Nonverbal Communication

PURPOSE:  To give you firsthand experience in how communication may occur nonverbally.

PROCEDURE:

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1. Choose a partner – friend, colleague, spouse, etc.

2. Choose a subject that you both feel you can talk about. You will be talking to each other for a while, so either choose a good topic or have back up topics.

3. While talking to each other, take the following positions (about 2-3 minutes each):

a. Standing far apart

b. Standing very close together, face to face (almost touching)

c. Both of you sitting down with arms crossed, and then uncrossed

d. One person standing up, the other person sitting down (change places so that each person fulfills both roles)

e. One person talking while the other person nonverbally communicates that he/she is not listening (change places so that each person fulfills both roles)

f. One person talking while the other person nonverbally communicates that he/she is actively listening (change places so that each person fulfills both roles)

4. Answer the questions in list format using details and supportive examples. Upload to the SLP Dropbox.

a. Was there any position that you felt very uncomfortable communicating in?  Why (or why not)?

b. Specifically, how did you feel when you were sitting down while talking to your partner, who was standing up?  Do you think other people would have felt the same way?  Why or why not?

c. When you tried to communicate that you were NOT listening to your partner, what nonverbal cues did you use?  Do you think they effectively communicated your disinterest?  What did your partner do during this time that caused you to believe your nonverbal communication of disinterest was effective (or ineffective)?

d. When you tried to communicate that you were actively listening to your partner, what nonverbal cues did you use?  Do you think they effectively communicated your (genuine) interest?  What did your partner do during this time that caused you to believe your nonverbal communication of interest was effective (or ineffective)?

e. What did you learn from this experience?  Did you find it helpful to you in your personal or professional life?  Why or why not?

Non-verbal Communication Exercise. (n.d.). Accessed January 14, 2016, and modified from http://scc.losrios.edu/~harrispa/assignments/interpersonal/exercises/nv_comm.pdf

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