Demonstrative Communication Paper
Demonstrative communication is in large the majority of how we communicate with others. The many forms of communication continue to change with all the technology that we use on a day-to-day basis, we tend to rely on this technology for our main form of communication. “We are witnessing a breathtaking evolution of new forms of digital communication. More than witnessing, we are facilitating it. All of this is unfolding so quickly that we do not have time to pause and reflect on what is happening.” (Iskold, para. 11)
Because of the increase in the use of technology, we lose the face-to-face communication that we are used to, where we can observe the receiver and their responses and reactions to conversation as well as the sender can relay a specific tone to the conversation so that the receiver can understand the context behind the message. The initial perception of communication is that we spend most of our time talking, in reality; we spend most of our time communicating non-verbally or through demonstrative communication, especially with all the technology that plays such a large part in our daily lives, which make communicating much quicker and easier. There are a several ways that we communicate demonstratively such as: facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, materialistic features or items/something that is meant to be perceived with high stature (a house, clothing, furniture, vehicles, neighborhood, etc.), the use of touch, and the list goes on. Each of these are examples of a characteristic of non-verbal communication and can be a tool meant to define us in a certain way and/or image, which allows others to get to know something about a person from a distance, beyond the words that we say.
The most common forms of demonstrative communication, understood and used by all humans, include facial expression, body language and tone of voice. These non verbal expressions can either emphasize what we are saying or contradict what we are saying and any and all meaning behind it. Many behaviors such as a shrug or a smirk might be an adjunct to a sarcastic remark and leave the behavior susceptible to misinterpretation. On the flip side, if you tell an employee that he did a great job on a project while simultaneously crossing your arms and rolling your eyes, your nonverbal communication may be contradicting your verbal communication. Tone of voice can completely change the meaning of a verbal message. This type of demonstrative communication could be referred to as the Inconsistency Ad Hominem. “Sometimes a person’s claim seems inconsistent, not with previous statements but with that person’s behavior. This type of reasoning, where we reject what somebody says because what he or she says seems inconsistent with what he or she does.” (Moore & Parker, 2009, p. 213) Another example of a contradicting behavior would be, an employer is lecturing an employee, using a tone of voice that is perceived as “mean” and “stern”. If the employer changed his/her tone of voice, it may also make a negative or remedial message seem more positive. If you were to change the way you addressed the issue with the employee in a more calm fashion, outlining the issue and working with the employee to calmly make the appropriate changes, the results may be more successful as the employer is addressing the situation in a positive manner and you may not be perceived to be angry, disappointed and/or upset with them.
Many times we are completely unaware that our nonverbal communication is affecting the way that people perceive us. For example, older adults may perceive “skimpy” clothing on young ladies as a sign of lack of respect for their body or themselves, that she is rebellious, unintelligent or even that it is scandalous. A young lady who is dressing in “skimpy” clothing may not perceive this as being negative, but perhaps positive for one reason or another.
Touch is one of the...
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