The Power that Non-Verbal Interactions Can Have on Communication

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Noise can be of external, physiological or psychological nature. External noises can include loud sounds and visual distractions that result in the misinterpretation of a message. Physiological noise includes distractions such as hunger or illness, as well as physiological disabilities or impairments in the sender or receiver of a message. Psychological noises are internal noises such personal values and ideas, rapid thought or as in my situation, language differences that limit the minds ability to interpret messages effectively. When these noises interfere with an encoded message, the receiver cannot provide accurate feedback, causing miscommunication and confusion, much like that cause by the language barrier between the two boys and I. I worked around this issue generally by keeping instructions or comments very basic, and clarifying with the boys if they understood me. However what I did not realise at the time is the power that non-verbal interactions can have on communication.

It is said that only 35% of a message’s meaning comes from verbal communication, while the remaining 65% comes from a range on non verbal sources (Birdwhistell 1970). While trying to communicate with Sam and Duha during the day of the garage sale, I could have used much more ‘Kinesic behaviour’. Dwyer (2013, pp. 36) describes kinesic behaviour as the way a person moves their body, limbs, and their facial expressions in a way that contributes to the meaning of a message. I could have utilised the powerful effects of such gestures to aid the communication between Sam and Duha and myself. For example, instead of simply stating instructions, I could have added gestures such as pointing at tables, and using hand movements to mimic an activity such as ...

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... rules and formal structure. Finally the masculinity of a culture depends on the level of clarification between male and female values and roles. A masculine society is characterised by having defined roles for each gender, where success and material possessions are highly valued. At the other end of the scale, a feminine society has a stronger focus on supporting and caring for others, and less emphasis on quantifiable belongings and roles for men and women.

Works Cited

Birdwhistell, R.L. 1970. Kinesics and Context, University of Pennsylvania press, Philadelphia

Dwyer, J 2013, ‘Communiction foudnations’, in Communicasion for business professions: Strategies and Skills, 5th ed, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, pp3-28.

Haas, A. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, ISSN 0077-8923, 06/1979, Volume 327, Issue 1 Language, Sex, pp. 101 - 109
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