A grasp of the vast array of communication dimensions is a key move towards improving communication competence. The ability to communicate with ease is often viewed as a key learning step along with other skills that go hand in hand namely; critical thinking, writing, and problem-solving. Not a single individual would wish to be left out on any of these; after all, almost the entirety of our lives is spent learning to communicate, right? Out of the many areas of communication, there exists a single or two that an individual has difficulty in expressing, in my case interpersonal communication skills on non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication entails communication devoid of words, for instance, via body language. Nearly all the time, we are faced with fresh communication experiences, we are likely to reflect on the communication skills both developed and learned. One is likely to fall prey to communication incompetence knowingly but it is a step towards improvement.
In the process of communication, we speak volumes even with a little of speaking involved. Tonal variations, body posture, and facial expressions pass messages especially to those we speak to. These are known to be non-verbal means of communication. A couple of instances, my feelings fail to fit with the words that come out of my mouth, I am likely to notice or fail to, not until it is too late (This affects me as much when I am the victim as well).
It is the non-verbal communication that gets believed. It is by far obvious that I am among the multitude of victims of incompetence in non-verbal communication. For example, a flat and boring tone in the expression of love conveys different messages. It may appear fake mainly due to the reflection of the body language. To improve non-verbal skills one ought to identify the lacking areas of tones and sounds, posture, space, facial expressions and eye contact (Cherry, 2016).
First is paying close attention to non-verbal signals. Individuals convey information in various ways best known to them, it is, and therefore, necessary for passion to things like gestures, body movements, posture, and tone. These signal listings pass key information. Paying close attention to other individuals' unspoken behaviors as well will improve self-ability to communicate in a non-verbal manner.
Failure of individuals to look in the eye, possibly, signals evasion whereas too much eye contact is deemed intimidating which highlights the point of maintenance of eye contact. As much as eye contact is a vital part of non-verbal communication, it does not suggest that one stares fixedly. Another hurdle to the race is how to tell the much of eye contact that is right. It is worth noting that, intervals of eye contact lasting three to five seconds is recommended (Richard, 2013).
Thirdly, asking questions about non-verbal signals saves a great deal of miscommunication. How best than to ask? Sometimes I find myself confused about a friend's non-verbal signal, a good idea would be to ask for clarification. For instance, an individual might be conveying certain non-verbal signs with a lot more in mind thus a further inquiry into the information and intent might clear the air on miscommunication (Cherry, 2016).
Incongruent behavioral acts are indicators of messages that are being conveyed. Research has shown that words may fall short as a match up to non-verbal signals, individuals are thus likely to ignore on the much that has been communicated and instead focus on expressions of thoughts, emotions, and moods (Richard, 2013). For instance, I am likely to say that I am well yet I am frowning like it is my last and staring at the ground. Does it suggest am okay? Notably, when one says a thing but the non-verbal cues suggest otherwise, there is need to pay attention.
In a bid to improve communication incompetence, the use of signals makes communication more effective. Both verbal and non-verbal modes of communication work jointly to pass messages. Spoken communication can be improved by cues such as facial expressions and body languages as a backing to what is being said.
At times I feel like I have overused non-verbal signals thus calls for sparingly use at times, especially when speaking to an individual rather than a large grouping. Presentations call for increased use of non-verbal cues (from experience). For example, standing firmly, shoulder high and back a little with weight evenly distributed on both feet conveys confidence (Richard, 2013).
There exist times when non-verbal signals may fall out of context. When communicating, I ought to always put the then situation into consideration, concentration should be on ways that make the non-verbal cues match with the level of formality that the particular situation necessitates (Cherry, 2016). A couple of situations are more formal than others, therefore, interpretation may differ big time.
By and large, it is clear that proper communication does not encompass just listening and speaking, but stretches far and beyond other interpersonal skills of communication such as verbal and non-verbal communication teamed up with emotional intelligence among other skills. The use of non-verbal skills is vital to communication since it blends fun and understanding to nearly every bit that is being conveyed. A couple of the tricks to boost non-verbal communication include, asking questions, awareness, and look out for incongruent behaviors, and paying attention generally. All these duly followed are steps towards communication competency.
Cherry, K. (2016). Theories of social psychology-non verbal communication. Very well mind.
Richard, j. G. (2013). Communication in the real world: an introduction to communication studies. Boston: flat world knowledge.
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