COMM 120 Penn Foster College

Nonverbal codes:

Kinesics is the study of how body movement communicates. The study of bodily movements focuses on different parts of the body.

  • Faces are probably the most noticeable parts of the body. Researchers have found 10 distinguishable positions for the lower part of the face, 8 distinguishable positions of the eyebrows and the forehead, 8 distinguishable positions of the eyes and lids.
  • Oculesics is the study of how the eyes communicate. Gazing and glancing can be perceived as interest or attraction, approval or disapproval, suspicion, interpersonal closeness, and more.
  • Posture is how people position their bodies. The way we position our bodies can communicate information to others about how we feel and might be thinking.
  • Gestures are arm and hand movements people use to communicate. 

Challenge of Listening

Barriers to Effective Listening

Recognizing barriers to listening is essential when considering listening skills. Listening is not easy, and there are several potential barriers to effective listening.

  • Message overload: Too much information is being presented at once.
  • Rapid Thought: The speed of thought can lead to wandering thoughts. The brain can process up to 600 words per minute, but that average person speaks at about 100-140 words per minute. What’s a mind to do?
  • Psychological Noise: Being too preoccupied with personal concerns so it’s difficult to pay attention.
  • Physical Noise: This refers to the actual physical noises that can distract us from being good listeners. These range from the distracting noises that take our attention to the very loud noises that can drown out a person’s voice.
  • Hearing Problems: Hearing loss is a problem that can affect older and younger people alike and are more widespread than most people are aware.
  • Cultural Differences: The expectations of “what a good listener is” and “who a listener should listen to” varies from culture to culture. This can affect how a listener is viewed evaluated within co-cultural communication.
  • Media Influences: The common wisdom is that the media has both catered to our short attention spans as human beings. Media discourages the kind of focus that is needed to listen carefully to more comprehensive and detailed messages. 

Conflict Styles

These are the default styles or approaches people have for handling conflict (see page 327 in textbook).

Avoidance (lose-lose)

This occurs when people ignore or stay away from conflict either physically or conversationally.

Accommodation (lose-win)

Occurs when we entirely give in to others rather than asserting our own point of view.

Competition (win/lose)

Is a approach to conflict that involves high concern for self and low concern for others, and can result in aggression.

  • Passive aggression occurs when a communicator expresses dissatisfaction in a disguised manner.
  • Direct aggression occurs when a communicator attacks the position and dignity of the receiver.

Compromise

Gives both people at least some of what they want, though both sacrifice part of their goals.

Collaboration (win-win)

seeks to apply win/win problem solving to conflict and involves a high degree of concern for both self and others; the goal is to find a solution that satisfies the needs of everyone involved. 

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