Nonverbal Listening Patterns
I chose graded project number one, being Nonverbal Listening Patterns. Nonverbal listening patterns means, certain messages through a variety of cues such as body language and tone of voice. As I observe myself on two separate occasions. Choosing two people with whom I know: Vickie L. my sister and Avery D. a loan officer, at our local bank. The exercises consist of two different conversations. While speaking with each person I was to analyze my nonverbal listening behaviors. The behavior patterns consist of the four following skills: posture, eye contact, facial expressions and gestures. Descriptions of each are as follows: Posture – sitting in an attentive posture or leaning toward speaker. Eye Contact – to make direct eye contact; any spot near the eyes is acceptable. Facial Expressions and gestures – are movements of the face or body. The natural use of these behavior skills will enhance communication effectiveness. Conversation #1 - was with my sister of whom I had not seen in a few years. Her name is Vickie L. We are very close in our family ties with each other. The conversation took place on Feb. 07, 2009 at our mother’s home. The topic was events that took place in our personal life and our families earlier this year. Conversation #2 - was with a loan officer at our local bank. His name is Avery D. The conversation took place Feb. 10, 2009. The location was at our local bank in our city. It was professional and a business like atmosphere. The conversation took three hours to complete. The topic of the conversation was applying for a loan application. During conversation number one being my sister. The atmosphere was very relaxed. My posture was slumped. The eye contact was direct and continual. Facial expressions and gesture was good. The body language signals were a smiling face and excited gestures, due to I had not saw her in a while. As I was sitting I noticed my posture was slumped due to the relaxed atmosphere. I leaned forward toward the speaker, this shows interest in what was being said. The slumped posture should have been corrected. Leaning forward toward the speaker shows sincere interest and is a correct nonverbal listening skill. Slumped posture is never acceptable. It shows poor conversation habits. I have learned there are various different nonverbal listening skills. In conversation number two the atmosphere was very different. This conversation was with the loan officer in our local bank. The atmosphere was very professional and business like. We greeted each other with a firm hand shake and a smile. We then continued to be seated and
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the interview began. I remembered my posture was erect. Then I was asked about my profession. I felt my eyes dart down and I looked away from the loan officer. When asked questions I did not feel comfortable with my facial expressions changed and I become fidgety. Looking back over the conversation I am more aware of needing to correct facial expression and gestures. I have learned from this lesson plan I need to stay in control of these actions even though I am not comfortable with some of the questions. During conversations number one and two I discovered I had nonverbal listening behaviors. These skills are leaning toward the speaker, firm hand shake and eye contact. Self analysis is not easy. I will try to be as honest as possible. I found my strongest point being my erected posture. But aware as the conversation continued this weakened. Eye contact seemed to be good until ask questions I was not comfortable with. The facial expressions changed when I was asked questions in areas of my personal life that I am not comfortable in sharing. Also when I was asked in replying my tone of voice changed. These being my weaker skills and acknowledging they need to be worked on. I need continued work on not to over exaggerate my gesture or tone of voice. Remember to always try and be natural in these movements. Reinforce effective habits such as making eye contact and sitting in attentive posture. Nonverbal listening skills such as leaning toward the speaker and acknowledging by a nod of my head are good gestures. These reflect good nonverbal listening skills. In reaction to the nonverbal listening pattern exercise I was intimidated at first. But, as I begin to study and practice the exercises I understood there was room for improvements. Understanding that if I be patient and practice I could gain a new skill that would help me to obtain new employment in the field in which I am studying. I have gained a greater knowledge of how to become a better listener. To be an effective listener it takes the entire body. Understanding, now also that poor listening skills can also distract the speaker. To have good listening patterns I must offer the speaker not just verbal cues but also nonverbal.