Verbal delivery is only a part of how a message is delivered and received. We communicate through more than just words. We also use hand gestures, facial expressions, posture, and body language which is referred to as nonverbal communication. Non-verbal communication complements the verbal
messages we are delivering to our audience by adding to its meaning.
We have been learning about non-verbal communication this week, and now it’s time to observe it in the real world!
Think about a time when you were in a
conversation or on a video call with someone
and they were talking about one thing, but perhaps their facial expressions or body
language were delivering a different message.
Perhaps you have even noticed this about your own patterns of communication.
Consider what their facial expressions were saying, what type of emotion did you see? Were there feelings or attitudes (positive, loving, excited) that you noticed?
For this assignment, you will use your knowledge of non-verbal communication to conduct an observation of an interaction
between two or more people.
Follow the steps below for details about the
required components of your assignment.
In Step 1, you will take some time to observe an interaction between two or more people whom you are unfamiliar with for a 5 to 15 minute period. Reflect on the non-verbal
communication and document any or all of the nonverbal behaviors discussed in class that you see. This is including but not limited to gestures, posture, body orientation, facial expressions, eye contact patterns, haptics, proxemics, appearance, etc.
You may visit a public place where you are likely to observe people interacting or you can watch a new TV show episode or unfamiliar movie with the volume muted and captions off.
Connect with your instructor if you have an idea that is not listed here.
You should be very specific in identifying not only the nonverbal behaviors but also the function they serve in the interaction.
In a typed document, provide an overview of the context of your scenario. Explain the following:
What was the setting of your observation?
What type of relationship do you believe these individuals have?
Was this a positive or negative interaction?
What are some things that stood out to you?
Now that you have provided an overview of the context, let’s move to step 2.
For the second step in this assignment, let’s consider the context of the interaction(s) you observed.
In the same typed document from Step 1, also answer all of the following questions:
What specific forms of non-verbal communication were observed and provide some specific examples?
What would you suggest to the participants that you observed to change in the future in terms of their nonverbal communications or behavior? If you have no suggestions, explain why you feel no changes are needed.
What lessons can you apply in your own non-verbal communication in the future?
Which of the non-verbal behaviors displayed did you connect with the most? Why?
Now that you have completed Step 2, let’s consider visuals to further enhance your thoughts.
Now, include 3 to 4 supporting images that display the non-verbal communication that you have observed and enhance your thoughts of those observations. Some of these images can include non-verbal behaviors such as gestures that were impactful to you, facial expressions that show emotion, or posture that conveyed confidence. You do not have to take the images; they can be found through different images resources on the Internet.
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