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Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

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In today’s fast-paced world with various technologically advanced mode of communication via the internet, it can be considerably concluded that most people still fail to understand one another. As such, people’s behaviour or reactions to situations can explained using attributions. Attribution as explained by Kendra Cherry(2018), is the act of assuming the origin of situations and demeanor. In reality, attribution are various acts and work we do constantly, commonly without the perception of the elemental processes and biases that brings us to our conclusions. Why do such attribution biases surface in the minds of humans? Fritz Heider (1958), has conveyed in his book, that people assume and infer explanations of others based on observations and analysis of their behaviour. Therefore, Mark from the article above has explicitly traits of attribution biases. Mark`s deduction that the artist has “so much attitude” can be explained with Self serving bias and Fundamental attribution error which are displayed repectively.

Self-serving bias as explained by Alice Boyes (2013), is people’s impulsiveness to attribute positive circumstances to their own personality and negative circumstances attributed by external factors. In other words, Mark`s positive circumstance of being a brilliant artist was due to him having a good sense artistic intelligence. This displays that he attributes his success as a photographer to his own personal factors. However, he had further elaborated his negative circumstance whereby his parents’ poverty had deprived him of an opportunity to pursue fine arts overseas. He had also attributed to his parents’ poverty and and inability on his failure to be a well-reputed artist.

Fundamental attribution error as said by Joe Moran (2015), is the inclination to exaggerate the extent of which people’s demeanor are due to being relaxed and belittle the implications of external forces. Likewise, Mark had failed to analyze and decipher the cause of the artiste’s silence. Consequently, Mark had assumed on his own that the artiste had displayed a temperament immediately. This was due to his own presumption as he thought the artiste might have misunderstood him as person with an ulterior motive.

Conclusively, how one perceives oneself and others are due to situational factors as presented above. However, those factors could have been changed in Mark’s case. He could have still pursued art on his own by approaching various establishments and produce his works of art. The girl was able to display her work in an art gallery, which explains that she was able overcome negative circumstances and be noticed in the world of art. Likewise, her inability to hear was misunderstood by Mark and assumed as displaying of attitude. He could have exercised patience and wait till the little artist was available to speak and had eye contact with him to express his excitement and admiration of her work. When all these act of assumptions are dismissed, people can communicate and have good relations as the understanding of one another is displayed.

According to Amy Lucas (2017), the capability to communicate verbally as well nonverbally efficiently, determines the success of a person as an individual and as a society. Interaction with people are constructed using verbal and nonverbal communication. Hence, they contribute to both physical and mental wellness of individuals. Amy Lucas (2017), has also emphasised that both verbal and nonverbal are essential in developing relationships and strengthening positive forms of communication. In the video, several forms of nonverbal cues were displayed. However, four distinct nonverbal cues that will be discussed are attentiveness, eye contact, voice and gesture. Firstly, the most fundamental aspect of communication is voice. The use of voice, to put together a message to be conveyed is how millions of people communicate.

However when voice is mentioned, it does not signify what is being said but rather how it is being said. To elaborate further, as one speak his/her or voice will be observed apart from just listening to messages being conveyed. For example, Cheryl had proceeded to explain to her daughter Sarah with a firm and tone of voice that her exams were due soon and she has to revise. May her colleague however, expressed her points in her son’s football practices with a frustrated tone of voice. Secondly, visual sense is predominant during communication for most people, thus, eye contact is the significant form of nonverbal communication. As conveyed by Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., Melinda Smith, M.A., and Greg Boose (2018), eye contact is a determinant to understanding the listener’s interest and reply or feedback apart from maintaining progress of the conversation. For example, once May had rejected Sarah’s request to attend a family day event, Sarah looked downwards to express her disappointment. Likewise, Cheryl’s son Johnny had displayed the lack of eye contact when May had asked him if he liked football. It insinuates his feelings of suppression with being deprived of the happiness with playing football. Thus he communicates his sadness with the lack of eye contact.

As human beings communicate, many forms of gestures are used to convey messages. A person can gesticulate using their hand and arm movements during communication to aid a clearer message to be conveyed. Hence, in the video it was displayed that Johnny expressed himself as a young boy yearning to play football again. It was evident when he gesticulated by moving towards the window of the car to look at children in a game of football on field that were passing by. He had also kept silent when question on his liking towards football. He was had a forlorn and suppressed facial expression that insinuated his sadness and inability to do what makes him happy. In nonverbal communication, as written in SUSS COM101 Principles and practice of communication textbook, page 151 chapter 5, Johnny had displayed affect displays. This was when Johnny had kept his little football player toy keychain in a rush when he had noticed the arrival of his mother Cheryl. This explicitly displayed his emotion of fear.

The use of space to communicate at the end of the video when Cheryl maintains a distance when she had asked her son Johnny to quicken his packing of his books and writing materials was evident. This is attributed to her standing by the side of the table and tugged at his school bag with haste to remind his pack immediately.

In conclusion, as much verbal communication helps to convey messages directly, nonverbal communication plays an equally important role as well. This can be understood through May who understood that Cheryl’s frustration, tone of voice and rules had affected Johnny’s happiness. His look and actions of yearning had May realising that children need play time apart from studies. A message that Johnny had imparted nonverbally.

As mentioned by DeVita JA (2000), the five elements of effective listening as categorised are, receiving, understanding, remembering, evaluating and feedback are vital to be an effective listener. Sheldon in the video clip has displayed a rather inconsiderate disposition. This is evident as he displayed a lack of critical and empathic listening. Critical listening was not exercised by Sheldon as seen in 1:44 minutes till 1:52 whereby Leonard pours out his feelings on a subject whereas Sheldon just looks on blankly. As observed, he does not pause for a moment analyze the message the Leonard had shared and immediately replies “beats me” and takes the liberty for his time to speak by pressing the button on the chess clock. Secondly, empathic listening was absent in Sheldon which is evident from 2:03 minutes till 2:48 in the video. He did not make the effort to empathise with Leonard yet he needed Leonard to hear his story and expected him to be empathetic.

Sheldon could have been more involved with Leonard’s situation had he practiced listening without judging and acknowledge his feelings. Sheldon had portrayed being judgemental when he mentioned “women” to Leonard. He had just stereotyped Leonard’s girlfriend as “troublesome” for example which allows cessation of the development the conversation. When Leonard’s information is being judged, then message being conveyed will have no value. In other words, Sheldon does not place any importance to what Leonard has to say which had hurt his feelings. It would be advisable for Sheldon to listen without any interruption and leave his opinions for the last once Leonard has finished speaking. Secondly, he should acknowledge the feelings of Leonard by letting him know that he understands how he feels. He should allow Leonard to continue expressing himself with occasional acknowledgement that is listening and understanding what is being said. That way, Leonard will feel important and that his friend’s empathic listening will help him come to a conclusion to the situation that is worried about. The only support Sheldon could have rendered at least was to have heard Leonard’s message thoroughly.

In conclusion, without effective listening, relationships and events may result in mistakes and friction between two or more parties.

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