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BUS151 People Skills Chapter 4 Nonverbal Communication.

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Presentation on theme: "BUS151 People Skills Chapter 4 Nonverbal Communication."— Presentation transcript:

1 BUS151 People Skills Chapter 4 Nonverbal Communication

2 Nonverbal Communication Nonverbal Communication Nonverbal messages can contradict or override verbal messages. Nonverbal messages can contradict or override verbal messages. When in doubt, people tend to believe nonverbal messages. When in doubt, people tend to believe nonverbal messages. By being aware that you constantly send nonverbal messages to others and that it is impossible for you to NOT communicate, you can increase your effectiveness in customer encounters or anywhere you come into contact with another person. By being aware that you constantly send nonverbal messages to others and that it is impossible for you to NOT communicate, you can increase your effectiveness in customer encounters or anywhere you come into contact with another person.

3 Communication of Feelings According to Mehrabian’s study*, it was found that in communication between two people: 7% - received from the actual words used. 38% - taken from vocal cues 55% - extracted from facial and body cues * Albert Mehrabian, Silent Message: Implicit Communication of Emotions and Attitudes, 2 nd ed. Wadsworth Publishing.

4 Nonverbal Communication It is important to understand that there is considerable room for misinterpretation of the cues used by different people. It is important to understand that there is considerable room for misinterpretation of the cues used by different people. The skill of recognizing, assigning meaning, and responding appropriately to nonverbal messages is not exact. The skill of recognizing, assigning meaning, and responding appropriately to nonverbal messages is not exact. Human behavior is too unpredictable and the interpretation of nonverbal cues is to subjective for accuracy of interpretation to occur with consistency. Human behavior is too unpredictable and the interpretation of nonverbal cues is to subjective for accuracy of interpretation to occur with consistency. This is because different cues have different meanings depending on where they were learned, who is interpreting them, and so on. This is because different cues have different meanings depending on where they were learned, who is interpreting them, and so on.

5 Categories of Nonverbal Cues: Body Language Body Language Vocal Cues Vocal Cues Appearance or grooming Appearance or grooming Spatial cues (proxemics) Spatial cues (proxemics) Environmental cues Environmental cues Miscellaneous cues (habits, time usage, follow-through) Miscellaneous cues (habits, time usage, follow-through)

6 Body Language – Eye Contact Eye contact establishes a number of purposes: Eye contact establishes a number of purposes: –Indicates degrees of attentiveness or interest. –Help indicate and sustain intimate relationships. –Influence attitude change and persuasion. –Regulate interaction. –Communicate emotions. –Define power and status relationships. –Assume a central role in the management of impressions.

7 Body Language - Posture By sitting or standing in an erect manner, or leaning forward or away as you speak with customers, you can send a variety of messages. By standing or sitting with erect posture, walking confidently, or assuming a relaxed posture, you might appear to be attentive, confident, assertive, and ready to assist your customer. By standing or sitting with erect posture, walking confidently, or assuming a relaxed posture, you might appear to be attentive, confident, assertive, and ready to assist your customer. On the other hand, slouching in your seat, standing with slumped shoulders, keeping your arms crossed while speaking to someone, shuffling or not picking up your feet when walking, or averting eye contact can say that you are unsure of yourself, are being deceitful, or just have a poor customer service attitude. On the other hand, slouching in your seat, standing with slumped shoulders, keeping your arms crossed while speaking to someone, shuffling or not picking up your feet when walking, or averting eye contact can say that you are unsure of yourself, are being deceitful, or just have a poor customer service attitude.

8 Body Language – Facial Expression Your face can signal excitement, happiness, sadness, boredom, concern, dismay, and dozens of other emotions. Your face can signal excitement, happiness, sadness, boredom, concern, dismay, and dozens of other emotions. Smiling typically expresses a mood of friendship, pleasure, and comfort with a situation. Smiling typically expresses a mood of friendship, pleasure, and comfort with a situation. On the other hand, some people smile to mask nervousness, embarrassment, or deceit. On the other hand, some people smile to mask nervousness, embarrassment, or deceit. A cultural factor may also be involved. A cultural factor may also be involved. Be careful that your facial expressions don’t come across as being flirtatious and insulting. Be careful that your facial expressions don’t come across as being flirtatious and insulting.

9 Body Language – Nodding Head Nodding of the head is often used by many people to signal agreement or to indicate that they are listening to a speaker during a conversation. Nodding of the head is often used by many people to signal agreement or to indicate that they are listening to a speaker during a conversation. Check to see if the customer is nodding simply to be polite but not understanding. Ask a question such as, “So what do you think of what I just said?” Check to see if the customer is nodding simply to be polite but not understanding. Ask a question such as, “So what do you think of what I just said?” There is a difference between nodding because you are listening versus nodding because you are signaling acceptance of what is being said. There is a difference between nodding because you are listening versus nodding because you are signaling acceptance of what is being said. –This could cause real problems between you and your customer if you aren’t aware of this.

10 Body Language - Gestures The use of the head, hands, arms, and shoulders to accentuate verbal messages adds color, excitement, and enthusiasm to your communication. The use of the head, hands, arms, and shoulders to accentuate verbal messages adds color, excitement, and enthusiasm to your communication. Typically, movements are designed to gain and hold attention. Typically, movements are designed to gain and hold attention. Open, flowing gestures encourage listening and help explain messages to customers. Open, flowing gestures encourage listening and help explain messages to customers. On the other hand, closed, restrained movements could send a message of coolness, insecurity, or disinterest. On the other hand, closed, restrained movements could send a message of coolness, insecurity, or disinterest.

11 Vocal Cues - Pitch Changes in voice tone (either too high or too low) add vocal variety to messages and can dramatically affect interpretation of meaning. Changes in voice tone (either too high or too low) add vocal variety to messages and can dramatically affect interpretation of meaning. Often call inflection or pitch Of the voice or tone. Often call inflection or pitch Of the voice or tone. Be sure that your inflection normally falls at the end of a sentence statements. Be sure that your inflection normally falls at the end of a sentence statements. Use a vocal “comma” in the form of a brief pause as you speak. Use a vocal “comma” in the form of a brief pause as you speak.

12 Vocal Cues – Volume Be aware of the volume of your voice, for changes in volume can indicate emotion and may send a negative message to your customer. Be aware of the volume of your voice, for changes in volume can indicate emotion and may send a negative message to your customer. Typically, if a communication exchange with a customer becomes emotionally charged, your voice might rise, indicating that you are angry or upset. This could lead to a relationship breakdown. Typically, if a communication exchange with a customer becomes emotionally charged, your voice might rise, indicating that you are angry or upset. This could lead to a relationship breakdown.

13 Vocal Cues – Rate of Speech An average rate of speech for most adults in Western cultures is words per minute. An average rate of speech for most adults in Western cultures is words per minute. Speed of delivery can affect whether your message is received and interpreted correctly. Speed of delivery can affect whether your message is received and interpreted correctly. Speech that is either too fast or too slow can be distracting and cause loss of message effectiveness. Speech that is either too fast or too slow can be distracting and cause loss of message effectiveness.

14 Vocal Cues – Voice Quality The variations in your voice quality can help encourage customers to listen. The variations in your voice quality can help encourage customers to listen. –Encouraging: If your voice sounds pleasant and is accompanied by a smile. –Discouraging: If your voice is harsh sounding. Terms used: raspy, nasal, hoarse, gravelly. Terms used: raspy, nasal, hoarse, gravelly. By taking the initiative to improve your voice quality, you can enhance your customer service image. By taking the initiative to improve your voice quality, you can enhance your customer service image.

15 Vocal Cues - Articulation Refers to the clarity of your word usage. Refers to the clarity of your word usage. Also known as enunciation or pronunciation or words. Also known as enunciation or pronunciation or words. If you tend to slur words, you can distort meanings or frustrate listeners. If you tend to slur words, you can distort meanings or frustrate listeners. Especially important when communicating with customers who do not speak English well. Especially important when communicating with customers who do not speak English well.

16 Vocal Cues - Silence Silence is a form that can be used in a number of ways. Silence is a form that can be used in a number of ways. Many people have trouble dealing with silence in a conversation. Many people have trouble dealing with silence in a conversation. Positive silence: Good way to show respect or show that you are listening to the customer while he or she speaks. Positive silence: Good way to show respect or show that you are listening to the customer while he or she speaks. Negative silence: You can indicate defiance or indifferences with silence. Negative silence: You can indicate defiance or indifferences with silence.

17 Vocal Cues - Semantics Semantics has to do with choice of words. Semantics has to do with choice of words. You can aid or detract from effective communication depending on the words you use and how you use them. You can aid or detract from effective communication depending on the words you use and how you use them. If you use a lot of jargon or complex words that customers may not understand because of their background, education, culture, or experience, you run the risk of irritating, frustrating, or dissatisfying them. If you use a lot of jargon or complex words that customers may not understand because of their background, education, culture, or experience, you run the risk of irritating, frustrating, or dissatisfying them.

18 Appearance - Grooming Hygiene Hygiene –Regular washing and combing of hair, bathing, brushing teeth, use of mouthwash and deodorant, and washing hands and cleaning fingernails. –Negative feelings about someone who does not take pride in his or her personal appearance or hygiene. Advice excessive makeup, cologne, or perfume. Allergies or respiratory problems caused by excessive and heavy scents. Advice excessive makeup, cologne, or perfume. Allergies or respiratory problems caused by excessive and heavy scents. Wear appropriate attire, jewelry, and accessories. Wear appropriate attire, jewelry, and accessories.

19 Spatial Cues Each culture has its own proxemics (zones in which interpersonal interaction take place) or spatial cues for various situations. Intimate distance – 0 to 18 inches; most people feel uncomfortable when a service provider intrudes into this space uninvited. Intimate distance – 0 to 18 inches; most people feel uncomfortable when a service provider intrudes into this space uninvited. Personal distance – 18 inches to 4 feet; distance used with close friends or business colleagues, long-term customers. Personal distance – 18 inches to 4 feet; distance used with close friends or business colleagues, long-term customers. Social and work distance – 4 to 12 feet; customer service settings. Social and work distance – 4 to 12 feet; customer service settings. Public distance – 12 or more feet. Public distance – 12 or more feet.

20 Environmental Cues If you work in a dirty or disorganized environment, customers may perceive that you and the organization have a lackadaisical attitude or approach to business. If you work in a dirty or disorganized environment, customers may perceive that you and the organization have a lackadaisical attitude or approach to business. To help reduce negative perceptions, organize and clean your area regularly. To help reduce negative perceptions, organize and clean your area regularly. Avoid potentially offensive items such a pictures, calendars, posters, etc. (racial, political, religious) Avoid potentially offensive items such a pictures, calendars, posters, etc. (racial, political, religious) –Failure to remove such materials might result in legal liability for you and your organization and create a hostile work environment.

21 Miscellaneous Cues Personal Habits (eating, smoking, chewing gum, cleaning teeth with toothpick, etc.) Personal Habits (eating, smoking, chewing gum, cleaning teeth with toothpick, etc.) Time Allocation and Attention Time Allocation and Attention Follow-Through (or lack of it) Follow-Through (or lack of it) Proper Etiquette and Manners Proper Etiquette and Manners Color (see Figure 4.3 on Page 108) Color (see Figure 4.3 on Page 108)

22 The Role of Gender in Nonverbal Communication If you fail to recognize the differences between the sexes and do not develop the skills necessary to interact with both men and women, you could experience breakdown in communication. If you fail to recognize the differences between the sexes and do not develop the skills necessary to interact with both men and women, you could experience breakdown in communication. The basis for gender differences is the fact that the brains of males and females develop at different rates and focus on different priorities throughout life. The basis for gender differences is the fact that the brains of males and females develop at different rates and focus on different priorities throughout life. Women are bilateral meaning the use of their brain can switch readily between the left and right brain hemisphere in various situations; however, men tend to be more lateral by favoring either the left or right hemisphere. Women are bilateral meaning the use of their brain can switch readily between the left and right brain hemisphere in various situations; however, men tend to be more lateral by favoring either the left or right hemisphere. See Figure 4.4 on Page 109 for general behavior differences that are seen in many men and women.

23 Impact of Culture To be successful in a global economy, you need to be familiar with the many cultures, habits, values, and beliefs of a wide variety of people. To be successful in a global economy, you need to be familiar with the many cultures, habits, values, and beliefs of a wide variety of people. Look for cues that might be perceived as negative in some cultures so that you can avoid them. Look for cues that might be perceived as negative in some cultures so that you can avoid them. Learn to recognize the different views and approaches to matters such as distance, touching, eye contact, and use of colors so that you will not inadvertently violate someone’s personal space or cause offense. Learn to recognize the different views and approaches to matters such as distance, touching, eye contact, and use of colors so that you will not inadvertently violate someone’s personal space or cause offense.

24 Unproductive Behaviors Unprofessional handshake Unprofessional handshake Fidgeting Fidgeting Raising eyebrow Raising eyebrow Peering over glasses Peering over glasses Crossing arms Crossing arms Holding hands near mouth Holding hands near mouth Pointing a finger or other object Pointing a finger or other object

25 Strategies for Improving Nonverbal Communication Seek out nonverbal cues Seek out nonverbal cues Confirm your perceptions Confirm your perceptions Seek clarifying feedback Seek clarifying feedback Analyze your interpretations of nonverbal cues Analyze your interpretations of nonverbal cues

26 Customer-Focused Behavior Stand up, if appropriate. Stand up, if appropriate. Act promptly. Act promptly. Guide rather than direct. Guide rather than direct. Be patient with customer. Be patient with customer. Offer assistance. Offer assistance. Reduce customer wait times. Reduce customer wait times. Allow customer to go first. Allow customer to go first. Offer refreshments, if appropriate. Offer refreshments, if appropriate. Be professional. Be professional.

27 Advantages of Customer- Focused Behavior Image is enhanced. Image is enhanced. Customer loyalty increases. Customer loyalty increases. Word-of-mouth advertising increases. Word-of-mouth advertising increases. Complaints are reduced. Complaints are reduced. Financial losses decrease. Financial losses decrease. Employee-customer communication improves. Employee-customer communication improves.


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