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Nonverbal Communication and Its Cultural Aspects

a photo of two people interacting

Figure 1 above presents a photo of two people interacting. The most evident nonverbal communication in this picture is facial expression. Notably, the woman’s face conveys happiness, joy, delight, and glee even without saying a word. Some of the feelings depicted in the photo, including joy and happiness, match those listed in Chapter 5. The couple’s facial expressions are complementary as the male partner looks happy. The direct eye contact and smiles show that the couple is paying attention to each other.

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Non-verbal communications are crucial to a manager because successful interpersonal and group interactions in the workplace are hugely dependent on the managers’ ability to recognize and use body language effectively. Research shows that managers can enhance employee morale and performance by using positive nonverbal cues when interacting with others at work (Radovic Markovic & Salamzadeh, 2018). Some barriers to this form of communication that I have encountered are misunderstanding and misinterpreting non-verbal messages, using wrong nonverbal cues, and prejudices, mainly due to cultural differences.

Cultural differences affect non-verbal communication in terms of how people from different cultures interpret, understand, and use nonverbal cues. Misinterpretation or misunderstanding may arise when there are differences in meanings of non-verbal cues. For example, I maintained excessive eye contact when talking with an inter-cultural colleague. I thought that looking into his eyes was a sign of confidence and attentiveness. Surprisingly, the colleague perceived my behavior to be aggressive and confrontational. Other examples I have experienced include using wrong hand gestures, a firm handshake, inappropriate physical contact, and improper posture when attending a meeting.

Mickey Mouse is the animated character that interests me most. The nonverbal behavior that prompted me to think of Mickey is his fascinating personality. As depicted in Figure 2 below, Mickey is always cheerful, optimistic, brave, kind, lovable, and mischievous.

The non-verbal cues that Mickey exhibits most are facial expressions, hand gestures, and iconic shorts, yellow shoes, and white gloves. His face, for example, makes the character bold and optimistic.

Mickey is relatable to me in several aspects, such as cheerfulness, optimism, upbeat, and empathy. Most of the people close to me, including parents, siblings, and friends, think that these characteristics define my personality.

Mickey Mouse 
Fig. 2: Mickey Mouse

The attribute that I would change about Mickey is his mischief and insecurity. Despite being bold, witty, empathetic, and cheerful, the character demonstrates mischief and insecurity to some extent, which taints his image.

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Lastly, other people think I remind them of this character. As explained above, my family members and friend often say that my sly pranks and trickery constantly remind them of Mickey Mouse.

References

Radovic Markovic, M., & Salamzadeh, A. The importance of communication in business management. In Radovic Markovic, M., & Salamzadeh, A. (2018). The Importance of Communication in Business Management, The 7th International Scientific Conference on Employment, Education and Entrepreneurship, Belgrade, Serbia.

Disney Fandom. (2021). Mickey Mouse. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Nonverbal Communication and Its Cultural Aspects'. 16 July.

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