgoon, Judee, Guerrero, and Kory, 2010).
He used nods when conversing to show that he was paying attention to the conversation. The gesture was intentional to encourage the other person to carry on with the discussion. When a person in the group accused him of squandering the group’s finances, he placed his hand on his chest as an indication that the comment had hurt his feelings. This made me think that he was an open person who freely expressed himself and the gesture seemed like a reflex action. This gesture is an effect display since it portrays his emotions. When answering a question, John would bite his lips as a sign of anxiety. The action was unintentional and gave me the impression that he is an impatient person due to his conduct. This is a form of adaptor since it is an action meant to satisfy his physical needs.
Eye contact was evident in John’s mode of communication. He maintained eye contact with the person he was addressing. This was an intentional gesture meaning that he was concentrating, and it portrayed him as a confident person. However, when one of the women posed a question to him, his eyes were fixed on his notebook as he tried to answer. This communicated shyness, and since it was to a specific person, I concluded that he was either intimidated by the woman, or they knew each other on a personal level. He did not intend to act this way since he attempted to look up, but he was totally unable to maintain eye contact with her.
Vocalics are the characteristics of voice that are used to communicate a certain message about the emotions of a person. John spoke loudly when disagreeing with a point. This unintentional behavior made him appear as an aggressive person who is extremely passionate about what he believed in. Volume is the loudness or quietness of a voice (Knapp, Mark and Judith, 2013). Inflexion is the variation of the pitch in a voice. His voice would vary depending on the issues he was addressing or the person he was addressing. It gave the impression that he is an expressive person since his emotions would be felt in his pitch variation. It made me concentrate on his speech since it was easy to follow and his expression was natural. Pitch is the highness or deepness of a voice and John’s voice had a low pitch since his voice was deep and husky. This made him appear very masculine compared to the other men.
Rate is the amount of words one speaks in a minute. John would speak quite fast when narrating a funny story and this was unintentional. The high rate showed his excitement as he narrated the story and laughed. Pronunciation tells how well one can combine consonants and vowels. His pronunciation was good and it made him appear learned since he did not make grammatical errors. This made me think that he had attended good schools and he was an excellent speaker. Accent is pronunciation associated with a particular language or geographic region. He had an accent that I could associate with London and I immediately thought that he had been brought up the city. The presence of the accent in his pronunciation was unintentional and he did not seem to notice it.
John was well groomed, his clothes were ironed and this made him appear as a respectable person. This made him appear as the group leader since every time he addressed the group everyone would concentrate. He wore a red shirt that portrayed him as an aggressive person since this color appears to be a wild color. He wore trendy shoes that made him appear as a stylish man and this was brought out by his choice of outfit. John would arrange his documents in order, which made it easier for him to trace them. He appeared very organized.
When explaining a point, John would lean forward towards the person he was addressing to maintain a social distance with the person. This was an intentional move to make the person feel comfortable to contribute to the discussion. He would also touch a person who had lost concentration in an effort to attract their attention. This intentional action demonstrates power over other people’s actions since the person would immediately focus their attention to him.
Burgoon, Judee K, Laura K. Guerrero, and Kory Floyd. (2010). Nonverbal Communication. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Quilliam, Susan. (2004). Body Language. Buffalo, N.Y: Firefly Books.
Knapp, Mark L, and Judith A. Hall. (2013). Nonverbal Communication. Berlin: De Gruyter.
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