Introduction Communication Theory The Development of Language in Humans Evolutionary psychology Empathy Which theory?
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Reading body language
Five guidelines for reading body language: 1 Focus attention on the most helpful cues 2 Read non–verbals in context. 3 Note discrepancies. 4 Be aware of your own feelings and bodily reactions. 5 Reflect your understanding back to the other part for confirmation.
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Active Listening A model of Listening Skills Attending Skills An involving body posture Appropriate gestures Eye contact An environment free of distractions Following Skills Openers Little encouragements Use just a few questions Silence 15 Reflecting Skills Speaker problems Listener problems The Paraphrase Reflection of feelings Reflection of meanings Summarized reflections References and Further Reading
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This session describes the communication process. In our model for this course, we concentrate on individual communication, but the principles and theories remain the same, regardless of whether we communicate with individuals or groups, or with society at large. In this section, we will look at communication theory, reading body language and listening skills. 1 COMMUNICATION THEORY
The theory shown in Figure 1 is general for all kinds of communication, including conversation, body language, data networks, and so on. It works as follows:
Figure 1 — A general theory of communication. 1 A person, or source has a message to send. This message has to be encoded e.g coded into English. At this point, a decision has been made about the target audience — they understand English. Not only that, the coding can go deeper: what flavour of English does the audience understand? Cockney rhyming slang? Computer geek jargon? Businessese? What about body language? Threatening? Appeasing? Powerful? Loving? 2 Having encoded the message, it is sent through the appropriate channel e.g. email, conversation, newsletter, presentation, telephone. At this point, another problem occurs: noise in the channel can scramble the message. This is easily recognisable as a crossed line on a telephone or using a mobile in a noisy street, or even having2/3 people speaking to you at the same time. In any case, the message can be damaged. 3 Once the message has been despatched, it needs to be decoded by the receiver. Again, there are problems. I can think of occasions when I have received abrupt emails, and taken offence. The fault is mine, perhaps, or maybe of the original encoding, but it damages the communication and reduces understanding.
For more information, access Wikipedia using Communication as a search term 2
Having received the message, decoded it and digested it, the receiver should provide feedback to the transmitter to enable the transmitter to learn whether the communication was successful. If it did not succeed, the transmitter can try again, receive feedback, and so on, sometimes indefinitely.
Note: text books describe this model without giving a reference. If you want to read more on the subject (and it is complex!) go to Wikipedia and enter communication models as a search term.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF LANGUAGE IN HUMANS
There appear to be two main schools of thought concerning the development of language in human beings. Evolutionary psychology ...