Columbia Southern Interpreting Nonverbal Communication Article Review

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Interpreting and and using nonverbal communication, (The Psychological Edge)
Joe Dysart
Drug Topics. 133.10 (May 15, 1989): p74.
Copyright: COPYRIGHT 1989 Advanstar Communications, Inc.
Full Text:
No matter how carefully you choose your words when speaking with employees, word choice has
only a 7% impact in personto-person communication. Much more potent, according to Walter D. St.
John, president of the Management Communications Institute in Temple, Me., is facial expression.
The face projects 55% of the overall message, he says, and oral presentation has a 38% impact.
That’s reason enough to try to ensure that your nonverbal communication cues don’t undermine
your conversations with employees and associates.
Besides remaining cognizant of elementary facial cues-such as nodding and shaking the head,
remember that lowering the head, peering over glasses, or cocking the head to one side generally
indicates skepticism, St. John advised pharmacists. Anger, he said, is usually manifested most
intensely in the lower face, brows, and forehead, whereas generous eye contact generally indicates
a person who is friendly and open to communication.
Even when facial expressions are mastered for more effective communication, hands and feet can
betray unpleasant thoughts and emotions, St. John warned. Perceptive managers know that an
employee’s smiling face can be belied by a beating foot or frequent leg shifting-telltale signs of
anxiety or tension,
There’s also much to be deciphered from voice patterns. Loud, rapid, or high-pitched voices often
indicate anger. Boredom is expressed in a monotone.
Remember to account for regional differences and the overall context of a message when
transmitting or interpreting nonverbal cues, St. John advised. Simply seizing on one body cue to
make an overall judgment on a person’s inner thoughts would be ill advised. Those cues must be
brought together to form a composite analysis.
Allow leeway for regional colloquialisms. One kinesics expert (student of nonverbal communication)
St. John knows can often identify a Wisconsin native simply by the movement of the eyebrows.
Most pharmacists are interested in ways to communicate more positively with their employees, and
St. John has a few concrete suggestions toward that end:
* Furniture. Don’t arrange your office furniture as a barrier between you and the employee, and
don’t back a visitor up against the wall.
* Aesthetics. Remain aware of your office’s appearance, Pleasant surroundings encourage like
moods, and ugly surroundings can undermine good communication.
*Distance. Don’t exaggerate status difference by placing an inordinate physical distance between
you and your employee. Close proximity indicates warmth.
* Posture. Stay cognizant of overall posture. Closed postures-arms and legs crossed, leaning away
from a person-indicate dislike. Open positions, and forward leaning, convey the opposite.
*Animation. Use gestures, especially with relaxed, open palms, often. A lack of animation generally
conveys negativity.
Source Citation (MLA 8th Edition)
Dysart, Joe. “Interpreting and and using nonverbal communication, (The Psychological Edge).”
Drug Topics, 15 May 1989, p. 74. Criminal Justice Collection,
Accessed 29 Nov. 2017.
Gale Document Number: GALE|A7628499

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