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23-A. Non-verbal Communication

Published:2013-01-22 14:51 Click:wait for……
23-A. Non-verbal Communication If anyone asked you what were the main means of communication between people, what would you say? That isnt a catch question. The answer is simple and obvious. It would almost certainly refer to means of commun
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23-A. Non-verbal Communication

If anyone asked you what were the main means of communication between people, what would you say? That isn’t a catch question. The answer is simple and obvious. It would almost certainly refer to means of communication that involve the use of words. Speakers and listeners-oral communication, and writers and readers-written communication. And you’d be quite right. There is, however, another form of communication which we all use most of the time, usually without knowing it. This is sometimes called body language. Its more technical name is non-verbal communication. Non-verbal, because it does not involve the use of words. NVC for short.

When someone is saying something with which he agrees, the average European will smile and nod approval. On the other hand, if you disagree with what they are saying, you may frown and shake your head. In this way you signal your reactions, and communicate them to the speaker without saying a word. I referred a moment ago to "the average European”, because body language is very much tied to culture, and in order not to misunderstand, or not to be misunderstood, you must realize this. A smiling Chinese, for instance, may not be approving but somewhat embarrassed.

Quite a lot of work is now being done on the subject of NVC, which is obviously important, for instance, to managers, who have to deal every day with their staff, and have to understand what other people are feeling if they are to create good working conditions. Body language, or NVC signals, are sometimes categorised into five kinds: 1.body and facial gestures; 2.eye contact; 3.body contact or "proximity"; 4.clothing and physical appearance; and 5.the quality of speech. I expect you understood all those, except perhaps "proximity." This simply means "closeness". In some cultures-and I am sure this is a cultural feature and not an individual one-it is quite normal for people to stand close together, or to more or less thrust their face into yours when they are talking to you. In other cultures, this is disliked; Americans, for instance, talk about invasion of their space.

Some signals are probably common to all of us. If a public speaker (like a professor, for example) is all the time fiddling with a pencil, or with his glasses, while he is talking to you, he is telling you quite clearly that he is nervous. A person who holds a hand over his mouth when he is talking is signalling that he is lacking in confidence. If you start wriggling in your chairs, looking secretly at your watches or yawning behind your hands, I shall soon get the message that I’m boring you. And so on. I'm sure you could make a whole list of such signals-and it might be fun if you did.

All the signals I have mentioned so far can be controlled. If you are aware that you are doing these things, you can stop. You can even learn to give false signals. Most public speakers are in fact nervous, but a good speaker learns to hide this by giving off signals of confidence. Other kinds of NVC are not so easy to control. Eye contact, for instance. Unless you are confessing intense love, you hardly ever look into someone else’s eyes for very long. If you try it, you’ll find they will soon away, probably in embarrassment.
I’ve already mentioned proximity, so just a brief word now about our last two categories, which concern the way people dress and the way they speak. These are both pretty obvious signals. People may dress casually and speak casually, which signals that they are relaxed. Or they can dress formally and speak formally, showing their tenseness. In fact, non-verbal communication can, as the saying goes, speak volumes.
 
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non-verbal['n3n'v4:bl]a.非词语的,非语言的
listener['lisn4]n.听者,收听者    
oral['3:r4l]a.口头的,口的
reader['ri:d4]n.1.读者;2.读物,读本
European[`ju4r4'pi(:)4n]a.1.欧洲的;2.欧洲人的;n.欧洲人
approval[4'pru:v4l]n.1.批准,通过;2.赞成,同意
frown[fraun]vi.1.皱眉;2.不满,用皱眉对...表示不满(at)
reaction[ri(:)'1k54n]n.1.反应(力),反作用(力);2.反动,对抗
embarrass[im'b1r4s]vt.1.使窘迫,使为难;2.麻烦,妨碍;vi.窘迫,不安
manager['m1nid94]n.1.经理;2.管理人
staff[st2:f]n. 1.全体职工,全体人员;2.参谋部;vt.为...配备工作人员
facial['fei54l]a.面部的
gesture['d9est54]n.1.姿势,手势;2(外交等方面的)姿态,表示
proximity[pr3k'simiti]n.接近,亲近,近似
appearance[4'pi4r4ns]n.1.出现,露面;2.外观,外表
cultural['k8lt54r4l]a.1.文化的;2.栽培的,培养的
closeness['klousnis]n.1.紧密;2.严密,精密
thrust[7r8st]vt.1.插,挤;2.戳,刺;n.1.戳,刺;2.推力
dislike[dis'laik]vt./n.不喜爱,厌恶     invasion[in'vei94n]n.入侵,侵略
fiddle['fidl]n.小提琴;vi.1.拉提琴;2.不停拨弄,乱动(with)
nervous['n4:v4s]a.1.神经系统的;2.神经紧张的
wriggle['rigl]v./n.1.蠕动,扭动;2.蜿蜒
control[k4n'tr4ul]vt./n.1.控制,支配;2.克制,抑制
false[f3:ls]a.1.假的,伪造的;2.不真实的,错误的
confess[k4n'fes]vt./vi.1.承认;2.坦白,供认
intense[in'tens]a.1.强烈的,紧张的;2.热烈的
embarrassment[im'b1r4sm4nt]n.1.窘迫;2.使人为难的事
brief[bri:f]a.简短的,简洁的;vt.作简要的介绍,汇报
casually['k19ju4li]ad.1.偶然地,碰巧地;2.漫不经心地,随便地
tenseness['tensnis]n.紧张;绷紧
volume['v3lju(:)m]n.1.卷册,书卷;2.体积,容积;3.音量
for short简称,缩写     fiddle with1.摆弄,玩弄2.弄虚作假
lack in在...方面缺乏       and so on等等
so far迄今为止,就此范围(或程度等)来说    in fact实际上
as the saying goes正如俗语所说     speak volumes含义很深,很有意义

 

Unit Twenty-three

1. When someone is saying something with which he agrees, the average European will smile and nod approval.
2. In this way you signal your reactions, and communicate them to the speaker without saying a word.
3. I referred a moment ago to "the average European", because body language is very much tied to culture , and in order not to misunderstand, or not to be misunderstood, you must realize this.
4. A smiling Chinese , for instance, may not be approving but somewhat embarrassed .
5. Quite a lot of work is now being done on the subject of NVC.
6. In fact, non-verbal communication can , as the saying goes, speak volumes.

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