Interpersonal communication skills are vital for making progress in any domain of one’s life, be it career development or personal issues. In building a rapport with an interlocutor, one needs to be aware not only of the manner of speaking but also of the nonverbal elements present in the communication. In my case, the ability to discern nonverbal speech elements or utilize them appropriately is slightly impaired for several reasons, which is why further focus on improving it by developing emotional intelligence (EI) and active listening skills will be needed.
Specifically, one must mention listening skills, self-awareness, and cultural competence as three main reasons for gaining EI and improving the quality of communication with the target audience. By building active listening skills, self-awareness, and cultural competence, as well as learning to respond instead of reacting, I will be able to develop EI needed to improve my body language understanding and use.
Nonverbal communication might seem like an easy skill to develop given the exposure that the subject matter has been receiving in media for decades. Indeed, the importance of reading body cues and other aspects of nonverbal communication as the means of understanding the interlocutor’s needs better and, thus, meeting them accordingly has been mentioned in numerous studies (). Specifically, studies show that the development of the ability to recognize nonverbal communication cues may be quite difficult for some people. For instance, viewing communication as a transactional process, Uzun (2020) emphasizes the importance of being able to discern different types of body language as a means of gaining additional opportunities for emotional rapport.
Moreover, the current body of research warns about the importance of connecting nonverbal communication to the issue of cultural competence. Specifically, the paper by Uzun (2020) demonstrates the correlation and causation between the development of cultural awareness and the ability to deploy nonverbal communication strategies properly. The reasoning behind the specified claim is based on the differences in the perception of similar nonverbal communication elements in different cultures. Thus, with the integration of cultural competence into the process of building EI and nonverbal communication skills, one will be able to differentiate between the nonverbal cues of one culture from those of another one.
Thus, the threat of a misinterpretation and the following misunderstanding is reduced to a notable extent. For this reason, integrating the understanding of nonverbal communication onto a cross-cultural context is indispensable. Moreover, Uzun (2020) asserts that the inability to read nonverbal cues will inevitably lead to a misunderstanding and, most likely, to a cross-cultural conflict. Therefore, the specified skill is vital in creating a proper rapport.
In turn, the role of emotional intelligence and cultural competence as the ability to recognize changes in the interlocutor’s mood and respond accordingly has been outlined in numerous studies. The paper by Kai Liao (2021) is a representation of the specified opinion, encouraging the reader to accept the importance of building a proper understanding of the cultural context in which the conversation occurs and empathizing with the interlocutor to create an emotional rapport.
Therefore, the importance of emotional and cultural competence must not be underrated when developing nonverbal communication skills. Specifically, the research indicates that the use of cultural signifiers and their understanding of the dialogue are crucial in establishing a proper emotional connection with the target audience. Therefore, the development of the specified skill will contribute to improving body language skills.
Finally, the role of active listening in enhancing the range and extent of nonverbal communication skills will be needed. Implying the ability to relate to the interlocutor’s narrative emotionally, the specified skill is vital in understanding how people express their ideas and emotions nonverbally. Specifically, the results of the research by Keutchafo et al. (2020) necessitate the development of active listening skills as the ability to relate to the interlocutor emotionally and, therefore, build an understanding of how specific emotions are expressed non-verbally. Particularly, the study details that not only direct expressions of needs but also the stories told by communication participants help shape the understanding of their concerns and how they voice them by using nonverbal communication elements.
The focus on EI skills development, particularly, active listening, cultural competence, and properly high self-awareness rates, will allow me to gain the ability to discern and use nonverbal communication elements properly, thus, improving my communication skills. The significance of emotional competence has risen significantly over the past several decades; however, the strategies for its enhancement are yet to be refined.
Therefore, the current plan of EI development consists of three main steps, the first one being a thorough cultural analysis of the key factors determining the success of nonverbal communication in a diverse setting. Next, an in-depth assessment of self-awareness and the identification of strategies for increasing it will be needed. Finally, active listening and sharing personal experiences will allow developing empathy for others, which will help to increase the EI rates.
Uzun, G. Ö. (2020). A review of communication, body language and communication conflict. International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, 24(9), pp. 2833-2844. Web.
Keutchafo, E. L. W., Kerr, J., & Jarvis, M. A. (2020). Evidence of nonverbal communication between nurses and older adults: A scoping review. BMC Nursing, 19(1), 1-13. Web.
Kai Liao, Y., Wu, W. Y., Dao, T. C., & Ngoc Luu, T. M. (2021). The influence of emotional intelligence and cultural adaptability on cross-cultural adjustment and performance with the mediating effect of cross-cultural competence: A study of expatriates in Taiwan. Sustainability, 13(6), 3374-3391. Web.