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While verbal communication is just one way of articulating messages to others, it’s not the only skill that human service professionals need to utilize when working with clients. Nonverbal communication carries significant weight when it comes to conveying messages of all sorts. In this discussion forum, you will have an opportunity to provide examples of effective nonverbal communication techniques appropriate to a human services setting.

Read Chapter 5 from The Interpersonal Communication Book and watch the following video, People Skills:Communicating without Words (Links to an external site.) retrieved from the Films On Demand database.

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Reflect on your own experience regarding nonverbal messages. Have there been situations in your life when the nonverbal messages were much clearer than the verbal messages? What about times when the words that were spoken did not match the nonverbal cues? How is online communication different in terms of nonverbal messages? What kinds of messages do you send nonverbally via your style of dressing or mannerisms? How would nonverbal messages affect your communication with clients or colleagues?

Spend approximately ten minutes observing two or more individuals in conversation at a coffee shop, store, or work environment. It is best if you observe individuals that you do not know. Please be respectful and unobtrusive in your observation. As an alternative, you can observe the interactions between characters on a television show. Following your observation and using your textbook as a guide, please respond to the questions below for your discussion post. If you are basing your post on television characters, please identify the show.

Initial Post: Prepare a 300-word minimum reply that sufficiently addresses each of the items below. Don’t forget that it is critical to cite your sources of information, including the textbook, using APA formatting:

What nonverbal messages did you observe?

How did the nonverbal messages or cues aid in communicating effectively?

What consistencies or inconsistencies between verbal and nonverbal messages did you observe?

Provide examples of effective nonverbal communication techniques (either by those you observed/watched or from those in the text) that you could use as a professional in a health and human services setting. How and why would you use them?

The initial reply is due no later than Day 3 (Thursday) of the learning week, and at least two substantive replies of at least 100 words to two different peers will be due no later than Day 7 (Monday) of the learning week.

Guided Response: Consider ways in which you might like to interact with your peers. For example, how might you extend the discussion of nonverbal communication (e.g., discussing topics similar to or different from your peers, what you found helpful about this activity, etc.)? Please be courteous and adhere to the rules of respectful engagement throughout your replies.

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