Discussion: Doing vs. Saying: Nonverbal Communication
What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, lecturer, poet
Just about everything a person does or wears expresses meaning to others. This nonverbal communication depends on context determined by culture, history, or familial norms and practices. In over 75 studies, researchers have shown that humans have seven universal facial expressions of emotion: joy, surprise, contempt, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust (Matsumoto & Hwang, 2011). Other than these expressions of emotions, human nonverbal behavior varies from culture to culture. Although dictionaries exist to assist with verbal meanings, nonverbal meanings are not easily formalized and can present serious communication quandaries in intercultural situations.
In order to competently communicate in intercultural situations, you need to study and acquire knowledge of the nonverbal codes. In this week, you consider how nonverbal behaviors communicate meaning and how this affects intercultural communication practice.
To prepare for your Discussion: Review Chapters 7 and 8 in the course text. What verbal and nonverbal behaviors described in these chapters do you recognize in your own communication? How might your verbal and nonverbal behaviors influence your communication with another culture that uses different verbal and nonverbal behaviors? Thiors from different cultures bring to society. How would society change if everyone used the same verbal and nonverbal behaviors? What would be the benefits of a society that used the same verbal and nonverbal behaviors?
Note: One of the goals of this course is to promote a wide variety of views. You are encouraged to present your honest personal viewpoint while at all times reflecting a respectful tone for the views of others.
Do a 2- paragraph explanation of how one major cultural, nonverbal behavior can affect communication with someone outside that culture by doing the following: Identify a major nonverbal behavior in your culture. Consider how someone outside of the culture might react to this nonverbal behavior. Consider how these behaviors can affect communication with people of other cultures.