This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Body language is a form of non-verbal communication, consisting of body pose, gestures, and eye movements. Humans send and interpret such signals unconsciously. It is often said that human communication consists of 93% body language and paralinguistic cues, while only 7% of communication consists of words themselves however, Albert Mehrabian, the researcher whose 1960s work is the source of these statistics, has stated that this is a misunderstanding of the finding. Others assert that "Research has suggested that between 60 and 70 percent of all meaning is derived from nonverbal behaviour. Body language refers to any kind of bodily movement or posture, including facial expression, which transmits a message to the observer. Every part of the human body, either in motion or stillness, conveys a meaning which depends upon the physical, social, and cultural context of the action. The message may be deliberately intended, expressed in some sort of accepted code — as when a person points, shakes a fist, or nods the head — or they may be involuntary gestures of response, as when someone grimaces or cries aloud in pain.
Types of Body Language:
1. Facial Expression 2. Eye Contact 3. Gestures 4. Head, Body language and Posture 5. Appearance
A facial expression results from one or more motions or positions of the muscles of the face. These movements convey the emotional state of the individual to observers. Facial expressions are a form of nonverbal communication. They are a primary means of conveying social information among humans, but also occur in most other mammals and some other animal species. Humans can adopt a facial expression as a voluntary action. However, because expressions are closely tied to emotion, they are more often involuntary. It can be nearly impossible to avoid expressions for certain emotions, even when it would be strongly desirable to do so; a person who is trying to avoid insult to an individual he or she finds highly unattractive might nevertheless show a brief expression of disgust before being able to reassume a neutral expression. The close link between emotion and expression can also work in the other direction; it
has been observed that voluntarily assuming an expression can actually cause the associated emotion. Some expressions can be accurately interpreted even between members of different species- anger and extreme contentment being the primary examples. Others, however, are difficult to interpret even in familiar individuals. For instance, disgust and fear can be tough to tell apart. Because faces have only a limited range of movement, expressions rely upon fairly minuscule differences in the proportion and relative position of facial features, and reading them requires considerable sensitivity to same. Some faces are often falsely read as expressing some emotion, even when they are neutral, because their proportions naturally resemble those another face would temporarily assume when emoting.
Eye contact is a meeting of the eyes between two individuals. In human beings, eye contact is a form of nonverbal communication and is thought to have a large influence on social behavior. Coined in the early to mid-1960s, the term has come in the West to often define the act as a meaningful and important sign of confidence and social communication. The customs and significance of eye contact vary widely between cultures, with religious and social differences often altering its meaning greatly. The eyes, along with eyebrows, eyelid and the size of pupil convey our innermost feelings. Eyebrows and eyelids raised and combined with dilated pupil tell us that the person is excited, surprised and frightened. On the other hand, eyebrows with upper and lower eyelids closed and combined with constricted pupil tell us that the person is angry or in pain. These are most familiar eye patterns. Along with these eye patterns, eye contact and eye movements are also meaningful. Looking at somebody fir a long time shows the in ten city of our interest in him. If the eye contact is brief, or we take our eyes off the person very soon, it indicates nervousness or embarrassment on our part. Off course, eye contact and eye movements convey-their meaning in combination with facial expressions.
A gesture is a form of non-verbal communication in which visible bodily actions are used to communicate particular messages, either in place of speech or together and in parallel with spoken words. Gestures include movement of the hands, face, or other parts of the body. Gestures differ from physical non-verbal communication that does not communicate specific messages, such as purely expressive displays, proxemics, or displays of joint attention. The language of gesture allows individuals to express a variety of feelings and thoughts, from contempt and hostility to approval and affection. Most people use gestures and body language in addition to words when they speak. The use of gesture as language by some ethnic groups is more common than in others, and the amount of such gesturing that is considered culturally acceptable varies from one location to the next. Although some gestures, such as the ubiquitous act of pointing, differ little from one place to another, most gestures do not have invariable or universal meanings, having specific connotations only in certain cultures. It is important to note that gestures are not used individually but in relation to another person, and acquiring meaning at particular times. That particular time, in an interpersonal situation, may be at the beginning, middle or end of a communication event. Speaking, for example seems to be
necessarily linked with gesturing. It has been observed that intensity of speech is directly associated with the size of a gesturing. The greater the gesture, the louder the speech. Speech and gesture go together, and therefore have to be properly co-originated. In the absence of speech-gesture-coorigination, we experience, confusion and discomfort.
Head, Body shape and posture:
In any face-to-face communication or meeting or interview the way we hold our head is very important. Everybody is aware of the age old saying, ”Hold your head high”. It’s a sign of owner and self respect, confidence, integrity and interest in the person/persons before us. A head bent low, depending upon the situation, would show modesty, politeness or diffidence. On the other extreme a head drawn to far backwards or stiffly held straight up indicates pride or haughtiness. Behavioral scientists have studied the shapes of our bodies and have broadly in the following three types:
1. Ectomorph : thin, youthful and tall 2. Mesomorth : Strong, athletic, muscullar and bony 3. Endomorph : fat, round and soft
We cannot do much about the shape of our body, but we can no doubt put it to effective use. Both our body shape and posture affect what we think about ourselves, how we relate to others and how other’s relate to us or respond to our moves. Mostly we act spontaneously, weather we meet a friend to participate in a meeting. But we do become self-conscious while appearing for an interview or making a presentation. On such an occasion we try to make the best possible impression. The effort use if may make the posture awkward.
Appearance, for our purpose, includes clothing, hair, jewellery, cosmetics etc. all these may seem unrelated to body language. But on having a closer look we find that they are very meaningfully related to our face, eyes, gestures, posture etc. A famous writer has said that a man is recognized by his, “Dress and Address”. “Dress” does not need any explanation. By address he means the way a person speaks to other. Every occasion has its own particulate type of dress. It may be formal or informal. It normally a pert of an organizations’ work rules to have a formal suites or combination of jacket and trousers for the working hours. Certain an organizations’ have a uniform for all levels of workers. If one changes from the formal dress to informal or casual he is easily noticed, and his dress speaks volumes about his attitude to life, to work, to his colleagues and his own feelings
Effective use of body language:
If Kinesics or body language is so important, the question is – how to effective use of body language. Following are the some useful tips regarding this:
1. Mind the body-talk: In our day-to-day communication
we should carefully notice details about the way we speak, gesture and move. When standing we should keep our shoulders erect, our body open and weight evenly balance on both feet. But we should guard against giving the experience of a ramrod-straight posture. Such a stiff posture shows rigidity in thought. We should carefully identify the little things that people do when they are tense. Some people play their lock of hair or a pen in their hand. Such behaviour, according to a psychologist, undermines the straight of what we want to say.
2. Be Carefully With the Hand Shake: in the business
world, hand shake is very important. It conveys curtail messages about power, status and concern for the people we meet. The hand shake that really conveys confidence is form and dry, with strong but not excessive pressure. Bending the wrist or gripping only the fingers gives wrong signals.
3. Establish good eye Contact: According to Austin,”eye
contact is the most remembered element in forming an impression of someone. You must acquire the ability to
sustain direct eye contact if you want to be taken seriously.”
4. Communication at the level of the person before
you: The way we hold our body can show the person before us where we-and he/they-stand. If we fold our arm across our chest while we talk, we are closing of communication. If we tap our foot/feet, it shows that we are impatient. With young children we should keen or bend down so that we are able to look into their eyes.
ourselves: Maple says, “Non-verbal
messages come from deep inside you, from your sense of self-esteem. To improve your body language, you have to start from inside and work outside. If you are comfortable with yourself, it shows. People who know who they are have a relaxed way of talking and moving.
Advantages Of body Language
1. Body language is the most easily visible aspect of communication. It, therefore, helps the receiver of the message in decoding the message. 2. Body language complements verbal communication. Specially in face-to-face communication, no message can be completely sent across without the accompaniment of facial expressions and gestures. 3. Body language adds intensity to the process of communication. In the absence of any gestures, changes of posture, proper eye contact any face-toface communication will look bland or insipid. 4. Because people care for body language it goes a long way to improve the overall atmosphere and looks of the organization.
Limitations of Body Language
1. Since it is nonverbal communication, relaying on
facial expressions, gestures etc. It cannot be wholly relied on. Words written or spoken can be taken seriously, but body language cannot always be taken seriously.
2. People belonging to different cultures back grounds
send out different body signals. They are, therefore liable to be misinterpreted. One has, therefore, to be very careful in their views and understanding. 3. Facial expressions, gestures, postures. Become
ineffective if the listener is inattentive. It, therefore, requires extra care in getting the right message.
4. Use of body language is not very effective in large
gatherings. It is effective in face-to-face situation, that means there are just two or a small number of participants in the communication.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.