Demonstrative Communication Lauretta Smith BCOM/275 August 22, 2011 David Walker Most of us have heard sayings like “Say what you mean and mean what you say” or “Actions speak louder than words”. Adhering to these statements is more difficult than one may imagine. Communication is the exchange of ideas, messages, information, writing, spoken words, and behaviors. Communication can be exchanged in a number of ways. It can be verbal, nonverbal, written, and unwritten. In this essay, I am going to discuss demonstrative communication and its impact on the message intended by the sender and receiver.
Demonstrative communication can be described as a process of delivering and receiving verbal and nonverbal as well as written and unwritten messages. Verbal and written messages are reinforced with demonstrative communication. The expression of “Dress for Success” can be interpreted many different ways depending on the sender and receiver. For example, a young man arrives to an interview dressed in a suit and tie. He has a tattoos slightly peeking out of the collar of his shirt and a small nose ring.
The receiver who is part of the Baby Boomers Generation immediately assumes that this young man is defiant and lazy.
Therefore, the young man does not get the job. The facts are this young man is an entrepreneur. He owns a lucrative computer software company, however wanted to venture out to do something different. In communication what a person does not verbalize is just as important as what is verbalized. Demonstrative communication is an integral part of communication.
Nonverbal communication is an imperative form of communication. According to Cheesebro, O’Connor, and Rios (2010), current estimates put the nonverbal messages at about 2/3 of all the messages that are delivered.
Facial expressions, gestures, body language, eye contact, and tone of voice are all examples of the unspoken conversation. For example, my son comes to tell me the exciting news that his team just won the championship and he scored the winning basket. As he is speaking, I am reading a text message from my other son and providing very little eye contact. My son decodes this nonverbal message as “She really does not care. ” Therefore although I say to him “Congratulations, I am so happy for you”, my message is not believable.
Working at Verizon Communications, it was crucial that our nonverbal communication was aligned with our verbal communication. Dealing with customers over the telephone was challenging because although we were not visible to the customers our facial expressions, body language, background noises, and tone of voice could be incorrectly decoded. For example, the office is recognizing its top performers so there is music and cheering in the background. A customer calls to set up new phone service in his new home. The consultant is listening and responding to the customer. She states “That’s exciting”.
The customer decodes the message as the consultant is being attentive and empathetic to his needs because he detects a smile in her voice. The customer does not know about the activities going on in the office. Although this type of communication can be positive, it can also have negative implications as well. The way we look, listen, and interact tell the sender of the message whether or not the receiver is truly listening and engaged. These nonverbal behaviors can either enhance or diminish relationships. The sender and the receiver can effectively utilized unspoken gestures to impact their messages.
Unwritten communication is yet another dimension of demonstrative communication. The context, grammar, placement of words, and symbols used can all impact the written message. For example, Kim sends an email to Katherine relaying a message that Mr. Smith left to place an order to change his long distance package. The email is in caps. The email states “YOU NEED TO CALL THIS CUSTOMER AT 715-555-3444 REGARDING HIS LONG DISTANCE PACKAGE”. Katherine immediately assumes that she made a mistake and that the customer will be irate. Katherine also thinks that Kim is upset with her about this issue.
Although this is not the message intended, the encoding of this message by sender was ineffective. All caps used in an email represent shouting. Kim simply did not realize the caps lock was on and did not review the message before sending because she was interrupted by another employee. Listening and responding is vital to ensure that the messages intended are the messages sent (Akerman, 2010) Communication is a two-way conversation. We must enable a channel for feedback whether that is by questioning, paraphrasing, or probing. Misunderstandings occur when effective listening and responding are not utilized.
In conclusion, demonstrative communication can have a positive or negative impact on messages for the sender and receiver. Understanding this concept will equip the speaker and listener with the tools necessary to influence the message intended. The outcome of the conversations at home and work can be improved with implementation of this knowledge. The verbal and nonverbal as well as the written and unwritten communication must align in order to send a clear message. All types of communication include a sender, a receiver, a message, and a delivery channel.
The communication process is effective when all the elements work well together (Sommers, 2000). References Akerman, J. (2010). Communication and indexical reference. Philosophical Studies, 149(3), 355-366, doi:101007/s11098-099-9347-0. Cheesebro, T. , O’Connor, L. , & Rios, F. (2010). Communication in the Workplace. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. Sommers, A. L. (2000). Everything You Need to Know About Effective Communication at School and at Work. New York, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.