Life Skills Development/Module Three/Forms

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Introduction/Conflict Resolution & Management/

Methods of Communication

All communication methods can be placed into two categories, Verbal and Non-verbal. It is important that the appropriate mode be selected, given the desired outcome. In some cases we may need to combine the methods in order to communicate effectively. A person’s background, experience, challenges and knowledge will affect their understanding hence affecting the communication process. We must therefore be cognizant of factors which may hinder the process.


• Demonstrate an understanding of the forms of communication • Analyse the impact of body language on the communication process. • Identify the various forms of communication medium. • Examine the advantages and disadvantages of the various forms of communication.


  *   Verbal
  *   Non-verbal
  *   Oculesis 
  *   Haptics 
  *   Proxemics 
  *   Paralanguage  

Methods of Verbal Communication

   Verbal communication - includes written and oral communication. It is communicating 
   using words and speaking.
  *   Face to Face,

  *   Telephone,[cellphones] 
  *    Video-conferencing
=== Methods of Written communications===
  *    electronic  (internet, text messaging) 
  *    mass media (television) 
  *    print media (brochure, fax, letter, memo, report)

Elements of the Voice

  The medium for verbal communication is the voice. The voice can be adjusted according to: 
     1. Tone 
     2. Articulation 
     3. Speed 
     4. Volume 
  Tone - Refers to the manner in which someone speaks. It can be high, medium or low. Each
  tone reflects a level of emotion. 
  High Tone Is used to express anger, authority 
  Medium Tone Is used in a normal conversation. 
  Low Tone Is used when reflecting sadness or passiveness. 

Articulation - Refers to the accent of the person reflected in the way words are pronounced.

Speed - This is the pace at which the words are spoken. It is advisable to speak slowly for clarity.

Volume - Refers to the level/pitch at which words are projected.

Methods of Non-verbal

  The impact of gestures, gaze, expressions, and other symbols capable of substituting for
  words and conveying information. 

Such messages can be communicated through

   *  gestures
   *  body language 
   *  posture
   *  facial expression
   *  eye contact 

Object such as

   *  clothing, 
   *  hairstyles 
   *  symbols 
   *  information graphics (charts, graphs, maps)

Elements of Body Language

   *  Oculesis – using the eyes to convey messages
   *  Haptics -  using touch to convey messages(hand shaking, stroking)
   *  Proxemics – using  your personal  space to convey messages
   *  Paralanguage  - using the pitch, pace, tone, rhythm rather than the spoken words to
                      convey a message
    Voluntary body language refers to movement, gestures and poses intentionally made by a
    person (e.g., conscious smiling, hand movements and imitation). It can apply to many types
    of soundless communication. Generally, movement made with full or partial intention and an
    understanding of what it communicates can be considered voluntary.
    Involuntary body language quite often takes the form of facial expression, and has 
    therefore been suggested as a means to identify the emotions of a person with whom one is

The impact of non-verbal cues on the communication process

    Non-verbal communication is important to relationship development, it is the main mode
    used to communicate feelings and attitudes.   
    Non-verbal cues can assist in giving meaning to the verbal message.
    Non-verbal cues can also contradict the verbal message and most often the non-verbal
    message is accepted. Reactions are often based on what the other person does rather than
    what they say.   
    It can be difficult to interpret non-verbal cues since there are no universal guidelines. 
    Interpretation of these messages are often based on  culture, background and experiences
    which might be different from the senders.  
    The sender may not have attached a consious meaning behind the behaviour.
    The sender might be deliberately sending the wrong signals to avoid a situation.

Tips to interpret non-verbal cues

  *  Place non-verbal cues in context.
  *  Group clusters of non-verbal cues.
  *  Consider how long you have known the sender.
  *  If possible clarify meaning of non-verbal cues.

Assignment & Activities:

1. Can you describe the possible messages these forms of body language send?

   Note whether they are positive or negative.

   * Smile is natural and comfortable.   
   This communicates ________________________________________________________________
   * No Smile or forced Smile.
   This communicates ________________________________________________________________ 

   *  Body movement is relaxed, yet deliberate and controlled.
   This communicates ________________________________________________________________
   *  Body movement is rushed and hurried.
   This communicates ________________________________________________________________ 

2. Divide the class into groups of two. Give each group a bag/envelope with a list

      of emotions on individual slips of paper (Fear, sadness, surprise, happiness, disgust,
      anger, etc).  Each person is asked to take turns to use facial expressions to convey 
      these emotions while their partner identify  and record the emotion.

3. Create a list of some non-verbal cues we give off when we like some one using the

       following catergories:
        *    Catergories	
        *    Body Language	
        *    Eye Contact	
        *    Facial Expression	
        *    Gestures	
        *    Posture	
        *    Voice	
        *    Proximity	

4. Learners are asked to view a movie for ten minutes with the sound off and to describe

      their interpretation of the movie based on the non-verbal cues. (Have movie available
      online and area for students to input their description, following input they can watch
      with audio and compare)

5. Distribute pictures depicting different scenes to students in pairs who will be required

      to describe the scenes based on non-verbal cues.

6. In groups of four discuss times you may have misinterpreted body language and the impact

      it had on the relationship/situation.

7. Case Study:

      Gloria goes on a job interview for the position of  assistant to the manager.  She is
      wearing a very tight shirt with food stains, with very short pant and a contrasting
      pair of shoes. (Get picture to highlight  Gloria’s outfit).  
      Discuss in small groups the appropriateness of this attire