Business Communications and Critical Thinking/275
October 14, 2013
Demonstrative communication is best described as the receiver of a conversation being able to analyze what the sender is saying, or his point of view, by reading his body language, listening to his tone of voice, and examining his facial expressions. A person may be saying one thing, but his demonstrative communication may show otherwise. For example, one thing that has always been stressed when interviewing for a new job, is making eye contact. Good eye contact usually reflects that you are confident and truthful in what you are saying. If you are looking someplace other than into the interviewer’s eyes, he is going to think you are being untruthful. In my experience, a person’s body language has probably been the most obvious unspoken demonstration of what he or she is thinking. I once was interviewing for a job at a bank, and it was an interview like no other that I had ever experienced. The interviewer would ask a question, and then while I was thinking about how I was going to answer, he would make some type of body movement. For instance, he asked me, “if you could get away with any crime, what would it be?” and then proceeded to relax back in his chair and put his left ankle on his right knee. This immediately led me to believe that his intentional show of relaxation was a ploy to make me relax and therefore be more truthful, as if having a conversation with a friend. It was as if he were trying to trick me. The body language I chose to exhibit was to remain sitting upright in my chair with my hands on the table while I told him that I would never commit a crime or steal from anyone because I am an honest person. This seemed to surprise him, as I think most people would have copied his body language, as people tend to do, and also relax back in their chair and elaborate on what their perfect crime would be.
This type of demonstrative communication was very ineffective, because it was overly demonstrative and dramatic. It was also a negative way for him to portray himself in the interview, because at that moment I, the receiver, decided I did not want to work for this man because he would always have something up his sleeve, so to speak. In other words, I did not trust him. I prefer to work with someone more down to Earth and honest. This was also negative for him as the sender, because I am a very honest person with a good work ethic, and I refused his job offer when he called me the next day. He lost out on a good employee. Good demonstrative communication involves careful listening to what a person is saying so you may respond in an appropriate manner, but it also involves paying close attention to her facial expressions and body language. Facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice sometimes convey more information than the words a person is speaking. One example of how tone of voice affects people is the way my husband sometimes speaks, for instance. He was in the military for several years and therefore developed a certain way of speaking and interacting with people. Although he is a very gentle person, he has an intimidating quality and look to him. When we first married, my children loved