9/30/2014. Objectives. Nonverbal Communication

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1 Body Language: Workplace Violence & Harassment Objectives Understand the definition of body language and non-verbal communication Understand the role of the brain function in non-verbal communication Guidelines for observing non-verbal communication Apply non-verbal communication principles 2 Nonverbal Communication Nonverbal behaviors comprise approximately 60 to 65 percent of all interpersonal communication (Burgoon, 1994) Process of communication using mostly visual cues Facial expressions, gestures, touching (haptics), physical movements, posture, body adornment (clothes, jewelry, hairstyle, tattoos) WARNING: This movie contains graphic content that some participants may find disturbing 3 1

2 The Limbic System Limbic system deals with basic drives, emotions, and memory Hippocampus» Memory processing Amygdala» Aggression and fear Hypothalamus» Hunger, thirst, body temperature, pleasure; pituitary gland, anti-predatory defensive behavior Pituitary Gland Amygdala Hypothalamus Hippocampus 4 The Human Brain Limbic System reacts to the world around us reflexively and instantaneously in real time hardwired into our nervous system, making it difficult to disguise or eliminate Neocortex responsible for higher-order functions e.g. cognition and memory capable of complex thought therefore can deceive 5 Basic Limbic Response Freeze Flight Fight Used to ensure the survival of our species Freeze first line of defense against a perceived danger, reduce movement, allows helps brain assess situation Flight - escape the threat or distance oneself Fight - final tactic for survival through aggression 6 2

3 Guidelines for Observing Nonverbal Communication 1. Competent observer of your environment 2. Observe in context 3. Decode universal nonverbal behaviors 4. Decode idiosyncratic nonverbal behaviors 5. Establish baseline behaviors 7 Guidelines for Observing Nonverbal Communication (Cont d) 6. Multiple behaviors occurring in clusters 7. Changes in a person s behavior as signals 8. Learning to detect false nonverbal signals 9. Distinguish comfort / discomfort 10. When observing others, be subtle 8 Keep in Mind When Reading Nonverbal 1. Get a clear view 2. Expect pacifying or soothing behaviors 3. Expect initial nervousness 4. Get person to relax first 5. Look for increased use of pacifying behaviors 9 3

4 Keep in Mind When Reading Nonverbal (cont d) 6. Ask, pause, observe 7. Keep interviewee focused 8. Chatter is not the truth 9. Isolate the cause of the stress 10. Pacifying says so much 10 Positive FACE Large pupils High eyebrows ARMS Gravity defying movements Arm gestures TORSO Ventral display Ventral action Mirroring Shoulder full shrug FEET AND LEGS Rocking up and down Walking with a bounce Toes upward Ankles crossed 11 Negative FACE Small pupils Low eyebrows Eye blocking Lip purse Sneer Furrowed forehead Nose Flair Blushing TORSO Ventral denial Torso shield / splays Chest puff / bare torso Deep Breathing Shoulder half / slow ARMS Arm withdrawal Lack of arm movement Blocking Spread Akimbo FEET AND LEGS Foot kicking Jiggling start / stop Toes inward / interlocking feet Lack of movement Rubbing hands on legs Move front to back of chair 12 4

5 Nonverbals of the Feet and Legs Territorial displays try to reestablish control of situation and territory Leg Splay create balance and claim territory Starters position Walking style Never crossed Direction of the feet 13 Nonverbals of the Torso, Hips, Chest, and Shoulders Houses vital organs, brain will protect it when threatened Ventral denial Torso shield Torso splay Puffing up the chest 14 Nonverbals of the Arms Dominate individuals Spread materials Use elbows Arm around chair Arm movement Arms Akimbo Hooding Arm freeze 15 5

6 Nonverbals in the Hands and Fingers Hidden hands Offending gestures Avoid preening Frozen hands Thumb display Grabbing Steepling Hand wringing Quivering 16 Nonverbals of the Face Pupil dilation and constriction Eye blocking squinting Eye-gaze Blink rate 17 Nonverbals of the Face (CONT D) Lip compression Sneer Furrowed forehead Nose Flair Blushing / Blanching 18 6

7 ACTIONS CAN SOMETIMES SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS 19 Violence Exercise Identify the body language that reflects mood Identify the stages of freeze, flight & fight through body language Record your findings on the worksheet 20 Violence Behaviour Exhibited Furrow Brow Eye narrow? Red face Flared nostril Lip disappearance Raised upper lip Heavy Breathing Chest puff Ventral denial Excessive arm movement Physical grab Aggressive walk 21 7

8 Harassment Exercise Identify the body language that reflects mood Identify the stages of freeze, flight and fight through body language Record your findings on the worksheet 22 Harassment Behaviour Exhibited Excessive blinking Eyes widen Loss of eye contact Blanched face Withdraw Deep breathing Ventral denial Pacifier Nose crinkle 23 Questions Sandra Excellent HBSc BASc MSc Regional Consultant Public Services Health & Safety Association Reference Navarro, J. (2008). What Every BODY is Saying. New York; Harper Collins 24 8

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