Understanding Communication

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In our everyday life we communicate, whether it is non-verbally or verbally. What is interesting is how we perceive the information give to us, from communicating with others. In this essay I will look at non-verbal communication in the aspect of gestures and then flow into perception of stereotyping.

When we reference non-verbal communication we are confronted by different types of communication like: body language, personal space, gesture and posture and timing. These non-verbals are communicated in mannerism and behaviour of the body which tend to communicate messages whether negative or positive. The human body expresses itself in many ways, which are usually expressed in an unconscious manner; this can be seen in the face, eyes, voice, movement. Humans instantly pick up on these signals which allow an understanding of the emphasis to what a person is communicating. “The Human body is so incredibly versatile that it can send thousands of nonverbal messages.” (Barker, 1996, p.80), gestures are a strong indicator of how a person may express themselves to be heard by others.

Children are strong communicators expressing what they desire with their body, as their verbal language is still in a learning process, “Children express their knowledge and understanding of situations, concepts and people in non-verbal ways before they can articulate the same information in words.”, (Doherty-Sneddon, 2003, p.9.). My nephew, who is twenty-seven months old, communicates to me using his body to express what he is thinking. An example of this when he and ‘I’ were having a conversation about what he did at Kohunga Reo, his expression to explain what he did at Kohunga, was to use his arms and hands with deliberate movement, to show that he played with toys and sung songs, as my nephew was communicating, my gestures towards his communication, was to nod my head as he was talking as indicator that had his full attention. ‘I’ was able to understand what he saying by the...
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