Friday, October 27, 2006

Talk the talk

To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe. --Marilyn vos Savant

Notes on non-verbal communication
We unconsciously touch our bodies when emotions run high to comfort, relieve, or release stress. Lips are favorite places for fingertips to land and deliver reassuring body contact. Self-stimulating behaviors, e.g, a. holding an arm or wrist, b. massaging a hand, and c. scratching, rubbing, or pinching the skin, increase with anxiety and may signal deception, disagreement, fear, or uncertainty.

Their combined verbal and nonverbal IQs make hands our most expressive body parts. Hands have more to say even than faces, for not only do fingers show emotion, depict ideas, and point to butterflies on the wing--they can also read Braille, speak in sign languages, and write poetry. Our handsare such incredibly gifted communicators that they always bear watching.

According to Kent State University researchers Stanford W. Gregory, Jr. and Stephen Webster, people unconsciously adapt to each other's voice tones (a phenomenon studied by students of "communication accommodation theory"). "The researchers suggest that when two people converse, the person whose low-frequency [i.e., dominant] vocal characteristics change the least is perceived by both as having the higher social status" (Schwartz 1996:A4).

Salesmanship. "Deeper voices carry more authority for men and women. Everything you say somehow seems truer or more important" (Delmar 1984:39).

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