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While verbal communication is just one way of articulating messages to others, it’s not the only skill that human service professionals need to utilize when working with clients. Nonverbal communication carries significant weight when it comes to conveying messages of all sorts. In this discussion forum, you will have an opportunity to provide examples of effective nonverbal communication techniques appropriate to a human services setting.
Read Chapter 5 from The Interpersonal Communication Book and watch the following video, People Skills:Communicating without Words (Links to an external site.) retrieved from the Films On Demand database.
Reflect on your own experience regarding nonverbal messages. Have there been situations in your life when the nonverbal messages were much clearer than the verbal messages? What about times when the words that were spoken did not match the nonverbal cues? How is online communication different in terms of nonverbal messages? What kinds of messages do you send nonverbally via your style of dressing or mannerisms? How would nonverbal messages affect your communication with clients or colleagues?
Spend approximately ten minutes observing two or more individuals in conversation at a coffee shop, store, or work environment. It is best if you observe individuals that you do not know. Please be respectful and unobtrusive in your observation. As an alternative, you can observe the interactions between characters on a television show. Following your observation and using your textbook as a guide, please respond to the questions below for your discussion post. If you are basing your post on television characters, please identify the show.
What nonverbal messages did you observe?
- How did the nonverbal messages or cues aid in communicating effectively?
- What consistencies or inconsistencies between verbal and nonverbal messages did you observe?
- Provide examples of effective nonverbal communication techniques (either by those you observed/watched or from those in the text) that you could use as a professional in a health and human services setting. How and why would you use them?
Guided Response: Consider ways in which you might like to interact with your peers. For example, how might you extend the discussion of nonverbal communication (e.g., discussing topics similar to or different from your peers, what you found helpful about this activity, etc.)? Respond to 2 peers, 100 words each response.
Classmate # 1
In observance of a couple having a dispute:
The husband was trying to convince the wife on which vehicle they should out later that night. The wife in return directly communicated that she did NOT want to take the Camaro as she widen her eyes and swiftly cocked her head while sternly looking at him. In defense the husband smiled and with welcoming arms said, “thought you might like to ride in luxury tonight since we don’t often take her out.” As he was speaking to her she rolled her eyes and sighed very loudly as she restated that she did not want to take that particular car. The non-verbal cues in the conversation were easily spotted through the debate regardless of the words spoken. The wife’s non-verbals were packaged correctly with her answer and how she felt. The husband verbals were also consistent with how he felt, they just both disagreed.
I did not see much inconsistencies with neither parties non-verbal or verbal cues. This marriage clearly has a safe space to communicate openly with one another, even in disagreeing. Both individuals openly expressed why they wanted their way or why it would or would not make sense to take certain actions. In the end, they came to an conclusion that both could live with.
Some non-verbal techniques that could be used in the health and human service setting is usage of affect displays or regulators (body messages) to complement your words with facial expressions or engagement of the conversation. eye communicationis important because depending on the client and their culture, rules of eye contact can be strict. Paralanguage is also very pertinent because perception can misconstrued depending on how a message is delivered to a client. Delivery is everything to some people and depending on how someone says something can cause them to gain or lost respect from their client or vice versa.
Week 2 – Discussion # 2 – Its not about the words
In Observing two co workers interacting with each other , regarding an issue with a phone call . I have noticed their Non verbal message , one of the them was “Control”
she was talking to the other worker but she was making a lot of hand movements as to she wanted to take control of the situation. She also “Substitute”for verbal message with hand gestures and nodding her head to indicate she agreed with what is being said.
The other workers Nonverbal message was “To secure help” indicating a helplessness hand gestures and a puzzled look in her face.
I observed that even though they both were using Non verbal messages , they both had some inconsistencies with both verbal and Non verbal as they were discussing the situation with the phone call, one appeared upset , and not letting the other one speak or explain the situation. They both were not looking at each other , no eye contact. Both looking down at the desk.
Examples of effective Nonverbal communication techniques that could be used in a Health and Human Services setting is “Eye Contact” , when you look at a person while they are speaking to you , you give then the impression that you are listening to them, that their conversations has your attention , gives the impression of trust.But you should also make eye contact in moderation .
“To be followed” , You dress the part of your career , Dress professional that would let the other person know that you take your position seriously and that you care about how others see you, which can build trust.
You can influence others not only through what you say but also through your non verbal signals.
Illustrators accompany and literally illustrate verbal messages.
Makes your communications more vivid and it helps maintain your listener’s attention.
The interpersonal Communication Book
Video – People skills : Communicating without words