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As carers, we should pay attention to the way we say things and the tone of voice we use to ensure that our messages are conveyed effectively and accurately.h Eye contact The eyes are often referred to as the window to the mind; therefore, eye contact has a very important part to play in non-verbal communication.
Most people look into the eyes of another to see it they are being sincere in what they are saying, avoidance of eye contact can make a person feel uneasy and may lead to them thinking the person they are communicating with is being insincere.
Similarly too much eye contact can make a person feel intimidated and the person may feel that the messenger is being intrusive.
Our non-verbal behaviour is the more reliable guide to our feelings” Dr Gabriel Raam states that “body movement can indicate attitudes and feelings K.
Our body movement includes the heads, eyes, shoulders, lips, eyebrows, neck, legs, arms, fingers, orientation, hands, and gestures K” .
Symbolic-this type of communication involves making the use of religious, status or ego-building symbols.” Porter believed that non-verbal communication was vital to effective communication he believed that in order to function effectively we must understand non-verbal cues and interpret them correctly.
Tortoriello, Blott and De Wine also wrote about non-verbal communication and they jointly defined non-verbal communication as ” The exchange of messages primarily through non-linguistic means, including: kinesics (body language), facial expression and eye contact, tactile communication, space and territory, environment, paralanguage and the use of silence and time.” Lamb also believed that non-verbal communication was vital in order to achieve effective communication.Dr Raam suggest that by paying attention to our body language we can use our bodies to introduce clarity and meaning to our verbal communication. Hall a researcher was the first to use the term proxemics, Hall investigated man’s use of personal space and suggests that man use’s space as a means to communicate his feelings with others.Dr Raam calls non-verbal communication the kinesic code. He believes that mans use of space can either impede or promote communication and that man uses different zones of space within different types of communication.A person who has had a stroke may not be able to communicate effectively without the use of facial expressions, a person who cannot speak can speak volumes by the use of facial expression and we must pay attention to this whilst treating such patients, similarly we must pay attention to our own facial expressions in order that we convey the correct message h Posture Posture is another very important part of non-verbal communication we can convey many unspoken messages simply by the way we are standing or sitting. Clenching a fist is the most understood hand gesture but we also wave our hand to say goodbye or to show anger, we must pay attention whilst communicating to ensure we do not display negative hand gestures.Dr Raam has identified six different postural positions, which convey very different messages, these are; 1. erect posture = high spirits,energy and confidence 3. Gestures also include shrugging our shoulders, a shrug of the shoulders can display disinterest in the conversation or a flippant attitude but it can also display and I give up signal.Argyle (1983) “suggests non-verbal behaviours regulate encounters by obtaining feedback that is gaining information from how we respond” .Argyle wrote again about non-verbal communication and in 1988, he states “non-verbal style in which a message is communicated has more effect than the verbal message itself.Co-operation improves as we recognise and respond appropriately to non-verbal cues” Bandura also wrote about non-verbal communication, in 19977 he states”indivdiuals have learnt to behave in particular ways non-verbally usually responding differently in different situations” Dr.David Givens is also an influential writer on non-verbal communication and he believes that there are about 125 recognisable signals of non-verbal communication.Givens believes that non-verbal communication signals persons true feelings and these may be different to the actual spoken word.Givens states “non-verbal communication is the process of sending and receiving wordless messages K.