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Communication in


Unit 2

Non Verbal
Inter and intra culture Communication

Dr.Supreet Wahee
Professional Communications
Verbal and Non-verbal Communication

Verbal - Types,
Listening skills,
Speaking skills
Non verbal –
Body Language,
Para Language,
Visuals and
Visual aids.
Verbal and non-verbal
 Verbal communication is the things we
 Non-verbal communication is the things
we don’t say, but communicate through our
body language.
 Both verbal and non-verbal communication
are important and can say different things.
 It is important we are aware of our own and
others verbal and non-verbal communication.
Non-verbal communication includes
 Facial expressions,

 Eye contact,

 Posture and motions,

 Tone of voice,

 Smell,

 Touch,

 Time & distance,

 It may also include the way we

wear our clothes
 or the silence we keep.

“Only 7% of a message’s effect are carried by

words, the other 93% through non -verbal
 All the ways we convey
messages and feelings without
 Organized into three categories:
 Sounds (tone of voice, laughter)
 Body Language (movement,
posture, eye contact)
 Environmental factors (touch,
distance, objects, etc.)
 Nonverbal Communication: a system of
symbolic behaviors that includes all forms of
communication except words.
Example: body language

“The most important thing in

communication is to hear what
isn’t being said.”
- Peter F. Drucker
Austrian writer and editor
 According to the social anthropologist,
Edward T. Hall, in a normal
conversation between two persons,
less than 35% of the social meanings
is actually transmitted by words.
 So, at least 65% of it is conveyed
through the body (non-verbal
 The human body can produce over
700,000 unique movements. These
movements have been partitioned into
about 60 discrete and symbolic
signals and around 60 gestures,
postures, and expressions
 Some basic nonverbal behaviors seem to
be reliable cues as to a person’s state of
 Facial expressions are not learned but

biologically determined.
 Most people can tell what another

person’s facial expression means, but

there are of course exceptions.

 To understand the inner turmoil going on inside the mind

of a person.
 To keep the upper hand in arguments and negotiations.
 Tell that if a person talking to you is telling a lie?
 Detect and send messages of friendship.
 Convey your inner feelings without words.
 Recognize and overcome boredom or defensiveness.
 Recognize the gestures purposely used to make you
 Succeed in delicate and tricky situations
 And many more………..
Nonverbal Communication
& Professional Image
A positive professional image is important to your success
in professional and social contexts.
Through nonverbal communication
you can create a professional
image that projects
 confidence

 poise

 Assertiveness

Functions of Nonverbal
 Expands verbal communication by:
 Reinforcing a message
 Contradicting the message
 Substituting for messages

 Conveys emotional and relationship

dimensions of a message.
Characteristics of
Nonverbal Communication
 Subconscious: nonverbal communication is often sent
and received on a subconscious level. We are usually
not aware of the messages we send nonverbally.
• Contextual: nonverbal communication
depends on the situation in which is
• Ambiguous: the meaning is open to
interpretation and often confusing.
• Cultural: nonverbal communication has
a distinct cultural nature.
There are 7 types of nonverbal
 Proxemics
 Haptics
 Chronemics
 Kinesics
 Artifacts
 Vocalics or Paralanguage
 Environment
Body movement and gestures

The study of body movements,

Facial expressions, and
Gestures is called ‘kinesics’.

It is the non-verbal behaviour of the

whole or part of the body.

Body language is scientifically

known as kinesics or non verbal
 Kinesic behavior, or body movement, includes
 gestures,
 hand and arm movements,
 leg movements,
 facial expressions,
 eye gaze and blinking,
 and stance or posture.
 Although just about any part of the body can be
used for communicating nonverbally, the face,
hands, and arms are the primary kinesic
channels through which nonverbal messages
are sent.
Elements of body language:

-Eye contact
- eyebrows
- smile
- handshake
- face
Let’s Examine How Body
Communicates, from head to toes
 Small head nods show continuous attention
 Head is down shows negative emotion
 Lifting chin up and looking down nose is
symbol of superiority
 Straight head indicates neutral position
Eye Contact-Oculesics

-Eye contact : shows attention, Interest and

-Glancing : indicates passing Interest
-Gazing : indicates intense interest
-Staring : interpreted as anger or confusion
-Blinking : indicates ignorance

“The eyes are the windows to the soul.”

• Eye contact is VERY culturally
Eye contacts
Encouraged in America, Canada, Europe
Rude in most Asian countries and in Africa
Raising eyebrows
“Yes” in Thailand and some Asian countries
“Hello” in the Philippines
Winking eye
Sharing secret in America and Europe
flirtatious gesture in other countries
Closed eyes
bored or sleepy in America
“I’m listening and concentrating.” in Japan,
Eyes and forehead- business transaction
Forehead to lips- social
From head to toe- intimate
Eyes keep shifting- lack of concentration
Blinking and trying to get in focus – shifty
 Vertical- worry
 Horizontal shows happiness
 Raised eyebrow- suspicion
 Eyebrows lowered- disagreement
 Felt smile- upturned mouth with lips closed-
interaction and happiness
 Miserable smile – only half the mouth is
smiling- dissatisfaction
 False smile- slight turn at the end of the
mouth, does not reach eyes- sarcastic,
• Smile universally recognized as sign of friendliness, it has
other meaning to other culture.
• Germans smile less than people from US, but doesn’t
mean Germans are less friendly.
• U.S. wives are usually shown smiling at their husband but
Japanese wives are rarely shown smiling.
Hand movements
 Hugging of the self- uncertainity, lack of
 Arms folded with thumb pointing upward-
superiority complex
 Clasping of hands behind the back- used
by royalty
 Lightly scratching one side of the neck-
 Quick rubbing of hands- excitement
 Rubbing of hands as if hands were being
washed- over with the issue
 Pressing of hands in front of oneself-
 Hands resting lightly on the neck- analyse
the problem
 Stroking of the chin- ideas behind given
careful consideration
Hand shake
 Equal handshake – equal in behaviour
 Tight grasp- superiority complex
 Limp handshake- inferiority complex
 Informal handshake- informal behaviour
Tips on a Perfect Handshake
1. Hand shake is always done with a right hand.
2. Hand should be vertical to the ground.
3. Elbow should be slightly bent.
4. web ( palm) of one person should meet the web of the other
5. Fingers and thumb should entwine.
6. Give slight pressure to show warmth.
7. Look into the eyes of a person.
8. Say some nice words as greeting.
10. up-down-centre movement at least Twice.
11. Release the hand in 3 seconds.
Posture & Gait
Posture & Gait
 Expressions related  In Western culture, an
upright, yet relaxed body
to posture, gait
posture, is associated with
 “grow a spine” confidence, positivity, high
 walking with a “spring self esteem (Guerrero &
in your step” Floyd, 2006).
 “stand up for yourself”
 “stand up straight”
 “hold your head high”
 “don’t slouch.”
 “stand still”
Styles of walking
 Hands in pocket, walk disorganized, head
bent – depressed
 Hands in pocket walk disorganized, kicking
an imaginary object – angry
 Focusing of eyes on the ground- lost in
 Focusing of eyes in the air – looking for
 Strutting style of walking- extreme confidence
Posture –Cultural context
 Bowing (not done, criticized, or affected
in US; shows rank in Japan)
 Slouching (rude in most Northern

European areas)
 Hands in pocket (disrespectful in

 Sitting with legs crossed (offensive in
Ghana, Turkey)
 Showing soles of feet.(Offensive in
Thailand, Saudi Arabia)
Are these people expressing the same
emotion, in differing degrees, or different
emotions altogether?
The face is capable of conveying
250,000 expressions (Birdwhistle, 1970)
Face-Express Emotion or Affect
 Blank face- relaxation
 Positive face – desire to be liked
 Negative face –no one likes
 Humans have uniquely
expressive hands.
 A gesture is a movement of the head ,hands
or legs to express an idea feeling or emotion .
 Gestures can be seen as subtle or not so
subtle cues
 We use gestures to take the place of words,
or help us to increase understanding of what
is being said
 Open palm while talking- positive
 Eye to eye confrontation – honest and
 Smile – open personality
• Fidgeting shows
boredom and restlessness.
• Pressing fingers together to form
a steeple
shows interests, assertiveness and
• Touching the nose or rubbing eyes
indicates discomfort.
• A hand to the back of the neck
may indicate
• withdrawal from a conversation.
Open Gestures

Interested people always have an erect posture, pay

attention and lean forward
A firm handshake will give the impression of
assertiveness or honesty
People showing open hands, both feet planted on
the ground are accepting
A head tilted to the side indicates
Closed Gestures
• Leaning backwards demonstrates
aloofness or rejection
• Folding arms across ones chest or body is protective
gives the impression of a closed, guarded and defensive
• People with arms folded, legs crossed and bodies
turned away are signalling
that they are rejecting messages.
• A head down is negative and judgmental
 Openness, Confidence
 Open hands
 Eye contact
 Smile, leaning forward, relaxed
 Standing straight
 Indifference
 Legs crossed
 Shaking one foot
 Glancing at exit
 Yawning
 Fidget
We categorize Gestures into 5
different kinds
 Emblems
 Illustrators
 Regulators
 Affect displays
 adaptors
In much of the
world today, the
thumbs up
means, "O.K.",
"Right On!", or "I
like this”

But in Iran,
Afghanistan, Nigeria
and parts of Italy
and Greece.. it is an
obscene insult,
especially when
combined with a
sweep of the arms.
Haptics /Tactilics – Study of Touch as
Nov verbal communication
 Physical contact is the easiest and
one of the earliest forms of human
 The observation of physical
contact gives revealing clues of
non- verbal message
 Touching and being touched are
essential to a healthy life
 Touch can communicate power,
•Who can you touch? empathy, understanding
• When can you touch?
• How can you touch?
It is a study of how physical contact or touch is used to
communicate the
Examples of haptics are –
-Patting(Back ,Shoulder )
-Shaking hands, Holding hands .
TOUCH-Cultural Context
•In Western culture, handshake is common (even for strangers),
hugs, kisses for those of opposite gender or of family (usually) on
an increasingly more intimate basis.

•Most Africans touch on greeting but are annoyed if touched on

the head (good boy, good girl overtones).

• Islamic and Hindu: typically don’t touch with the left hand. To do
so is a social insult. Left hand is for toilet functions.

•Islamic cultures generally don’t approve of any touching

between opposite-sex (even hand shakes). But consider such
touching (including hand holding, hugs) between same sex to be
Proxemics (space language /distance)

Each communicator has a personal zone and territory

built or constructed around himself which he does not
allow to be invaded during communication unless the
relationship between the speaker and the listener is
Proxemics means nearness between people or
distance maintained during communication.
Personal Space Language
Countless messages are communicated the
way people use space around them
 The way they claim the space for themselves
,or the way they share it .
 How close do you stand to the once your are
communication ?
 Where do you sit in the room ?

 How do you position yourself with respect to

others at a meeting ?
 How furniture is arranged ?
Space Language Communicates

 Relationship with others

 Status
 Level of Confidence
 Purpose of Communication
 Type of event
Four kinds of distances are
Proxemics is divided into four major zones –Informal Space

-Intimate - physical contact to 18 inches.

-Personal- 18 inches to 4 feet
-Social - 4 feet to 12 feet
-Public - 12 feet to range of eyesight and hearing

Edward T. Hall’s 4 levels of distance

“ Cultures differ substantially in their use of
personal space“ – Edward Hall(1959).
Interpersonal Distances
Distance Description Voice

Intimate Touching to 18 Private situation Whisper, Low

inches with people who
are emotionally
Personal 18 inches to 4 Handshake Soft Voice
feet distance.

Social 4 to 12 feet Distance Full Voice

Customers and
Public 12 feet Teacher in a Loud Voice
 Interpersonal distance is
another Non verbal indicator
of power .
 3 basics principle summarize
your use of personal space
in an organization
 The more & better space you
will have
 Better protected territory
 Easier to invade the territory of
lower status personnel
Level of Confidence

 Choices about seating can influence

 Confident persons –often select the position
at a table where they can be seen & see
 People who don’t want to indulge in
communication look for seats where
they can’t be seen
Use of Space for purpose of
Personal Space at Work

 Your office
 Your desk

 A table in the
cafeteria that you
sit at regularly

Microsoft Photo
When you invade my space.
Reactions to an invasion of your space:-

1 Feel troubled
2 Get defensive
3 Become aggressive
4 Retaliate
How is time used to communicate?
 What does it mean to you when someone is
always late?
 A study conducted by Burgoon (1989) found that
people who arrive 15 minutes late are
considered dynamic, but much less competent,
composed and sociable than those that arrive on
 America is an extremely time conscious culture

 Latin cultures versus Anglo cultures

Chronemics:Time language
 How do we manage
and react to others’
management of time
 Punctuality
 Waiting Time
 Duration (Time given to
a task/Person)

How People handle time

is a reflection of their
Involves the following :
 Have you taken any appointment ?
 Do you inform that the meeting shall be of
certain duration ???
 Do you limit your meeting to certain time limit
 Do you intervene and hijack the talk ?
 Do you keep people waiting if someone has
come to see you ?
 Are you punctual for your appointments??
Examples of use of time language
-Delay in replying letters,
-Late coming to office
-Late coming to class or meetings
-Completion of specific task within a time span
communicates -
Frequent late coming or running from office or
Class communicates –

-lack of loyalty, etc
Para linguistics
 Refers to Vocal Communication
 Consists of:
 Pitch
 Tone of Voice
 Vocally produced noises-Laughs
,screams ,sighs etc
 Pause/Silence
 Volume
 Rate of Speech
 Word Stress /Intonations
 Speech Breakers
Ingredients of Paralanguage
Vocal Characteristics:
 laughing, crying, whispering, snoring, yelling, moaning,
groaning, yawning, sneezing, sighing, hiccups
Vocal Interferences
 Extraneous sounds or words
that interrupt fluent speech
 “uh,” “um”
 “you know,” “like”
 Filler
Silence can communicate
 – Agreement.
 – Disagreement.
 – Confusion.
 – Respect.
 – Sadness.
 – Thoughtfulness, or any number of
“Silence in Asia has commonly been entirely acceptable whereas in the
West silence has generally been considered socially disagreeable.“
– Oliver(1971)
Artifactual Communication
 Physical Appearance
 Clothing ,style
,belongings etc

 What message do
you wish to send
with your choice of
clothing and
Microsoft Photo
personal grooming?
• Clothing can reflect cultural heritage.
• Example:– Traditional clothing of Gambia

• Clothing can reflect subgroup identity.

• Example:– US Army Combat Uniform.

 Communication through the use of artifacts.

 Communicate
 Marital status
 Economic status
 Social status/membership
 Personality

 A smell can trigger the oldest of memories

 We can remember what we smell longer than
what we see & hear.
 Americans are very smell conscious
 Can even be used as a warning system

The study of communication via smell is called Olfactics.

“In all cultures, women can detect odors in lower concentrations,
identify them more accurately and remember them longer than men“
– Doty et al.(1984)
• Western culture — fear of offensive natural smells (billion
dollar industry to mask objectionable odors with what is perceived to be
pleasant ) — again connected with “attractiveness” concept.
• Many other cultures consider natural body odors as normal(Arabic).
• Asian cultures (Filipino, Malay, Indonesian, Thai, Indian) stress
frequent bathing — and often criticize western culture of not bathing
often enough!

 Can communicate pleasure, displeasure or

 We can savor flavors we enjoy.
 What one person perceives as mildly spicy
may be hot and displeasureable to another
Improving Nonverbal
Communication Skills

•When sending messages

• Be conscious of nonverbal behavior
• Be purposeful in use of nonverbals
• Make sure nonverbals are not distracting
• Match verbal and nonverbal communication
• Adapt to the situation
Improving Nonverbal
Communication Skills

•When receiving messages

• Don’t automatically assume
• Consider gender, culture and individual
• Pay attention to all aspects of nonverbal
• Use perception checking
 Physical Aspects of Non Verbal
 Kinesics (body language) Body motions such as shrugs,
foot tapping, drumming fingers, eye movements such as
winking, facial expressions, and gestures
 Proxemics (proximity) Use of space to signal privacy or
 Haptics Touch
 Oculesics Eye contact
 Chronemics Use of time, waiting, pausing
 Olfactics Smell
 Vocalics Tone of voice, timbre, volume, speed
 Sound symbols Grunting, mmm, er, ah, uh-huh, mumbling
 Silence Pausing, waiting, secrecy
 Posture Position of the body, stance
 Adornment Clothing, jewellery, hairstyle
 Locomotion Walking, running, staggering, limping
Steepling Hands

This is frequently used in superior/subordinate

interaction. It demonstrates confidence and a
'know-it-all' attitude.

There are 2 versions:

1)The raised steeple - when the person is talking,

expressing their opinion

2) The lowered steeple - when the person is listening

Palm Gripping

This is a confidence/superiority position. The

person has their stomach, heart and throat regions
exposed which is an unconscious act of

If you are in stressful situation assuming this

position can help calm you down and take control
of the situation.
Arms Crossed

This is a negative or defensive position.

Most people will assume this position if they

disagree with what they are hearing.

Even if someone is agreeing with you, if their

arms are crossed they will have a negative
attitude towards you.
Mirroring Positions

This is one of the most important interpretations of body

language we can learn.

You often see two people talking, standing in the same pose.
This indicates that they are in agreement with each other,
they like each other.

If you want to establish a rapport with someone, mirror their

poses - this will have the effect of relaxing them and giving
them a non-verbal indication that you are both thinking along
the same lines.
Brisk, erect walk Confidence
Standing with hands on hips Readiness, aggression
Sitting with legs crossed, foot kicking slightly Boredom
Sitting, legs apart Open, relaxed
Walking with hands in pockets, shoulders hunched Dejection
Hand to cheek Evaluation, thinking
Touching, slightly rubbing nose Rejection, doubt, lying
Head resting in hand, eyes downcast Boredom
Sitting with hands clasped behind head, legs crossed Confidence, superiority
Open palm Sincerity, openness, innocence
Tapping or drumming fingers Impatience
Tilted head Interest
Stroking chin Trying to make a decision
Looking down, face turned away Disbelief
Pulling or tugging at ear Indecision
How can the same Gestures be
treated differently in different
What is a culture?
Culture is the "lens" through which you view the world.
Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people,
defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social
habits, music and arts.
It is central to what you see, How you make sense of what you
see and How you express yourself.
Why do cultures differ?
Educational Backgrounds
Social backgrounds
High Context and Low Context
 High Context Culture:-
Cultures that rely
heavily on non-verbal
and subtle situational
cues in communication.
 Low Context Culture:-
Cultures that rely
heavily on words to
convey meaning in
Why Cross Culture Communication
is important ?
 Globalization:
 Business Opportunities
 Job Opportunities
 Improves the contribution of employees in a diverse
 Sharing of views and ideas
 Talent improvisation
 An understanding of diverse market
Communicating across cultures needs more
than language
Some cultures
 Need more background and context
 Need different messages
All cultures have different reactions to
 Tone of voice
 Nonverbal language
All cultures have potential for miscommunication
 The more sensitive the message the more
miscommunication is.
Points to Remember in Cross
Cultural Communication
 Don’t generalize
•Don’t stereotype
•Be genuine
•Have the right intentions
•Have a generous heart
•Treat people with respect
 Avoid Assumptions, jokes which are misunderstood
 Use symbols, diagrams and pictures.
 Avoid using slang and idioms, choosing words that will
convey only the most specific meaning;
 Investigate their culture's perception
 Take cultural and local differences into account.
 Say what you do and do what you say. Make sure that your
 communication is line with the audience; use understandable
 Find out what cultural factors may hinder effective
Intercultural Communication
Intercultural communication is the process of
sending and receiving messages between
people whose cultural background could lead
them to Interpret verbal and non-verbal signs
Intercultural communication refers to
messages transmitted between members of
two or more different societies
Intra-cultural Communication
Intercultural communication refers to messages
transmitted between members of two or more
From the same societies
Skills To Overcome Differences
 Respecting Differences and Working
 Building Trust Across Cultural Boundaries
 Understanding Body Language
 Connecting with people
Blocks to Cultural Communication
1. Ethnocentrism : Inability to accept another
culture's world view; "my way is the best.“

2. Discrimination : Differential treatment of an

individual due to minority status; actual and
perceived; e.g., "we just aren't equipped to
.Serve people like that.“

3. Stereotyping : Generalizing about a person

while ignoring presence of individual
difference;e.g., "she's like that because she's
Asian – all Asians are nonverbal."
4.Cultural Blindness: Differences are ignored
and one proceeds as though differences did not
exist; e.g., "there's no need to worry about
A person's culture

5.Cultural Imposition: Belief that everyone

should conform to the majority; e.g., "we know
what's best for you, if you don't like it you can
go elsewhere.“

6.Tone Difference : Formal tone change

becomes embarrassing and off putting
in some cultures.
Generalized Non Verbal Behavior based on
Ethics/Cultural Background
What does this symbol mean to

 In the United States it is a

symbol for good job
 In Germany the number one
 In Japan the number five
 In Ghana an insult
 In Malaysia the thumb is
used to point rather than a
-Atlantic Committee for102
the Olympic Games
Eye Contact and Gaze
Western cultures:
 Direct eye contact seen as positive
 Differs for some races
 African American—more eye contact when talking, less when
 Anglo Americans—often the opposite
 Prolonged eye contact may be seen as sexual interest

Arabic cultures:
 Prolonged eye contact is common
 Shows interest
 Helps them understand truthfulness

Japan, African, Latin American, & Caribbean cultures:

 Avoid eye contact to show respect
Facial Expressions
Many Asian cultures:
Suppress facial expression
as much as possible

Many Mediterranean cultures

Exaggerate grief or sadness

Most American men

Hide grief and sorrow
Western Cultures
 Handshake is common
 Hugs, kisses for those of opposite gender, family
 Some differences between African American & Anglo Americans
Islamic/Hindu cultures
 Typically don’t touch with left hand
 Generally don’t touch between genders; with same sexes is
 Common to see two men or two women holding hands
Many Asian cultures
 Don’t touch the head because it houses the soul
Latino, Middle-Eastern, & Jewish cultures
 Touch is okay—emotion encouraged
 Opposite-sex handshakes acceptable; usually same-sex
English, German, Scandinavian, Chinese & Japanese cultures
 Do not subscribe to overt displays of affection
 Bowing
 Not done, criticized, or affected in US
 Shows rank in Japan
 Slouching
 Rude in most Northern European areas
 Hands in pocket
 Disrespectful in Turkey
 Sitting with legs crossed
 Offensive in Ghana, Turkey
 Showing the soles of feet
 Distasteful in Thailand, Saudi Arabia
 Some cultures are animated, others restrained
 Amount of gesturing varies from one culture
to another
 A gesture acceptable in your culture may be
offensive in another
 e.g. Pointing
 US, Asia with index finger
 Germany with little finger
 Japan with entire hand
General Appearance and

Differing cultural standards

 What is attractive
 What constitutes modesty
 What is required by one’s religion
END NOTE : Smile Please !!!!!