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Nonverbal Communication Patterns. Areas of Nonverbal Communication. Chronemics (time) Proxemics (space) Oculesics (gaze/eye contact) Olfactics (smell) Haptics (touch) Kinesics (body language) Chromatics (color) Silence Vocalics (voice). Time (Chronemics).

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Nonverbal communication patterns
Nonverbal Communication Patterns

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Areas of nonverbal communication
Areas of Nonverbal Communication

  • Chronemics (time)

  • Proxemics (space)

  • Oculesics (gaze/eye contact)

  • Olfactics (smell)

  • Haptics (touch)

  • Kinesics (body language)

  • Chromatics (color)

  • Silence

  • Vocalics (voice)

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Time chronemics
Time (Chronemics)

  • Attitudes toward time vary from culture to culture.

  • Countries that follow monochronic time perform only one major activity at a time (U.S., England, Switzerland, Germany).

  • Countries that follow polychronic time work on several activities simultaneously (Latin America, the Mediterranean, the Arabs).

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Monochronic polychronic cultures

do one thing at a time

concentrate on the job

take time commitments seriously

are committed to the job

show respect for private property; rarely borrow or lend

are accustomed to short-term relationships

do many things at once

are highly distractible

consider time commitments casually

are committed to people

borrow and lend things often

tend to build lifetime relationships

Monochronic/Polychronic Cultures

Monochronic PeoplePolychronic People

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Cultural differences in attitudes toward time
Cultural Differences in Attitudes Toward Time

  • U.S. persons are very time conscious and value punctuality. Being late for meetings is viewed as rude and insensitive behavior; tardiness also conveys that the person is not well organized.

  • Germans and Swiss people are even more time conscious; people of Singapore and Hong Kong also value punctuality.

  • In Algeria, on the other hand, punctuality is not widely regarded. Latin American countries have a manana attitude; people in Arab cultures have a casual attitude toward time.

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Space proxemics
Space (Proxemics)

People in the U.S. tend to need more space than do persons of other cultures. U.S. persons back away when people stand too close. Standing too close is interpreted as being pushy or overbearing; standing too close may also be interpreted as unwelcomed sexual advances.

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Space zones in the u s
Space Zones in the U.S.

  • Theintimate zone(less than 18 inches) is reserved for very close friends.

  • Thepersonal zone(18 inches to 4 feet) is for giving instructions to others or working closely with another person.

  • The social zone(4 to 12 feet) is used in business situations in which people interact in a more formal, impersonal way.

  • Thepublic distanceis over 12 feet.

Hall & Hall, Understanding Cultural Differences


U.S. people need more space than do Greeks, Latin Americans, or Arabs.The Japanese stand even farther away than do U.S. persons.

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Elevator proxemics
Elevator Proxemics or Arabs.

A psychology professor at a southern university gave his students an assignment to test elevator proxemics. Students reported the usual U.S. behaviors of facing the front and watching the illuminated floor indicator, assuming the Fig Leaf Position (hands/purses/ briefcases hanging down in front of the body), and positioning themselves in the corners or against the elevator walls. Then the professor added another assignment: students were to break the rules and get on the elevator, stand at the front facing the other occupants and jump backward off the elevator just before the door closed. One of the elevator occupants was heard to whisper, “Call 911; we’ve got a real weirdo here.”

Axtell, Gestures


The office environment and nonverbal messages
The Office Environment and or Arabs.Nonverbal Messages

  • U.S. persons prefer desks and chairs in a face-to-face arrangement or at right angles, while the Chinese prefer the side-by-side arrangement.

  • In the U.S. outside offices with windows have more status than inside offices; large offices have more status than small ones; the top floor has more status than the first floor.

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Gaze eye contact oculesics
Gaze/Eye Contact (Oculesics) area with subordinates around them.

Although people in the U.S. favor direct eye contact, in other cultures, such as the Japanese, the reverse is true; they direct their gaze below the chin. In the Middle East, on the other hand, the eye contact is more intense than U.S. people are comfortable with.

A prolonged gaze or stare in the U.S. is considered rude. In most cultures, men do not stare at women as this may be interpreted as sexually suggestive.

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Smell olfactics
Smell (Olfactics) area with subordinates around them.

  • Although people of the U.S. respond negatively to body odors, Arabs are comfortable with natural body odors.

  • Other cultures in which smell plays an important role include the Japanese and Samoans.

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Touch haptics
Touch (Haptics) area with subordinates around them.

  • Touch, when used properly, may create feelings of warmth and trust; when used improperly, touch may cause annoyance and betray trust.

  • Hierarchy is a consideration when using touch in the U.S.: people who are older or higher rank may touch those who are younger or of lower rank; equals may touch each other.

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Touch of different cultures
“Touch” of Different Cultures area with subordinates around them.

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Don t touch cultures
“Don't Touch” Cultures area with subordinates around them.

  • Japan

  • U.S. and Canada

  • England

  • Scandinavia

  • Other N. European countries

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Middle ground countries
Middle Ground Countries area with subordinates around them.

  • Australia

  • France

  • China

  • Ireland

  • India

  • Middle East countries

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Touch cultures
“Touch” Cultures area with subordinates around them.

  • Latin American countries

  • Italy

  • Greece

  • Spain and Portugal

  • Some Asian countries

  • Russian Federation

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Location of the touch is important
Location of the Touch Is Important area with subordinates around them.

  • Appropriate touch in the U.S. is limited to shaking hands in business situations - no hugs or expressions of affection.

  • In Thailand do not touch the head.

  • Do not touch Asians on the shoulders or even the back of the worker's chair.

  • Avoid touching a person with the left hand in the Middle East.

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Several years ago, when President Carter was mediating peace talks between Egypt and Israel, Anwar Sadat frequently placed his hand on President Carter’s knee. While this subtextual message was intended as a gesture of warm friendship, the subtler message Sadat was conveying to the world was that he was President Carter’s equal.

Fast, Body Language in the Workplace


Body language kinesics
Body Language (Kinesics) talks between Egypt and Israel, Anwar Sadat frequently placed his hand on President Carter’s knee. While this subtextual message was intended as a gesture of warm friendship, the subtler message Sadat was conveying to the world was that he was President Carter’s equal.

  • Body language includes facial expressions, gestures, and posture and stance.

  • To interpret facial expressions correctly, it is important to take the communication context and culture into account.

  • People in some cultures rarely show emotion (China); Asians will smile or laugh softly when they are embarrassed.

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Facial expressions
Facial Expressions talks between Egypt and Israel, Anwar Sadat frequently placed his hand on President Carter’s knee. While this subtextual message was intended as a gesture of warm friendship, the subtler message Sadat was conveying to the world was that he was President Carter’s equal.

  • The face and eyes convey the most expressive types of body language, including happiness, surprise, fear, anger, interest, and determination.

  • Facial expressions must be controlled when inappropriate to the setting (yawning during a presentation).

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Gestures
Gestures talks between Egypt and Israel, Anwar Sadat frequently placed his hand on President Carter’s knee. While this subtextual message was intended as a gesture of warm friendship, the subtler message Sadat was conveying to the world was that he was President Carter’s equal.

  • Emblems or symbols ("V" for victory)

  • Illustrators (police officer's hand held up to stop traffic)

  • Regulators (glancing at watch when in a hurry)

  • Affect displays (a person's face turns red with embarrassment)

Axtell, Gestures


General guidelines u s gestures
General Guidelines talks between Egypt and Israel, Anwar Sadat frequently placed his hand on President Carter’s knee. While this subtextual message was intended as a gesture of warm friendship, the subtler message Sadat was conveying to the world was that he was President Carter’s equal.U.S. Gestures

  • Interest is expressed by maintaining eye contact with the speaker, smiling, and nodding the head.

  • Open-mindedness is expressed by open hands and palms turned upward.

  • Nervousness is sometimes shown by fidgeting, failing to give the speaker eye contact, or jingling keys or money in your pocket.

Axtell, Gestures


  • Suspiciousness is indicated by glancing away or touching your nose, eyes, or ears.

  • Defensiveness is indicated by crossing your arms over your chest, making fisted gestures, or crossing your legs.

  • Lack of interest or boredom is indicated by glancing repeatedly at your watch or staring at the ceiling or floor or out the window when the person is speaking.

Axtell, Gestures


Additional guidelines for gesturing in various cultures
Additional Guidelines for Gesturing in Various Cultures your nose, eyes, or ears.

  • The “V” for victory gesture, holding two fingers upright, with palm and fingers faced outward, is widely used in the U.S. and many other countries. In England, however, it is a crude connotation when used with the palm in.

Axtell, Gestures


The vertical horns gesture raised fist index finger and little finger extended
The vertical horns gesture your nose, eyes, or ears.(raised fist, index finger and little finger extended)

  • Has a positive connotation associated with the University of Texas Longhorn football team.

  • This gesture has an insulting connotation in Italy

  • In Brazil and Venezuela it is a sign for good luck

  • In other cultures, such as Italy and Malta, the horns are a symbol to ward off evil spirits

  • This symbol has various meanings in U.S. subcultures and should be used only when you are sure the other person understands its intended meaning

Axtell, Gestures


  • The thumbs-up gesture has been widely recognized as a positive signal meaning “everything is O.K.” or “good going.” Although well known in North America and most of Europe, in Australia and West Africa it is seen as a rude gesture.

  • The head nod in most countries means “yes,” but in Bulgaria it means “no.”

Axtell, Gestures


  • The “O.K.” sign, with the thumb and forefinger joined to form a circle, is a positive gesture in the U.S., while in Brazil it is considered obscene. The gesture has still another meaning in Japan: money.

  • The beckoning gesture (fingers upturned, palm facing the body) used by people in the U.S. for summoning a waiter, for example, is offensive to Filipinos, as it is used to beckon animals and prostitutes. Vietnamese and Mexicans also find it offensive.

Axtell, Gestures


An American engineer, sent to Germany by his U.S. company who had purchased a German firm, was working side by side with a German engineer on a piece of equipment. When the American engineer made a suggestion for improving the new machine, the German engineer followed the suggestion and asked his American counterpart whether or not he had done it correctly. The American replied by giving the U.S. American “OK” gesture, making a circle with the thumb and forefinger. The German engineer put down his tools and walked away, refusing further communication with the American engineer. The U.S. American later learned from one of the supervisors the significance of this gesture to a German: “You asshole.”

Axtell, Gestures


Posture and stance
Posture and Stance who had purchased a German firm, was working side by side with a German engineer on a piece of equipment. When the American engineer made a suggestion for improving the new machine, the German engineer followed the suggestion and asked his American counterpart whether or not he had done it correctly. The American replied by giving the U.S. American “OK” gesture, making a circle with the thumb and forefinger. The German engineer put down his tools and walked away, refusing further communication with the American engineer. The U.S. American later learned from one of the supervisors the significance of this gesture to a German: “You asshole.”

  • Posture can convey self-confidence, status, and interest.

  • Confident people have a relaxed posture, yet stand erect and walk with assurance.

  • Walking with stooped shoulders and a slow, hesitating gait projects negative messages of lack of confidence.

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


  • Interest is demonstrated by leaning forward toward the person with whom you are conversing.

  • The posture of U.S. persons is casual, including sitting in a relaxed manner and slouching when standing (considered rude in Germany).

  • Posture when seated varies with the culture; U.S. persons often cross their legs while seated (women at the ankle and men with the ankle on the knee).

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


Color chromatics
Color (Chromatics) the ankle on the knee inappropriate.

  • Colors have cultural variations in connotations.

    • Black is the color of mourning in the U.S., but white is worn to funerals by the Japanese.

    • In the U.S. white is typically worn by brides, while in India red or yellow is worn.

    • Purple is sometimes associated with royalty, but it is the color of death in Mexico and Brazil.

    • Red (especially red roses) is associated with romance in some cultures including the U.S.

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


United Airlines unknowingly got off on the wrong foot during its initial flights from Hong Kong. To commemorate the occasion, they handed out white carnations to the passengers. When they learned that to many Asians white flowers represent bad luck and even death, they changed to red carnations.

Ricks, Blunders in International Business


Silence
Silence its initial flights from Hong Kong. To commemorate the occasion, they handed out white carnations to the passengers. When they learned that to many Asians white flowers represent bad luck and even death, they changed to red carnations.

  • Although U.S. persons are uncomfortable with silence, people from the Middle East are quite comfortable with silence.

  • The Japanese also like periods of silence and do not like to be hurried. Such Japanese proverbs as, “Those who know do not speak - those who speak do not know,” emphasize the value of silence over words in that culture.

  • In Italy, Greece, and Arabian countries, on the other hand, there is very little silence.

Intercultural Business Communication, 4th ed., Chaney & Martin


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