The main learning points from this first session are:
- Communication often serves two purposes: conveying information and/or an interpersonal function. The interpersonal function relates to developing confidence, trust, rapport or alternatively more negative signals towards others.
- Phatic talk openings to dialogue are important in establishing goodwill, collaboration and cohesion between people.
- Communication involves not only the words you use, but also the accompanying paralinguistic features such as pace, volume, rhythm and intonation of speech, all of which add to meaning.
- Non-verbal communication features include gestures, proximity and eye contact that contribute to effective communication.
- Hand gestures are often used by speakers to accentuate the rhythm of their speech and give emphasis to certain words. They can also be used to point inwardly to magnify the first person (i.e. ‘me’, ‘I’, or ‘personally’) or outwardly to those listening (i.e. ‘you’).
- Head gestures are often used by listeners in a dialogue to show they are listening.
- You can partly control the feelings you exhibit but hiding your innermost emotions can be hard: our faces leak information as numerous micro-expressions involuntarily flicker across our face.
In the next session, you will explore how to get your message across effectively with particular reference to how your written messages can have most impact. Communication is also about the impressions you give to others when interacting with them: how does the persona you convey have an influence on your communication?
You can now go to Session 2.