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Cultural Variations Eye Contact

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					          BU 208 B
Interpersonal Communications
          Fall, 2008


    Week #2 – September 16th
           Chapter 4
    Non Verbal Communication
The Nature of Nonverbal Communication Behaviour

-bodily actions and vocal qualities that typically
accompany a verbal message that are usually
interpreted as intentional and that have agreed-upon
interpretations within a culture or speech community

-people place a great deal of confidence in nonverbal
messages

-in fact, when verbal and nonverbal cues conflict, the
nonverbal messages are more likely to be trusted
          Chapter 4
   Non Verbal Communication
-in addition to bodily actions and vocal
qualities that accompany verbal
messages, nonverbal communication
includes the messages sent by our use of
time and physical space and our choices
of physical artifacts (clothing, furniture,
decorations, etc), lighting, temperature,
and colour
-much of what is considered appropriate
nonverbal behaviour depends on culture.
            Chapter 4
     Non Verbal Communication
Body Motions:
-the most familiar nonverbal behaviour
  approach is kinesics - the study of body
  motions as a means of communication,
  including:
      -Eye Contact
      -Facial Expressions
      -Gesture
      -Posture
            Chapter 4
     Non Verbal Communication
How Body Motions are Used:

1. To take the place of a word or phrase
2. To illustrate what a speaker is saying
3. Can display feelings that have not been
   expressed verbally
4. To control or regulate the flow of
   conversation
5. To relieve tension
         Chapter 4
  Non Verbal Communication
There are differences based on both culture and
gender.

Cultural Variations:
Eye Contact (in Canada, making eye contact is a
show of respect, but in some cultures avoiding eye
contact shows respect)
Gestures, Postures, Facial Expressions (there can
be vast differences, for example, in Canada the A-okay
sign means all is well but in France it means zero or
worthless and in Germany, Brazil, and Australia it is a
vulgar gesture)

Gender Variations:
Men and women differ in both their use and
interpretation of nonverbal communication behaviour.
           Chapter 4
    Non Verbal Communication
Paralanguage
   -is the sound of what we hear when someone
   speaks
   -it is how something is said

   -there are 4 component vocal characteristics:
   1.Pitch (highness or lowness of tone of voice)
   2.Volume (loudness or softness of one’s voice)
   3.Rate (speed at which one speaks)
   4.Quality (overall sound of one’s voice)
           Chapter 4
    Non Verbal Communication
Vocal Interferences
   -extraneous sounds or words that
   interrupt fluent speech
   -some may be used as place markers
   (such as ‘um’) to indicate that we have
   not finished speaking
   -too many can lead to the impression
   that we are unsure of ourselves or
   confused in what we are attempting to
   say
           Chapter 4
    Non Verbal Communication
Vocal Interferences con’t…

   -even more disruptive is the overuse of
   words and phrases such as: like and
   you know
   -the overuse of such words and phrases
   will adversely affect the impression we
   make
           Chapter 4
    Non Verbal Communication
Self-Presentation
   -people learn a great deal about us from
   how we present ourselves
   -we reveal information through our
   choice of clothing, personal grooming,
   our manner, our use of touch, and the
   way we manage our time
            Chapter 4
     Non Verbal Communication
Self-Presentation
    Artifactual Communication
    -includes clothing, jewellery, accessories,
    hairstyles, perfumes, make-up, body art,
    furnishings, decorations, vehicles, etc.
    -the artifacts we choose to use tell others
    many things about us such as the cultural
    groups to which we belong, our social and
    economic status, our age and gender, our
    interests, our personality, and our attitudes
           Chapter 4
    Non Verbal Communication

Self-Presentation
   Poise
   -assurance of manner
   -20% of people are very nervous
   speaking in groups or in public
   -this is often communicated through
   nonverbal behaviour and is perceived by
   others as a lack of poise
           Chapter 4
    Non Verbal Communication
Self-Presentation
   Touch
   -one of the basic forms of communication
   -haptics = the study of this form of
   nonverbal communication
   -examples = shaking hands, pat on the
   back, hug, kiss, etc
            Chapter 4
     Non Verbal Communication
Self-Presentation
    Time
    -a less obvious aspect of our self-presentation
    is how we manage and react to others’ use
    and management of time
    -chronemics = the study of the use of time as a
    means of communication
    -we consider the amount of time we regard as
    appropriate for certain activities
    -when the duration of an event differs
    significantly from our expectations we begin to
    attribute meaning to it (eg. told an interview will
    take an hour and it only takes 20 mins – we
    assume we didn’t get the job)
        Chapter 4
 Non Verbal Communication
Communication through Management
of Your Environment

-as well as our use of body motions,
paralanguage, and self-perception cues,
we communicate nonverbally through
manipulation of our physical
environment, including:
Space, Temperature, Lighting Levels,
and Colours
           Chapter 4
    Non Verbal Communication
Space
  -the study of the communicative use of
  space = proxemics
  -it includes consideration of the
  communicative use of permanent
  structures, of movable objects within
  space, and of informal space
            Chapter 4
     Non Verbal Communication
Temperature, Lighting Levels and Colours
   -three other elements that can be controlled to
   affect communication
   -temperature can stimulate or inhibit effective
   communication by altering people’s moods or
   changing their level of attentiveness
   -lighting levels can add meaning to
   communication messages (eg. bright light
   encourages good listening)
   -colour may stimulate both emotional and
   physical reactions (eg. red excites; blue
   soothes)
                Chapter 5
Listening, Responding, Remembering
Listening
    -the process of receiving, attending to,
    and assigning meaning to aural and
    visual stimuli
    -it is not to be confused with hearing
    (simply a physiological response to aural
    stimuli)
    -many people do not listen well, and
    therefore are unable to respond or
    remember effectively
                Chapter 5
Listening, Responding, Remembering
Important Concepts:

Attending
Understanding
Evaluating
Responding
Remembering
               Chapter 5
Listening, Responding, Remembering
Attending
   -the perceptual process of selecting and
   focusing on specific stimuli from the
   countless stimuli reaching the senses
   -we attend to information that interests
   us and meets our physical and
   psychological needs, but to be a good
   listener, we have to train ourselves to
   attend to what people are saying
   regardless of our interests or needs
                   Chapter 5
Listening, Responding, Remembering
Attending con’t…

   3 techniques for consciously focusing attention

   i)     Get physically and mentally ready
          to listen
   ii)    Make the shift from speaker to
          listener a complete one
   iii)   Hear a person out before you react
               Chapter 5
Listening, Responding, Remembering
Understanding
  -decoding a message accurately by
  assigning appropriate meaning to it
  -fully understanding what a person
  means requires active listening (an
  approach to listening that involves the
  use of specific techniques, including
  empathizing, questioning, and
  paraphrasing)
               Chapter 5
Listening, Responding, Remembering
Evaluating/Critical Analysis
   -the process of determining how truthful,
   authentic, or believable we judge
   information to be
   -we need to listen critically to the
   message to determine the extent to
   which we agree with the speaker and
   how we might wish to respond
   -critical analysis requires that we
   evaluate the quality of the inferences we
   hear
               Chapter 5
Listening, Responding, Remembering
Evaluating/Critical Analysis con’t…
   -inferences are claims or assertions
   based on observation or fact, but they
   are not necessarily true
   -critical listeners evaluate inferences by
   examining the context in which they
   occur
   -an inference is usually presented as part
   of an argument (ie. a person makes an
   inference (a claim) and then presents
   other statements in support of the claim)
                Chapter 5
Listening, Responding, Remembering
Evaluating/Critical Analysis con’t…
   -the critical listener tests an inference by
   asking at least 3 questions:
     i)    is there factual information to
           support the inference?
     ii) is the factual support relevant to
           the inference?
     iii) is there known information that
           would prevent the inference from
           logically following the factual
           statements?
                Chapter 5
Listening, Responding, Remembering
Responding Empathetically to Give Comfort
   -once we have understood a speaker’s
   message, we may recognize that they are in
   need of emotional comfort
   -to comfort someone means to help them feel
   better about themselves and their behaviour
   -comfort is drawn from feeling respected,
   understood, and confirmed
   -we cannot comfort unless we have first
   empathized
             Chapter 5
Listening, Responding, Remembering
  Responding Empathetically to Give
  Comfort con’t…

  -there are 2 other (already discussed
  questioning and paraphrasing) important
  empathic responses:
    i)   supporting
    ii) interpreting
                Chapter 5
Listening, Responding, Remembering
  Responding Empathetically to Give Comfort
  con’t…
  i) supporting responses
     -are comforting statements that aim to
     approve, bolster, encourage, soothe,
     console, or cheer up
     -they show that we care about people
  ii) interpreting responses
     -are those that offer a reasonable alternative
     explanation for an event or circumstance
     with the goal of helping another to
     understand the situation from a different
     perspective
                 Chapter 5
Listening, Responding, Remembering
Remembering
   -is being able retain information and recall it
   when it is needed
   -we often forget almost immediately what we
   have heard (eg. forgetting someone’s name to
   whom you have just been introduced)
   -3 techniques to help improve our ability to
   remember information are:
      i)   repeating
      ii)  constructing memories
      iii) taking notes
                 Chapter 5
Listening, Responding, Remembering
Remembering con’t…
i) Repeating
     -saying something 2 or 3 to help
     listeners to store information in long-term
     memory by providing necessary
     reinforcement
     -if information is not reinforced, it will be
     held in short term memory for as little as
     20 seconds and then forgotten
i) constructing memories
iii) taking notes
                   Chapter 5
 Listening, Responding, Remembering
Remembering con’t…

ii)   constructing mnemonics
      -helps listeners put information in forms that
      are more easily recalled
      -a mnemonic device is any artificial technique
      used as a memory aid
      -most common = take the first letters of a list
      of items we are trying to remember and form a
      word (eg. An easy mnemonic for
      remembering the names of the 5 great lakes =
      HOMES – Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie,
      Superior)
                 Chapter 5
Listening, Responding, Remembering
Remembering con’t…

iii) taking notes
     -is a powerful tool for increasing our
     recall of information
     -useful notes consist of a brief list of
     main points or key ideas plus a few of
     the most significant details or a short
     summary
           Chapter 6
          Conversation
Conversation is the medium of
interpersonal communications.

Each successful conversation is a
building block in the good interpersonal
relationship that exists between the
participants.
                Chapter 6
               Conversation
Characteristics of Conversation

Conversation
   -is a locally managed, interactive, informal,
   extemporaneous and sequential interchange
   of thoughts and feelings between two or more
   people
   -if people find a conversation satisfying, they
   are likely to seek those same people out again
   for more conversation
   -likewise, if the conversation was
   unsatisfactory, the participants will tend to
   avoid each other
              Chapter 6
             Conversation
Types and Structures of Conversation
   -there are two common but differently
   structured conversations:

   i)    Casual Social Conversations

   ii)   Pragmatic Problem-Consideration
         Converstations
              Chapter 6
             Conversation
i)   Casual Social Conversations
     -are marked by a discussion of topics
     that arise spontaneously
     -discussion of these topics enables
     participants to share information, ideas,
     and opinions and the hear the ideas
     and opinions of others
     -these conversations help us to meet
     our interpersonal needs and to build
     and maintain our relationships
               Chapter 6
              Conversation
i)   Casual Social Conversations con’t…
     -in such conversations, a topic will be
     introduced by one participant and will
     be accepted or rejected by the others
     -if accepted, it will be discussed until
     such time as someone introduces
     another topic that other participants
     accept
              Chapter 6
             Conversation
ii) Pragmatic Problem-Consideration
    Conversations
    -are marked by agreement among the
    participants to discuss and to resolve
    specific problems or to plot courses of
    action

   -in such conversations, the topic, often
   agreed-upon in advance of the
   conversation, requires participants to
   deliberate and reach a conclusion
   -these conversations may be more orderly
   than social conversations and may have as
   many as five parts:
           Chapter 6
          Conversation
ii) Pragmatic Problem-Consideration
    Conversations con’t…
    1. Greeting and small talk
    2. Topic introduction and statement
        of need for discussion
    3. Information exchange and
        processing
    4. Summarizing decisions and
        clarifying next steps
    5. Formal closing
                Chapter 6
               Conversation
Rules of Conversation
    -although conversations may seem like
    random activities, they are actually based on
    conversational rules (unwritten prescriptions
    that indicate what behaviour is obligated,
    preferred, or prohibited in certain contexts)
    -these rules guide our understanding of what
    kinds of messages and behaviours are proper
    in certain contexts or with certain people, and
    they provide us with a framework within which
    to interpret the behaviour of others.
               Chapter 6
              Conversation
Characteristics of Rules
1. Rules must allow for choice
   -we can choose to follow them or not
2. Rules are prescriptive
   -a rule specifies appropriate human behaviour
3. Rules are proscriptive
   -a rule tells us what not to do
4. Rules are contextual
   -rules that apply in some situations do not
   apply in others
                 Chapter 6
                Conversation
Phrasing Rules
    -research suggests that we might be best able
    to understand a communication rule if it is
    stated as a conditional (if then) sentence
    (ie. if X is the situation or context, then Y   is
    preferred or prohibited)
    -examples of conversational rules:
    i)        if your mouth is full, then you must
              not talk
    ii)       if you are spoken to, you must reply
    iii)      if you are going to say something that
              you do not want overheard, then lower
              your voice
            Chapter 6
           Conversation
Effective Conversations Follow the
Cooperative Principle

-conversations are not only structured by the
rules that participants follow but also depend
on how well conversational partners cooperate
-the cooperative principle states that
conversations will be satisfying when the
contributions made by conversationalists are
in line with the purpose of the conversation
-based on this principle, there are 4
conversational maxims (requirements of
successful conversation):
            Chapter 6
           Conversation
Effective Conversations Follow the
Cooperative Principle con’t…

1.     Quality Maxim
       -requires participants to provide
       information that is truthful

2.     Quantity Maxim
       -requires participants to provide an amount of
       information that is sufficient to satisfy the
       information needs of the other participants
           Chapter 6
          Conversation
Effective Conversations Follow the
Cooperative Principle con’t…

 3.   Relevancy Maxim
      -requires participants to provide
      information that is related to the topic
      being discussed

4.    Manner Maxim
      -requires that participants be specific
      and organized when communicating
      their thoughts
            Chapter 6
           Conversation
Skills of Effective Face-to-Face
Conversationalists

-we can all learn to be more effective in our
conversations
-there are several skills that are basic to
effective conversationalists:
i)      Have quality information to present
ii)    As an initiator, ask meaningful questions
iii)   As a responder, provide free information
iv)    Credit sources
v)     Balance speaking and listening
vi)    Practice politeness
              Chapter 6
             Conversation
Skills for Electronically Mediated Conversation

-communicating on-line introduces some additional
considerations

Conversing via email and instant messaging
-there are several ways that we can improve our email
and instant messaging conversations:
i)      take advantage of delayed feedback
ii)     include the wording that you are responding
        to in the return message
iii)    take into account the absence of nonverbal
        cues to meaning
iv)     use abbreviations and acronyms sparingly, if at all
v)      keep in mind that electronic messages are not secure

				
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