You are on page 1of 100

Nonverbal Communication


Responsiveness Synchrony

Non verbal
Most nonverbal communication is unconscious or subconscious Occurs mostly face-to-face Three factors in message interpretation: Verbal Impact, 7 percent Vocal Impact, 38 percent Facial Impact, 55 percent

Non-Verbal Communication a definition

It is the way people: Reinforce the spoken word Replace the spoken word using their bodies to make visual signals or their voices to make oral but non-verbal signals


sign language gestures

action language movements

object language pictures, clothes etc

Verbal Communication-7% Bodily Movements, Gestures-55% Voice tone-38%

Types of Non-verbal Communication

Kinesics Paralanguage or Para Linguistics Proxemics Haptics Oculesics Olfactics Chronemics Chromatics Silence Sign language

(the study of body movements, gestures, facial expressions, etc., as a means of communication)

Defined - the study of posture, movement, gestures, & facial expression.

Kinesics: facial expression

Birdwhistle (1970): the face is capable of conveying 250,000 expressions

Body Language (Kinesics)

Body language includes facial expressions, gestures, and posture and stance. To interpret facial expressions correctly, it is important to take the communication context and culture into account. People in some cultures rarely show emotion (China); Asians will smile or laugh softly when they are embarrassed.

Effective Use of Body language

Mind the body talk Be careful with the handshake Establish good Eye contact Communicate at the level of the person before you We must be ourselves Graceful Movements and Confident posture improve the atmosphere at the workplace

We categorize kinesics into 5 different kinds.

1. Affect Displays
Movements of the face to convey or show emotions Happy, sad, fear, anger, etc.

2. Emblems
Substitutions for words Specific verbal translation EX: OK, peace, be quiet

3. Illustrators
Accompany and literally illustrate the verbal message EX: Saying, Lets go while motioning with your hands for them to go, it was this big while showing how big, making a circular motion while talking about a circle

Asking, What time is it? At the same time, pointing to your watch.

4. Regulators
Monitor, maintain, or control the speaking of another individual EX: nodding your head, keep going, speed up

Who is sending an Im really listening regulator message? How do you know?

QuickTime an d a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are need ed to see this picture .

5. Adaptors
Satisfy a need & are usually unconscious 3 types:
1. Self-adaptors 2. Alter-adaptors 3. Object-adaptors

5. Adaptors
1. Self-adaptors: satisfy a physical need EX: scratching your head, pushing your hair out of your face

5. Adaptors
1. Self-adaptors 2. Alter-adaptors: body movements you make in response to your current interactions EX: crossing your arms when someone unpleasant approaches

5. Adaptors
1. Self-adaptors 2. Alter-adaptors 3. Object-adaptors: manipulation of objects; often happen when feeling hostile EX: clicking pen, chewing pencil

Vocal Cues
Paralinguistic features - no word sounds & non word characteristics of language.
Paralanguage or Para Linguistics ( systematic study of how a speaker verbalizes)

Vocal Cues
Paralinguistic features Vocal cues - all the oral aspects of sound except words themselves, which include... pitch, rate, inflection, volume, quality, sounds & silence, pronunciation, articulation, & enunciation.

Pitch variation Those who speak in monotones fail to keep listeners attention People in authority or When excited speak in high pitched voice Speaking Speed Fluency in language is not the same thing as the speed of speaking We should present easy parts of message at a brisk pace and difficult, complicated parts at slower pace. In state of anxiety, urgency we speak fast and when relaxed at a comfortable speed.

Pace of speaking is also accompanied by pauses But pauses have to be at the right moments A pause can be highly effective in emphasizing the upcoming subject and in gaining listeners attention However frequent, arbitrary pauses spoil the speech and distract listeners attention Very important for a speaker to carefully monitor pauses

Non fluencies
Pauses often inserted with sounds like ah, oh, uh, um, you know, OK, yawning, laughing, chuckling Carefully and sparingly used they add fluency to speaker, give them time to breathe/ relax, make listener more alert Too frequent insertions may irritate listener

Volume Variation
Loudness of our voice should be adjusted according to size of audience Some speakers believe only way to sound convincing is to speak louder 2. Proper word stress Eg: Have you met my wife before?

Proxemics-Space Language
(study of distance individuals maintain between
each other while interacting and its significance)

Proxemics-Space Language
Intimate-Physical contact/touch to 1.5 feet eg with our family members, closest friends and selected people Personal-18 inches to 4 feet eg normal conversations with close friends, colleagues, associates and visitors Social-4 to 12 feet. Used mostly for formal purposes Public-12 feet to as far as we can see and hear

Defined Territoriality

Personal space - bubble of space that moves with you.

Halls Distance Categories

Intimate distance Contact to 18 inches


Halls Distance Categories

Public distance 12 feet or more

Halls Distance Categories

Personal distance 18 inches to 4 feet

Halls Distance Categories

Social distance 4 feet to 12 feet

Space (Proxemics)
People in the U.S. tend to need more space than do persons of other cultures. U.S. persons back away when people stand too close. Standing too close is interpreted as being pushy or overbearing; standing too close may also be interpreted as unwelcome sexual advances.

U.S. people need more space than do Greeks, Latin Americans, or Arabs.
The Japanese stand even farther away than do U.S. persons.

Refers to communicating through the use of bodily contact When used properly, touch can create feelings of warmth and trust When used improperly, touch can betray trust and cause annoyance Some cultures are very comfortable with bodily contact, others avoid it. Eg In US touching has a lot to do with hierarchy In Thailand it is offensive to touch head

Touch (Haptics)
Touch, when used properly, may create feelings of warmth and trust; when used improperly, touch may cause annoyance and betray trust. Hierarchy is a consideration when using touch in the U.S.: people who are older or higher rank may touch those who are younger or of lower rank; equals may touch each other.

Don't Touch Cultures

Japan U.S. and Canada England Scandinavia Other N. European countries

Middle Ground Countries

Australia France China Ireland India Middle East countries

Touch Cultures
Latin American countries Italy Greece Spain and Portugal Some Asian countries Russian Federation

Location of the Touch Is Important

Appropriate touch in the U.S. is limited to shaking hands in business situations - no hugs or expressions of affection. In Thailand do not touch the head. Do not touch Asians on the shoulders or even the back of the worker's chair. Avoid touching a person with the left hand in the Middle East.

Several years ago, when President Carter was mediating peace talks between Egypt and Israel, Anwar Sadat frequently placed his hand on President Carters knee. While this subtextual message was intended as a gesture of warm friendship, the subtler message Sadat was conveying to the world was that he was President Carters equal.

Fast, Body Language in the Workplace


Study of eye-contact as a form of non-verbal communication. Eye contact is the most important cue Avoiding eye contact considered as insecure, untrustworthy Direct eye contact may be misinterpreted as hostility, aggressiveness Lowering eyes in China and Indonesia-sign of respect. They prefer indirect eye contact, prolonged eye contact is seen as sign of bad manners

Eye Contact
Eye contacts shrinking eyes, eye ball movement, broadening of eyes etc.,

Eye Expressions

Gaze/Eye Contact (Oculesics)

Although people in the U.S. favor direct eye contact, in other cultures, such as the Japanese, the reverse is true; they direct their gaze below the chin. In the Middle East, on the other hand, the eye contact is more intense than U.S. people are comfortable with. A prolonged gaze or stare in the U.S. is considered rude. In most cultures, men do not stare at women as this may be interpreted as sexually suggestive.

The study of sense of smell Someones smell can have a positive or negative effect on the oral message

Smell (Olfactics)
Although people of the U.S. respond negatively to body odors, Arabs are comfortable with natural body odors. Other cultures in which smell plays an important role include the Japanese and Samoans.

the study of the use of time in nonverbal communication. The way we perceive time, structure our time and react to time is a powerful communication tool, and helps set the stage for the communication process.

Time (Chronemics)
Attitudes toward time vary from culture to culture. Countries that follow monochronic time perform only one major activity at a time (U.S., England, Switzerland, Germany). Countries that follow polychronic time work on several activities simultaneously (Latin America, the Mediterranean, the Arabs).

Cultural Differences in Attitudes Toward Time

U.S. persons are very time conscious and value punctuality. Being late for meetings is viewed as rude and insensitive behavior; tardiness also conveys that the person is not well organized. Germans and Swiss people are even more time conscious; people of Singapore and Hong Kong also value punctuality. In Algeria, on the other hand, punctuality is not widely regarded. Latin American countries have a manana attitude; people in Arab cultures have a casual attitude toward time.

Communication of messages through colors It is a scientific movement which explores the physical properties of colour and the effect of color on humans The connotations colors have may be positive or negative depending on the culture In Us common to wear black when mourning, in India people prefer white In Hong Kong red is used for happiness or luck and traditional bridal dress; in Poland brides wear white In Asia people like colored shampoos, in US shampoos tend to be light colored

Color (Chromatics)
Colors have cultural variations in connotations.
Black is the color of mourning in the U.S., but white is worn to funerals by the Japanese. In the U.S. white is typically worn by brides, while in India red or yellow is worn. Purple is sometimes associated with royalty, but it is the color of death in Mexico and Brazil. Red (especially red roses) is associated with romance in some cultures including the U.S.

United Airlines unknowingly got off on the wrong foot during its initial flights from Hong Kong. To commemorate the occasion, they handed out white carnations to the passengers. When they learned that to many Asians white flowers represent bad luck and even death, they changed to red carnations.

Ricks, Blunders in International Business


Color Influences Communication

Yellow cheers and elevates moods

Red excites and stimulates

Blue comforts and soothes

In some cultures black suggests mourning

In some cultures white suggests purity

Another important aspect in communication When we are silent, we are also communicating! What we communicate depends on what kind of silence it is. Mostly subject of conversation plays major role in this The more emotionally loaded subject is, the more silence we need Silence in group conversations are difficult to be handled for lot of people


Although U.S. persons are uncomfortable with silence, people from the Middle East are quite comfortable with silence. The Japanese also like periods of silence and do not like to be hurried. Such Japanese proverbs as, Those who know do not speak - those who speak do not know, emphasize the value of silence over words in that culture. In Italy, Greece, and Arabian countries, on the other hand, there is very little silence.

Sign language
Visual Signs Crossed bones under a skull as a danger signal Cross over a cigarette as warning against smoking Lights-green or red at traffic points, railway stations, outside operation theatre of hospital, revolving light on the top of VIP vehicle/ambulance Audio Signs Drum beats in jungles in olden times Alarm signals Blowing a horn Buzzer, bells

Nonverbal Signals
Vary from culture to culture

Microsoft Photo

What does this symbol mean to you?

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 finger

-Atlantic Committee for the Olympic Games

Suspiciousness is indicated by glancing away or touching your nose, eyes, or ears. Defensiveness is indicated by crossing your arms over your chest, making fisted gestures, or crossing your legs. Lack of interest or boredom is indicated by glancing repeatedly at your watch or staring at the ceiling or floor or out the window when the person is speaking.
Axtell, Gestures 68

Additional Guidelines for Gesturing in Various Cultures

The V for victory gesture, holding two fingers upright, with palm and fingers faced outward, is widely used in the U.S. and many other countries. In England, however, it is a crude connotation when used with the palm in.

Axtell, Gestures


An American engineer, sent to Germany by his U.S. company who had purchased a German firm, was working side by side with a German engineer on a piece of equipment. When the American engineer made a suggestion for improving the new machine, the German engineer followed the suggestion and asked his American counterpart whether or not he had done it correctly. The American replied by giving the U.S. American OK gesture, making a circle with the thumb and forefinger. The German engineer put down his tools and walked away, refusing further communication with the American engineer. The U.S. American later learned from one of the supervisors the significance of this gesture to a German: You asshole.
Axtell, Gestures 70

Interest is demonstrated by leaning forward toward the person with whom you are conversing. The posture of U.S. persons is casual, including sitting in a relaxed manner and slouching when standing (considered rude in Germany). Posture when seated varies with the culture; U.S. persons often cross their legs while seated (women at the ankle and men with the ankle on the knee).

Most Middle Easterners would consider crossing the leg with the ankle on the knee inappropriate. Avoid showing the sole of your shoe or pointing your foot at someone in the Arab world. Follow the lead of the person of the other culture; assume the posture they assume.

Nonverbal gives emotional content What you say is/is not as important as how you say it Nonverbal is culturally determined, yet universal We send multiple nonverbal cues which can result in mixed messages

Clothing & Artifacts

Objectives - study of human use of clothing & other artifacts as nonverbal codes.

Can you guess?

Turkey: Homosexual Commonly: Perfect Japan: Money

Can you guess?

Turkey: obscene gesture No such gesture in English Brazil: Good luck!

Can you guess?

Turkey: You get nothing from me Commonly: Stop, enough W.Africa: You have 5 fathers!

Can you guess?

Turkey: Right wing political party Commonly: OK Japan: Five

The knuckle Grinder


Body Language (Kinesics):

Body Language (Kinesics):

Body Language (Kinesics):

Body Language (Kinesics):


Tips of effective use of non verbal communication

Observe and understand the non verbal signals being sent your way on a moment to moment basis
Use eye contact

Understand the cultural nuances of the various forms of non verbal communication. When there is a contradiction between the verbal and non verbal messages of the persons you are listening to try to assess the situation with the help of non verbal cues.

Check context: Don't try to interpret cues isolated from other such cues, from the verbal communication, or from the physical or emotional context. Look for clusters: This is the nonverbal context itself. See if a resistance accompanies the arms being crossed to eye contact and a flat tone of voice. Consider past experience: We can more accurately interpret the behavior of people we know. For e.g. Your mother may always hugs when you come home from school and so you learn that this represent happiness in that particular situation. Practice perception checking: Recognize that you are interpreting observed behavior, not reading a mind, and check out your observation.

Get your act together!

Bhakti Rasa - in devotion - where we evoked the Devine Creator and find him in the deepest recesses of our being. Vatsalya Rasa - Love and comfort expression of affection at its most natural, as a child delights in all that is fun. Raudra Rasa - Beware the ferocity of the Raudra's glare-rest consumes you. Karun Rasa - Compassion and care, if pain we share. Vibhatsa Rasa - Disgust - showing a disturbing shift in the mood.

Shringar Rasa - Love, beauty divinity.

Adbhut Rasa - The look of wonder. Madhur Rasa - For a child there is loveliness in all that he beholds . Hasya Rasa - laughter , Bounce with us in fun.