Understanding Nonverbal Communication
Demonstrative communication is defined as nonverbal communication. This form of communication is extremely effective when used in the appropriate situations. When used in the incorrect situations the outcomes can be ineffective. Demonstrative communication takes many different forms including facial expressions, tone of voice and body language. Factors like timing, cultural and personalities are involved in demonstrative communication and may have an impact in the way communication is delivered and received.
According to Gallaher (1992), nonverbal communication includes and communication which is not spoken or written. This communication may consist of eye movements, gesticulations, space usage, and facial expressions. All of these forms of communication are considered to be demonstrative. Demonstrative communication allows people to convey many diverse messages is used constantly in life.
Demonstrative communication is impacted by cultural factors. Depending upon which culture is in question, demonstrative communication can have different meanings (Gallaher, 1992). Cultural differences can be seen in the example of Middle Eastern cultures. In most areas of the Middle East it is disrespectful and inappropriate to make eye contact with strangers. Direct eye contact in his manner is considered rude or challenging. In contrast, this same behavior is considered appropriate within the United States. Similar behavior such as nodding or smiling to a stranger can also be considered rude or acceptable depending upon which culture is in question (Gallaher, 1992).
One of the most commonly used forms of demonstrative communication is gestures. Gestures include a variety of actions such as handshakes to symbolic gestures such as peace signs and hand gestures which have cultural meaning such as the middle finger. Again depending on the culture in question, these gestures are interpreted differently. For example, in the United States the peace sign is shown as the index finger and middle finger pointing upward with the back of the hand facing towards the viewer. In the United States, this is a gesture that means peace but in Europe this gesture means the same as giving a person the middle finger in the US. Gestures are a very effective means of communicating ideas and concepts.
The nature of demonstrative communication involves being aware of the messages and listening and responding. As much as listening requires being active, so too does demonstrative communication. Demonstrative communication, although natural, it does require responding and feedback to be considered effective. Often feedback is also demonstrative in nature such as shrugging or nodding in agreement. Demonstrative communication contains many forms of feedback in this manner and can enhance communication as well as facilitate it.
Using nonverbal cues can enhance how people receive your communication. Nonverbal communication indicates how a person is feeling in relation to what they are saying, and it also reflects how people react to the message. Communicating an important message to your colleagues with excitement and enthusiasm may have a greater impact on your audience in regards to the importance of the message versus delivering the message with a monotonous tone and facial expression (Huntington, 2015).
Demonstrative communication can be extremely effective when communicating simple ideas in a quick efficient manner. In workplaces it can be used to convey many different ideas and can be critical to the success of competitive teams such as in sales. However, without cultural understanding and knowledge of what is approapriate, demonstrative communication can have negative consequences. For this reason, cultural and personal awareness of communication needs to be developed in order to maximize the benefits of demonstrative communications.
Gallaher, P. (1992). Individual Differences in Nonverbal Behavior: Dimensions of Style. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 6(1), 133–145.
Huntington, M. (2015). How Nonverbal Communication Can Help in the Workplace. Retrieved from Chron: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/nonverbal-communication-can-workplace-21523.html
Triola Vincent. Mon, Apr 05, 2021. Demonstrative Communication Retrieved from https://vincenttriola.com/blogs/ten-years-of-academic-writing/demonstrative-communication