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Nonverbal Communication
Summary of
Verbal Communication
Language permits us to remember the past, deal with
the present, and anticipate and plan for the future.
Language serves as a guide to how a culture perceives
Each of us learns and uses language as we do because
of our cultural background.
Communication style varies from culture to culture, but
one’s communicative style is adaptive and can be
Verbal Communication
To know another’s language and not his culture
is a very good way to make a fluent fool of
 Ping-Pong and Bowling conversation styles
 High involvement conversation patterns and
high considerateness patterns.
High Involvement Styles
HIS tends to:
 Talk more;
 Interrupt more;
 Expect to be interrupted
 Talk more loudly at times
 Talk more quickly
 Enjoy arguments
E.g. Russian, Italian, Greek, Spanish, South
American, Arab and African
High Considerateness Styles
HCS tend to
 Speak one at a time;
 Use polite listening sounds;
 Refrain from interrupting;
 Give plenty of positive and respectful responses
E.g. Asian cultures: Chinese and Japanese
Linear versus Circular = straight line discussion versus a
more circular approach
Direct versus Indirect = meaning conveyed by words
versus through suggestion
Detached versus Attached = objective presentation
versus expressive style
Intellectual Engagement versus Relational
Engagement = Discussion is about the task versus
discussion about the task and the person
Concrete versus Abstract = example driven versus
theory driven discussion
Dimensions of Non-verbal
Major Topics:
 Introduction to the main dimensions
 Functions of non-verbal communication
 First impressions
 Observing non-verbal communication
 Visual introduction of gestures
Non-verbal Communication:
definition and importance
Nonverbal communication involves all
those nonverbal stimuli in a
communication setting that are generated
by both the source and his or her use of the
environment and that have potential
message value for the source or receiver.
Non-verbal Communication:
definition and importance
 It
expresses meaning or feeling without
 It is the silent language of the culture.
 93% of a message is transmitted by the
speaker’s tone of voice and facial
expressions. Only 7%of the person’s
attitude is conveyed by words.
Many, and sometimes most, of the critical meanings
generated in human encounters are elicited by touch,
glance, vocal nuances, gestures, or facial expression
with or without the aid of words.
From the moment of recognition until the moment of
separation, people observe each other with all their
senses, hearing pause and intonation, attending to dress
and carriage, observing glance and facial tension, as
well as noting word choice and syntax.
We make important judgments and decisions
concerning the internal states of others by their
nonverbal behavior.
 Non-verbal communication is usually
responsible for first impressions.
 Many of our non-verbal actions are not easily
controlled consciously, so they are relatively free
of distortions and deception.
Functions of non-verbal
1. Supporting speech
Repeating; Complementing; Substituting; Regulating;
2. Conveying emotions
The total feeling comes from 7% verbal, 38% vocal,
55% facial and body messages.
3. Creating positive feelings
approach messages, availability messages, sensory
stimulation, personal closeness and warmth
Non-verbal vs. Verbal
To accent 加强
 To complement 补充
 To contradict 相反
 To regulate 调节
 To substitute for 替代
Types of Nonverbal Communication
Voice (paralanguage 副言语)
 Body movements (kinesics 人体语)
 Space (proxemics 空间语)
 Touch (haptics 接触语)
 Time (chronemics 时间语)
 Other (chemical/ physical/ artifactual物
品的 codes, etc.)
Paralanguage: How something is said
Vocal characterizers: laughing, crying, yelling, moaning,
belching, yawning, help reveal a person’s physical or emotional
 Vocal qualifiers: volume, pitch, rate, tone, rhythm, resonance
Vocal segregates: non-word fillers, e.g. hmmm,uh-huh,
Paralanguage can assist us in drawing conclusions
about the speaker’s emotional state, socioeconomic
status, height, weight, age, intelligence, race, regional
background, and educational level.
Body Language (Kinesics)
Facial expressions
Smile may express pleasure,
show affection, convey
politeness, disguise true
feelings, cover emotional
pain or embarrassment.
It is also a source of
confusion: when and to
whom to smile.
Eye Contact and Gaze
It serves to show
intimacy, attention,
and influence, and
also to regulate
interaction, define
power and status
 Insufficient
or excessive eye contact can
create communication barriers.
 Never trust a person who doesn’t look you
in the eyes.
 But in Asian countries, a person’s lack of
eye contact toward an authority figure
signifies respect and deference.
Refer to the handouts
the O.K. gesture;
relax with feet up on
the desk
Touching (Haptics)
Rules of touching:
whom to touch and
where they may be
 shake hands, hug, be
intimate with,
touch the head, kiss
Touching (haptics)
Touching behavior reflects the culture’s attitudes
and values. Cultures that believe in emotional
restraint and rigid status distinction (German,
English, Scandinavian, South-east Asian) do
very little touching as compared with cultures
that encourage outward signs of affection (Latin
American, Middle eastern, Jewish, Greek,
Eastern European).
When greeting…
Hold hands together in front of
their chins in a prayerlike position
and nod their heads.
Middle Easterners, esp.
Hug and kiss on the cheek for
both the same and the opposite
sexes. Friends will pat each other
on the back
People from France,
Spain, Italy, Portugal
and other
Mediterranean (地中海)
People from India, Sri
Lanka, Thailand , and
Men will embrace and kiss one
another. Women may do the same.
But the opposite sexes should
avoid body contact.
Bow to each other and keep
hands slide down toward the
knees or remain at the side
Kiss on both cheeks.
Most Latinos
 Personal
space and territory
 Conversational distance
 Reading Case 25
The study of the meanings, usage and
communication of time, time attitude, use of
time frames, punctuality
 Monochronic and polychronic time
 One thing at a time, many things at once
 Reading Case 23
First Impressions
 See
handouts !
Observing non-verbal
What to watch for when you go abroad or are
around foreigners?
Use of space
Eye contact and touching
Questions to ask:
How close did people stand or sit?
How much touching?
What kind of eye behavior?
What gestures?
How could you tell when a conversation was
going to end?
How can you determine the social relationship
between people?