The NESACS Blog
From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
Categories:

Archives:
Meta:
June 2018
S M T W T F S
« May    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
08/11/13
Nonverbal communications. Cultural and Perceptural Differences
Filed under: Interviewing, Networking, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Technicians, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 9:25 am

Through more than a half dozen years, nonverbal communications
has been a topic several times in different situations.–
   Elevator speeches
   Networking
   Interviews
   Confidence posing (Amy Cuddy)
   Presentations

The latest update in Wikipedia offers an in depth discussion of
nonverbal communication.  A shorter, more readable version 
lists how nonverbal reveals
   reinforcing messages
   revealing a person’s emotional state and response
   displaying the connection or relationship between people
   supplying feedback from one or a group to another
   signalling communication interaction

At three recent seminars, I noticed several intentional signals
that underscored the connection between people..

CULTURAL IMPLICATION
- after providing a solution to a job seeker’s dilemma of working
for companies that failed, he “fist-bumped” me.  It was both
inter-generational and at an unexpected event.  But I “got it.”
-  at a student event where each person introduced themselves and
offered “factoids” about themselves and where they are from, one
“veiled” lady taught her classmates how she greets new people.
Introducing oneself at meetings, women are expected to offer
their hand for a handshake.  In some cultures, women do not touch
another man and should show arms cross, hands open bow
to signal
that this is their cultural tradition.

SPEAKING AS AN AUDIENCE MEMBER
-  soft-spoken members need to tailor their expression to the
situation.  They should start their comments louder at first,
gaining attention and favorable intention as an audience member,
enunciate consonants clearly and settling to their normal
volume so that people can hear. 
-  additionally, face as much of the audience as is practical
and while addressing one person create eye contact with others
in the audience.  Involving them.

BALANCING THE NEED TO TAKE NOTES AND LISTEN
WHILE PROVIDING NONVERBAL FEEDBACK
-  in many meetings, there are presenters, listeners and one
or two notetakers.  In one meeting, our conversation was
warm and genuine and we reached areas of substance where
I noted that she frequently reverted to the notetaker role.
Do you do this often at meetings, I asked?  Yes, in fact, she
is often asked to send out her notes for the meeting.  At
certain points in careers we need to realize the secretarial
role is presumed to be lacking leadership skills
, whether
true or not.
-  occasional notes seem fine.  “thought-hooks”  It is more
mature if one seeks leadership responsibility to understand
that nonverbal signals send underlying and nonstated
messages.  True, they should be “tested” and verified.  Too often,
the notetaker while getting all the words, misses out on the
significant opportunities
.

GIVING A PRESENTATION
-  in a seminar a presenter had to manage the A/V, maintain the
attention, and engage an unknown audience.  She smoothly
navigated a path to manage the program by walking the stage
smiling and asking feedback and input from different
areas of the room.

It is not enough that you know the material.  You have to be
an actress as well and have a “stage presence.”

One Response to “Nonverbal communications. Cultural and Perceptural Differences”

  1. site admin Says:

    Sue Shellenberger wrote a piece about power posing
    that points it the somewhat controversial nature of nonverbal
    communication. It stands that it takes some experience to
    interpret project and benefit from intentional use of power
    poses. But as they say in the rule of thirds…
    One-third say it is rubbish, one-third say there could be some
    substance to it if it is consistent and supported, and
    one-third say it is neutral.

Leave a Reply