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Demonstrative communication is a way of sending and receiving messages that are neither verbal nor written. This way of communicating has both its positives and negatives, depending on the situation and what is being communicated. Examples of demonstrative communication include tone of voice, behavior and facial expression. Of course the easiest way to get a message across is via the optimal form of communication, which is usually speech, but this is not always possible when there is a language or cultural barrier, or just a different communication style [Are you asking the question “Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]. Demonstrative communication can help people understand each other better, rather than relying on speech, which can be more open to interpretation than physical cues, but both styles have their shortfalls.
Perhaps the exchange between people who speak different languages is where demonstrative communication is most abstract. Clear communication is particularly important in the globalized economy, where regular cross-culture communication is vital to business. “Activities such as exchanging information and ideas, decision making, negotiating, motivating, and leading are all based on the ability of managers from one culture to communicate successfully with managers and employees from other cultures,” (Radford, N.D.). It should be noted that even if both groups understand each other’s language, communication can still be lost. For example, in a culture where eye contact indicates honesty, the same eye contact may be abrasive to those in other cultures. This could be drastic for business relations because someone might take eye contact as an insult, and for operations if a member of the team makes an unwise business decision because of a misunderstanding.
Those working with people from different cultures should assume there will be miscommunications, and because of this, they should seek out other ways to communicate, to ensure there is full understanding. This difference can be assumed until there is evidence of similarity. To communicate with a different culture clearly, and eliminate the constant uncertainty, it may be necessary to immerse oneself in that culture and get to know the way it operates (Adler, N.D.).
Even the way a person dresses could be considered demonstrative communication. Depending on the culture, certain clothes may be offensive or misleading to a person when communicating cross-culturally. For example, it is normal for women in some cultures to wear miniskirts, while in other cultures, it is only appropriate for a woman to wear a veil (Utah, N.D.). Even within the same culture, certain clothing is appropriate during certain occasion, such as in North America, where is might not be appropriate to wear a miniskirt to a business meeting.
People within the same culture also have personal limits about touch. For example, many feel that touching ones arm is a sign of attentiveness and caring, while others might consider it an invasion of privacy. This contrast is even more pronounced when communicating with those of other cultures. In the United Kingdom, for example, the average person touches another person zero times each hour, while those in Puerto Rico touch 180 times per hour (Utah, N.D.).
But other options exist to help limit misunderstandings if demonstrative devices are used to paint a clear picture. Other ways of communicating are often neglected, but they can be the most vital in communicating as clearly as possible. People often only focus on a verbal message, but more than just the words are being interpreted by the receiver of that information. For example, head position, posture, facial expressions, eye contact, and arm and hand gestures all contribute to the way a message is communicated. If someone is at a job interview and they have a slouched posture, that might indicate they are unengaged. However, the person may be very interested, but they are just unaware of the way they are physically communicating (Speech, 2012).
Voice tone, which is a demonstrative part of verbal communication, is an important part of conveying a message in the intended way. For example, a person with a low voice is interpreted to have more authority than a person with a high voice, according to research from the Department of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]When hearing a deep voice, people have an instinctive judgment of the person who is speaking. The Corporate Coach Group states it is more effective to vary tone (Farmer, 2011). Varied tone can emphasize key words and phrases, and this can make what is being said more interesting because it can stimulate emotions. When certain words are emphasized, the listener might become more enthusiastic, humoured and excited.
But the listener is also communicating, though they aren’t saying anything. Eye contact is a major factor in demonstrative communication that many North Americans consider to be paramount to communication. When the listener doesn’t make eye contact, the speaker might think they are uninterested or snobby. People who are listening might also nod their head to indicate they understand what the speaker is saying. Facial expressions are also important, because the person listening might want to smile to indicate they are accepting of what the person is saying, or that they understand the humour in what is being said. Conversely, if someone is making eye contact, nodding and smiling, for example, the person who is speaking might think they are ingenuine. This is a common difficulty when communicating and it is what causes certain people with compatible communication styles to get along, while those with different communication styles don’t get along.
Adler, N.J., (N.D.) Communicating across cultural barriers.
Farmer, C. (2011, March 25) Communication skills training: voice tone.
Speech Improvement Resources. (2012). Nonverbal communication says a lot.
University of Utah (N.D.) Engaging in nonverbal communication.