I observed nonverbal communication skills when I was at the mall sited at the corner of a coffee shop. I observed a young couple in their twenties having a latte, the young man was sitting close to the lady with his face very close to hers, he had an angry expression on his face and he was gesticulating wildly with his hands. He was looking into the lady’s eyes the whole time and his tone was very loud. The lady’s eyes were down cast, her shoulders were slumped and her arms on the table. Her expression defiant but she spoke in a low tone.
I concluded that the couple was having an argument; the man was probably reprimanding the lady about something she did though she did not think she was in the wrong because of her defiant expression.
Congruency between verbal and nonverbal communication refers to if the verbal communication matches the nonverbal communication. Someone might be crying even though they are happy. The conversation I observed was not congruent as the lady talked in a low tone, which might be perceived as timidity but the expression on her face was defiant.
Susan asked Joe if he would be willing to help the kids with their homework since she was feeling tired and stressed after a long day at work and also had her own homework to do.
A lady talking to her boss; “ the company has made huge profits this year mainly due to my hard work at the sales office, I have a sick child and I was wondering if there is extra money in the budget for a salary increment”
A woman talking to her husband; “I met your co- worker Sherry at the department store today and she told me that the amount of work at your office has reduced. Am really tired because of having to take care of the kids and also go to night school”
An ineffective statement
“You always interrupt me when am talking to you!”
This statement is ineffective because it uses the “you” attitude and also uses universal statements such as ‘always’. This statement also does not achieve the desired effect which is to be listened to, instead it makes the listener more defensive and creates more problems.
An effective statement
“I would like you to listen to me when am talking, when you interrupt me, you make me angry because I feel like my opinion is not important and that you don’t care about me or my feelings.”
This statement is effective because it relays the message clearly and concisely, it is not accusatory and it has a request that can be fulfilled by the listener.
Communication noise refers to things that prevent the listener from getting the intended message, the noise maybe environmental, psychological or even semantic.
When a woman who has openly declared herself to be a feminist gives a talk about gender equality to men, there might be psychological noise in the form of stereotypes against feminists because they are perceived to be male bashers and that they want women to be given everything on a silver platter.
Assertive communication which is respectful, clear and confident will ensure that people understand each other well since in most forms of online communication people don’t see each other face to face.
Objective communication improves clarity as it is free of stereotypes and biases that are very common in cyberspace.
Clear communication will ensure that messages are sent out clearly without any noise.