Add important lessons to your Custom Course, track your progress, and achieve your study goals faster. Bethany has taught college business courses and has a master's degree in organizational and human resource development. The Communication ProcessCommunication involves both verbal, or spoken, and nonverbal, or unspoken, ways of making sure our message is heard. Some ExamplesThere are both positives and negatives to assigning meaning to the facial expressions of others. Enabling JavaScript in your browser will allow you to experience all the features of our site.
Our comprehensive MTEL Communication & Literacy Skills (01) Exam Secrets study guide is written by our exam experts, who painstakingly researched every topic and concept that you need to know to ace your test. Though nothing is said verbally, there is much to be understood about the messages we send and receive through the use of nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions. When communicating nonverbally with others, we often use facial expressions, which are subtle signals of the larger communication process. For example, Sally might interpret Dan's scowl as being related to the report she's giving on this month's sales figures.
Our original research reveals specific weaknesses that you can exploit to increase your exam score more than you've ever imagined. A simple smile can indicate our approval of a message, while a scowl might signal displeasure or disagreement. But Dan might have recently suffered an injury and simply feel uncomfortable sitting at the conference table.

It's important for Sally to refrain from assigning meaning to Dan's expressions too quickly. Communication involves two or more people exchanging verbal and nonverbal cues to reach a point of shared understanding. But it's also important for Dan to be aware of the facial expressions he's making while listening to Sally's message. This process can be complicated by many factors, such as parties who are trying to communicate while speaking different languages. Additionally, we both send and receive messages through personal screens, like experience, faith, values, cultural background, gender, and education, which can make it more difficult to understand one another.
While she's providing positive feedback verbally, she's reinforcing her pleasure with Tom by adding a facial expression - her smile. Lesson SummaryCommunication combines verbal, or spoken, and nonverbal, or unspoken, actions. We also might make assumptions by observing, analyzing, and assigning meaning to the facial expressions of others. Facial ExpressionsIn today's business world, much of our communication takes place via electronic methods, like email and text messages. These subtle - and sometimes not so subtle - expressions can communicate everything from pleasure or displeasure to surprise or boredom. Oftentimes, it's hard to understand the context or meaning behind a message that's received electronically. In the business world in particular, we must carefully monitor our facial expressions because we never know how others might interpret them.

While we may have become accustomed to our own expressions based on our culture, family and other aspects, others could easily misunderstand the intent behind such nonverbal cues based on their personal background and experiences. Facial expressions include smiling, frowning, eye rolling, making eye contact, scowling, and appearing bored or interested.
Other facial expressions might indicate excitement or even shock, like opening one's eyes or mouth widely.
Winking could signal that we're joking about a remark we made, or even flirting with the person to whom we are speaking! And raising our eyebrows might communicate that we're surprised or that we don't believe what we're hearing.
The interpretations assigned to facial expressions vary greatly, so we need to be careful when using them.
Many of our expressions are ones we're accustomed to from our own cultural, familial, and business backgrounds and experiences. Because we understand facial expressions differently, we can easily misunderstand the intent behind such nonverbal cues.
In America, a moderate level is expected in business dealings, while in other countries, such as Libya, eye contact between men and women is considered impolite.

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