Posted on Aug 2017
Nonverbal Cues and their Meanings
During my observation I noted the use of various nonverbal cues by different people. One of the cues I came across was use of various forms of facial expressions. Human face usually expresses personal emotions without saying a single word. Some of the facial expression clues I came across were surprise, fear, happiness, anger, and disgust. The facial expression of surprise meant that the person showing it was astonished by something unexpected. The anger expression meant that someone was not happy with something happing around, while the expression of happiness indicate that the individual expressing it, was trying to show to the word that he or she was in jovial mood due to something good happing to her or him. On the other hand, the sadness expression was used as a way of showing grieves because of something bad happing to those communicating using it.
The second form of nonverbal cues that were widely used by the observed individuals is body posture and movements. People used holding of their head as a form of communication, trying to show either being astonished or sad or in deep thoughts that are somehow disturbing. The another form of body movement as well as posture communication was walking, where some walked slowly indicating and in deep thought, and this did show that they were being disturbed by something that needed solution. Furthermore, the use of gestures was a popular form of nonverbal cues used widely by the observed individuals. Waving was widely used trying to mean someone was either calling someone or trying to tell him or her to wait for something. Also, pointing was used, a communication sign used as a way of directing people toward a certain direction. Beckoning was also used as a communication tool, where it was utilized in trying to encourage people to continue doing a certain thing.
Additionally, eye contact was largely used type of nonverbal cue by the college students. Staring at someone was a common communication tool, which indicated the person using it was admiring something or someone. Also, maintaining of direct eye contact was used by individuals during conversations, and it meant that they tried to ascertain whether what was being told is true or false. The last form of eye contact communication tool observed was people looking at others while their eyes wide, meaning they were angry or hostile towards someone.
Touch was another form of nonverbal cue largely used by the individuals around the college. Warm hug was used and it meant the person involved were happy to see each other or were just saying hello to one another. Weak handshakes were also widely used in communication signaling the involved parties were not in agreement on something or not in good terms. Also, slapping of somebody’s back in a reassuring way was a widely used form of nonverbal communication, and it signaled that the person slapping the other on the back was giving some consolation or encouragement.
The last form of nonverbal cue observed among the people in the college was body space. Some of the individual maintained a close space, signaling they were comfortable with one another company. On the other hand, some maintained a distance from each other, a sign that they were trying to say that they are not comfortable with being too close with each other.
Importance of Nonverbal Cues in the Workplace
The various forms of nonverbal cues discussed in the above section play a critical role when it comes to communication in the workplace. First, they help in showing that people understand a particular concept being discussed. For example, when beckoning one head, it is an indication that he or she is an agreement with what is being communicated. Second, the aid in reinforcing verbal communication, whereby, individuals can express their attitudes or perceptions towards a particular concept using various forms of nonverbal cues (Riggio and Feldman, 2005). Also, they are used in allowing stakeholders, such as employees to show their feelings concerning various situations, for example, the expression of sadness, show that they are not happy with a given policy or situation due to its impact on them (Riggio and Feldman, 2005). Finally, nonverbal cues aid in the process of individuals in the workplace expressing happiness due to a particular issue.
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