Nonverbal Communication

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Non-Verbal Communication
Communication is the transfer of information from one person to another. Most of us spend the majority of our time communicating our knowledge, thoughts, and ideas to others. However, most of us fail to realize that a great deal of our communication is of a nonverbal form as opposed to the oral and written forms. Few realize that nonverbal communication also includes the use of eye contact, body posture, gestures, body movement, facial expression, personal space, and physical appearance. Have you ever experienced speaking with a person who continues to look at the clock after asking, “How are you?” Maybe you have encountered a child slouching or fidgeting in his chair while trying to explain the importance of getting good grades in school. Whichever way a person may choose to say, “I am disinterested”, ninety-three percent of the time; it does not come out of their mouth. This is because the emotional message of communication is observed before a person has to verbalize any feelings. Eye contact is one of the most important aspects of nonverbal communication. Eye contact can modify the meaning of other nonverbal behaviors. Most times eye contact can show self-esteem and confidence. Research studies show that most people look at others between 30 and 60 percent of the time lasting less than 10 seconds (Beebe and Masterson, 2009). One of the reasons why we as people may hold little eye contact is to avoid an uncomfortable feeling (Stephens, 2009). We become uncomfortable with eye contact because it may seem too intimate. Too much eye contact could come across as a signal of sexual interest. It may also be too aggressive. Too much eye contact for too long could turn the environment hostile. However, in a team setting, maintaining eye contact shows your team members that you are listening. Also, when seeking a response or approval, it is good to make eye contact. Beebe and Masterson (2009) believe eye contact serves one or more...
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