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Verbal and Nonverbal Communication and Listening Skills

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As we know communication is a large part of our everyday life, but how do people really communicate with each other? Most people automatically think of speech when asked a question about communications but there is much more to communication than speaking, encoding the message, decoding the message and then giving verbal feedback. Verbal communication or talking as it commonly known is not as simple as it sounds, to be an effective talker or communicator you must be able to speak clearly and loud enough for people to hear you but not so loud that they don’t want to listen to you. Choose a language that everyone understands, and insure it spoken clear and precise. When addressing the audience remain professional and behave in a respectful manor, this will insure that people will listen. When addressing the crowd look at them as much as possible show them you are engaged with the conversation and willing to answer questions if need be.

If the audience asks questions try to make listening noises, like the words yes or no I agree or uh, this method will keep your audience engaged and continued back and forth is the start of verbal communication. Non Verbal communications can be as basic as the body language we use to a much more advance form of non-verbal communication sign language. People learn nonverbal skills at an early age, for example when a baby wants something they communicate their needs by pointing or grunting and their feelings by smiling or pouting. The way we move are bodies can help tell a story without saying a word. If someone is moving at a high rate of speed in every motion they make what would that tell you about this person? They are in a hurry, what if someone walks into the office and slams their door? That would tell me that he is mad about something or someone. People’s feelings can show on their face, this can tell someone if they are feeling happy, sad, mad or even angry.

This should be used to judge whether or not a verbal conversation is a good idea, or maybe give them some time to calm down. The biggest form of nonverbal communication would have to be the use of touch; the use of touch can be used as a greeting or a show of affection. The use of touch may include a simple hand shake or a wave to pat on the back and a hug and kiss. If you spend the time to “reinforce or modify what is said in words for example, people may nod their heads vigorously when saying “Yes” to emphasis that they agree with the other person, but a shrug of the shoulders and a sad expression when saying “I’m fine thanks,” may imply that things are not really fine at all!”(Skills you need 2015) Those are both really good examples on how knowledge of nonverbal communication can help communicate with others.

With a better understanding of nonverbal communication it’s possible to gage how an encounter or conversation may go just by reading their body language, also while talking if you are not getting constant eye contact or any type of feedback that could be a sign that they are not paying attention to you or they don’t understand what you are talking about. So the more you know about nonverbal communication the better conservator you will become. The student listening behavior inventories interpretation of me is that, “you perceive yourself to be a good listener in the classroom, but you could still improve your listening skills.” One area that I need to improve on is concentrating on a speaker’s main ideas rather than specific ideas. I have a hard time break things down into sub categories for instants if someone was to tell me that a locomotive at my work has a negative low voltage ground in the auxiliary system, I would have a hard time picturing that in the conversation so I just say the locomotive has electrical problems.

In my current job role I am involved in a lot of group discussions and with I am with my peers I tend to sit and listen to what they have to say, I hope by doing this I will be able to improve on specific details while involved in conversation. Per the inventory list I have many strengths but the ones that I pride myself on are when listening, I look at the speaker and maintain eye contact and focus on the message that the speaker is passing along. I also encourage the speaker by providing positive nonverbal feedback in the form of a head nod or eye contact. I owe this type of behavior to the military, that was part of your military bearing to maintain constant eye contact when you where be addressed. The one key skill in listen that I did not see on there is being trustworthy, it means a lot to me to be able to trust the person that I am talking to. I like to provide that for my employees at work I will be their confidant until they brake that trust or no longer need it.


SkillsYouNeed (2015) http://www.skillsyouneed.com/general/what-is-communication.html

University of Phoenix Material

Student Listening Inventory

This inventory should help identify your listening strengths and weaknesses within the context of a college classroom. The word speaker can mean the instructor or another student. Remember that most of us overestimate how well we listen. Give some serious, realistic thought to each statement before responding. Use the following numbers to indicate how often you engage in these listening behaviors: 1 = almost never, 2 = not often, 3 = sometimes, 4 = more often than not, and 5 = almost always.

Add up your scores for all of the questions. Use the following guidelines to assess how well you think you listen. Your score only represents your personal perceptions about your listening behavior and skills.

You perceive yourself to be a poor classroom listener. Attention to all of the items on the inventory could improve your listening effectiveness. 63-86
You perceive yourself to be an adequate listener in the classroom. Learning more about listening and listening skills could improve your overall listening effectiveness. 87-111
You perceive yourself to be a good listener in the classroom, but you could still improve your listening skills. 112-125
You perceive yourself to be an outstanding listener in the classroom.

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