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What is non-verbal communication?



    Definition (CBC): “nonverbal communication involves those nonverbal stimuli in a communication setting that are generated by both the source [speaker] and his or her use of the environment and that have potential message value for the source or receiver [listener]  (Samovar et al).   Basically it is sending and receiving messages in a variety of ways without the use of verbal codes (words).  It is both intentional and unintentional.  Most speakers / listeners are not conscious of this.

    It includes — but is not limited to:
    • touch
    • glance
    • eye contact (gaze)
    • volume
    • vocal nuance
    • proximity
    • gestures
    • facial expression
    • intonation
    • dress code
    • posture
    • smell
    • word choice and syntax
    • sounds (paralanguage)

It was written all over her face!


You can read it on their faces, hear it in their voice tones, see it in their gestures and feel it their touch. People in a reserved culture are careful about displaying their emotions. They value self-control and they are skilled at “reading between the lines.”

“Yes” can mean “no.”


In high context cultures, the meaning lies in the context. In other words, it depends on the social status of who is talking to whom, the tone, the setting, silences and phrasing. In certain contexts, the word “yes” may actually mean “no.”

Values, Beliefs and Basic Assumptions - Deep in the Cultural Iceberg


Deep in the Cultural Iceberg

Values, beliefs and basic assumptions are buried deep in the cultural iceberg. Most of us are partially conscious of our own culture’s values and beliefs but completely unaware of the assumptions on which they are based. Here are some examples of basic assumptions that govern everyday business interactions like negotiating, managing and planning:

Tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty


In cultures with a high tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty, rules, regulations and procedures are often viewed as confining, obstacles to improvisation and risk taking.


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