November 13, 2012
Communication is defined as the process of sending and receiving messages (Cheesebro, O'Connor, & Rios, 2010, Chapter 4). Demonstrative communication accomplishes this through wordless messages. Facial expressions are the most common form of nonverbal communication, followed by tone of voice, and then the words. Nonverbal communication is often used to reinforce or underline our verbal communications.
Silent communication includes components of facial expressions, posture, eye contact, movement of the hands and arms, and even the way people move their head. These are all things that send a message to the person you are connecting with. Body communication may be minimal as we are speaking, but that can tell the recipient a lot. When we limit our body language we may be sending the message that we are uninterested in the conversation. This perception can have negative impacts when interviewing for a job, meeting clients, or interacting with coworkers.
A friendly demeanor, how well dressed you are, your handshake, and how you carry yourself all say something about you. When you walk into a job interview, these nonverbal cues are going to assist the interviewer to make their decision. The image you portray can reinforce that you are the reliable and dependable person that they want for the job. Coworkers are going to use these communication cues to determine what type of person you are and how you might fit into the team. All during those first few moments of our encounters with others, we have said a lot about ourselves.
Demonstrative communication allows self-expression, which can be positive or negative. By expressing yourself too freely - even if you think it is positive - you may end up portraying yourself negatively to people you do not know well. People, who have quirky hairstyles, dress differently than the mainstream population or have tattoos and piercings are all reflections of how you want to be viewed by others, and could be viewed in a negative way. These nonverbal communications can also reveal our emotions and how we view our relationships. When body language is relaxed, eye contact is maintained, and you maintain a respectful distance from the other individuals in the conversation it reinforces the believability of the verbal messages you are communicating.
Nonverbal communication can also be based in our culture – kissing each other on the cheek when we greet one another for example. Our business world is growing more globally and we need to be more contentious when dealing with inter cultural communications. Gestures, appearances, and facial expressions can all mean different things to different people. People can easily misread or offend if they are unaware of the culture normals for the area they are working with.
Like other forms of communication, demonstrative communication involves listening and responding. Become engaged in the speaker and be fully present in the conversation by looking the speaker in the eye and making them feel validated. It is important for people to actively listen to the messages they are receiving both physically and