Thursday, August 7, 2008


Mark: "Whoa, Court. What's with the 'look of death'?"

Me: "What?! I didn't give you the 'look of death'. If I gave you my real 'look of death' you would be crying!"
Over 90% of our communication is nonverbal.

Nonverbal communication is healthy and fine in our everyday lives, but what people are forgetting is that we need verbal communication also. But wait, that's not all. We need good, healthy verbal communication.

I have constant interaction with people who lack the skills to communicate in a healthy way. We very rarely communicate verbally, and when we do, its usually bad communication.

Communication in relationships:

Verbal communication is essential at work. You need to be able to talk about what is going on, who is doing what, what you need to do, how to do certain task, etc. When you don't talk about these things then people end up getting confused and then they do things incorrectly.

An example - Verbal Communication: I was working on making a map for my boss at work. A few weeks later one of my co-workers came up to me and asked me to help him make a map. I said sure. But wait! He was supposed to make the same exact map that I spent days making just a few weeks ago. Instead of asking around to see if anyone had already made this map, my supervisor just assumed that no one did it (even though I did) and he was having my fellow co-worker proceeded to do it. What a waste of time, energy, and money! This happens way more then you think (people doing the same job twice) and then our supervisor ends up getting mad at us because we aren't getting enough stuff done... see the problem here?

An example - Nonverbal Communication: I was asked to fill out paper work while I was in the office. I didn't know how to do it correctly so I proceeded to ask for help (HOW DARE YOU!) and the reaction I got was completely expected but still shocking. I got the real 'look of death'. It was 6 seconds of pure loathing, hatred, and disgust. The look itself was a slap in the face. He may as well said "You moron! Don't you know anything? You should crawl into a hole and die!" 

And here it is, my friends, this is the reason why people lack good verbal communication: you get reactions like this. I am fine asking for help and admitting when I don't know how to do things. But when you get this reaction every time (or even some of the time) you need help or don't understand something then I don't blame people for not asking. 

Friendship and more
I have always considered myself to be a 'closed book' kind of person. With the help of my friends, I am working on this. Whether talking about your feelings or about a crush you have, talking is just an important thing. And hey, lets face it: nonverbal communication is also a good way of showing someone just how you feel about them. A little wink, a hug, a kiss : ), a jumping high-five, a punch in the face, a kick in the shins : /, etc. 

As any married person (or anyone in a committed relationship) can tell you, communication is important! 

An example - Verbal and Nonverbal:
A woman has her ams folded and she looks angry.
Man: "What's wrong?"

Woman: "Nothing" (she says in an angry voice as she continues to sit with her arms folded)

What happens now? If the man says "ok, fine then" then he will be in some serious trouble. He needs the ability to read not only her verbal communication (tone of voice) but her nonverbal communication (arms folded). Duh! 

I feel like I am stating the obvious here but seriously people... its getting a little out of control!

Lessons learned:
1. Don't get the 'look of death' from Courtney cause you will cry.

2. Nonverbal communication is more important then you think. So, watch those glares and body language.


~ Jamie ~ said...

I verbally want to say "I think you're awesome & I love you, Court!"

emilie s. d. p. said...

There's nothing worse then feeling like you can't ask for help! At my work I always get frustrated when people decide to just guess how to do things instead of just asking and then doing them right the first time. Answering questions usually takes about 2 seconds, having to re-do something because someone didn't know what they were doing and didn't bother to ask can take up to 2 hours. Come on people!

Courtney N said...

jamie, I love you too!

And Emilie, I seriously wish more people were as smart as you and I! haha!

Lisa said...

Happy Birthday Courtney!!! Hope you have a great one!!!
Love you!
Aunt Lisa