Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Wonderful World Of Communication

All human cultures have language; similarly they all have body language. Body language is also called non-verbal communication, body talk, silent language, bodily communication, inter-personal behavior, or even silent talk. But the most correct of all words to describe body language is Non-Linguistic Communication.  

Have you ever wondered if the animals in the forest or in your garden might be actually communicating with their kind or even with other animals? If so you are not wrong.

In reality, “Animals use every sense, gesturing with appendages and body positions; sending and receiving subtle, or not so subtle in the case of frightened skunks, odor signals; squeaking, singing and chirping; sending and receiving electrical signals; flashing lights; changing skin pigmentations; ‘dancing,’ and even tapping and vibrating the surface they walk on.” Do all these signals mean they are communicating important messages or are they rattling away meaningless sounds?
What about plants? Did you know that plants could communicate with other plants and even with a few animals? In a documentary, that I recently discovered to my amazement, on the Netherlands, that Lima bean plants send out distress signal to mites which can kill their attackers.

For example, when these plants get attacked by their enemies the spider mites, these plants are known to release immediately a chemical that attracts other mites which can then fight their enemy spider mites.                       

Many other plants like the corn, tobacco and cotton plants have their own communication mechanism. When they are attacked by caterpillars, they are scientifically known to emit wasp – a deadly enemy to caterpillars.

Plants are also known to send out alarms to protect other undamaged plants whether eaten by caterpillars, injected by fungus or powdery mildew (a destructive growth of minute fungi on plants) or ingested by spider mites the chemical alarm they send also is known to beat up the defense system of undamaged plants heavily.

Communication is a fact it is vital, it is inherent, it is unavoidable and it is amazing that continuous communication ceases when life ceases. Till then all motion and tone that trickles from us communicates. Only rigor mortis or stiffness of death brings communication to a close, and again, it is only after the dead body has itself communicated, that it has now ceased communication. That’s when we are conscious of nothing at all.

Aspiring singers who do not sway their bodies to the song they sing can be boring to watch. They can’t delight an audience. It is hard to separate the two, they are inseparably one.

It is interesting to mention here that animals too are known to use body language to communicate deception, so as this feature of communication would benefit them so as to continue their existence.
For example, monkeys and apes were known to pretend not to be interested in a preferred object while a dominant animal was watching. They later sneak back to get it.

In another observation, an animal kept on limping after being hit by an investigator until the latter was out of sight, attempting to deceive the investigator that the punishment was severe enough.

Many interviewers erroneously look at the eyes to extract truths which they believe will not come out from a candidate’s mouth. But if you want to find out if someone is lying, a better indicator will be derived by posing a statement or asking a question and then listening, while at the same time looking. (observing)

This is called the ‘L’ squared mode in detecting deception. You may see stationary hands on the lap or even the rocking of the foot if the legs are crossed. Understanding body language cues helps us to identify the dishonest ones. It helps us avoid these people to our financial detriment.

The ancient Chinese has a proverb which says, “Watch out for the man whose stomach does not move when he laughs”. In their wisdom, the Chinese knew that if you look closely enough there are non-verbal tell tale signs that gives away the dishonest ones.

How then can one learn to see this non-verbal tell tale signs? There are two ways. One is through the University of Hard Knocks that is, learning through your own experiences which are the long, hard and costly way.

The other way is to learn from the experience, knowledge and skills of others which you can gain from my public body language seminar to be held at the Furama Hotel, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur on the 29th & 30th July 2015.

Register early and get an early bird discount. See flyer in this same blog. Attend this course, you may avoid been conned.