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The power of nonverbal communication

Categories Communication

Essay, Pages 5 (1096 words)



Essay, Pages 5 (1096 words)

Hank, the General Manager of a local camera store, just slammed the phone back into its cradle because he just discovered a delay filling his order because of the disaster in Japan. Hank stares off in the distance worrying about his customers’ reaction when they discover they will not receive their cameras and equipment as promised. Mary, Hank’s secretary, sees the angry look on Hank’s face. She timidly knocks on his door. She jumps when Hank snaps his head in her direction because she is afraid he will yell at her for disturbing him.

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Hank waves for Mary to enter his office.

Mary enters and quickly tells him that his 10:00 a. m. appointment called and asked to reschedule the appointment for next week because Diamond Jones’ father died the night before. Hank’s face becomes tighter with the fresh frustration over the cancellation. In a clipped tone, Hank tells Mary to please close the door and hold all of his calls.

Mary quickly and quietly closes his door and returns to her desk. Through Hank’s verbal and nonverbal communication with his secretary, Mary interpreted Hank’s communication and acted accordingly.

As seen above, through facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice one can tell what another is feeling. Effective and Ineffective Facial Demonstrative Communication between Sender and Receiver Facial expressions can convey many messages to others without the person saying one word. “There may also be universal expressions for surprise, contempt, and embarrassment as it is for anger, fear, sadness, disgust and enjoyment, but the evidence is not as complete” (Ekman, n.

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d. , par 3). The facial expression in this scenario was both effective and ineffective.

Hank had expression of contempt on his face about the delay in his shipment. Mary did not know this prior to her knocking on his door. Therefore, she did not know that the contempt Hank was experiencing was not because of anything she did or did not do. The effectiveness of the demonstrative communication that occurred in the scenario was that Hank let his secretary know he was upset. Mary did receive the silent communication that Hank was upset from the look on his face. Therefore, the correct message was sent and received.

The ineffective part of the same communication through Hank’s facial expression was the thought Mary had. She thought that Hank was angry because she knocked on his door, and for the cancellation of the appointment. With this, the demonstrative communication was ineffective. Had Mary asked Hank, she would have discovered that the contempt expression on his face had nothing to do with anything she did or did not do. The point is that sometimes messages from facial expression become lost in translation because of inside or outside interference of the receiver.

The Effective and Ineffective Physical Demonstrative Communication between Sender and Receiver. Physical demonstrative communication is also known as gesturing. “Gestures are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. We wave, point, beckon, and use our hands when we’re arguing or speaking animatedly—expressing ourselves with gestures often without thinking” (Segal, Smith, and Jaffe. 2010. Par. 12). The effectiveness of the gestures in the above scenario occurred when Hank, the sender, communicated for Mary, the receiver, to enter his office. The communication was Hank waving his hand for her to enter the office.

The ineffectiveness of the gestures in the scenario occured when Hank snapped his head to the direction of Mary’s knocking. The quickness of the turning of his head toward Mary caused Mary to be nervous again because she thought that Hank was upset about her interrupting him to give him a message. Mary knew the message from Diamond Jones would not please Hank and should not have taken his negative demonstrative communication personally. The Effective and Ineffective Tonal Demonstrative Communication between Sender and Receiver. Tonal demonstrative communication is also known as tone of voice.

Words carry meaning, however, tonal demonstrative communication helps weight the words with more meaning. Segal, et. al stated, “When we speak, other people ‘read’ our voices in addition to listening to our words. These nonverbal speech sounds provide subtle but powerful clues into our true feelings and what we really mean” (2010. Par. 16). Hank was effective with the tone of voice communication to Mary when he said, “Yes, Mary? ” in his normal, calm voice. This kind of communication made it easier for Mary to continue to tell him about Diamond Jones’ message.

The ineffectiveness of the tonal demonstrative communication between Hank and Mary occured when he told her in a clipped tone to close the door and hold his calls. This again caused Mary to make an assumption she did something to upset him and take personal what she considered a verbal attack on her for telling him the appointment cancellation. Mary did not know again about the delay in the shipment; however, her assumption about the reason for Hank’s ire puts a new strain on the relationship with her boss. Demonstrative communication must be clear and consice.

If the receiver does not understand what the sender is saying through nonverbal communication, he or she must ask for clarification and not make assumptions to avoid misunderstandings. The sender must always be clear with his or her nonverbal communications to avoid misunderstandings. Meanwhile, Hank takes the time necessary to calm down and thinks about how he could have handled the exchange with Mary better. He knew he probably gave her the wrong impression. He kindly asks Mary to come into his office. Mary’s body language screams to Hank, “What did I do wrong? because her face is tight with anxiety, her body is rigid in fear, and she said, “Yes, Sir. ” in a scared voice. Hank waves for her to sit in the chair in front of his desk. Hank asked Mary what ran through her mind during the last communication they exchanged an hour ago. She tells him everything stated above. Hank’s face has the look of compassion when he apologizes to Mary for giving her the impression she did anything wrong because she did nothing wrong. He goes on to tell her that the last thing he wants to do is have her afraid of him. Hank vows to Mary to make sure all of his communications are clear and concise in the future.


Ekman, P. (n.d., n.d. n.d.). Facial Expression. Retrieved April 7, 2011, from Answers.com: http://www.answers.com/topic/facial-expression Segal, J., Smith, M., and Jaffe, J. (2010, November). Nonverbal communication: the power of nonverbal communication and body language. Retrieved April 7, 2011, from HelpGuide.org: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eq6_nonverbal_communication.htm

Cite this essay

The power of nonverbal communication. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/demonstrative-communication-new-essay

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