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How To Learn Sign Language

Meta-communication


hello welcome back to the series of lectures
on soft skills as you all remember till now we have done various lessons on effective
ways to acquire soft skills and in the previous lectures we had been talking how communicating
without words is also a skill in that lecture we had referred to the various nonverbal cues
which actually help in face to face communication especially when you are communicating orally
or say verbally but then as we said earlier we communicate not only with words we communicate
with non words also and in that context we have talked about kinesics proxemics chronemics
haptics para language and related cues today we are going to talk about one more
significant form of nonverbal communication which is called meta communication now one
thing that might be making you worry is what actually is meta communication meta communication
if we go by the words is made up of two words meta and communication meta means beyond and
communication is communication so something or a sort of communication that is beyond
words can be called meta communication now what are the different aspects of meta
communication when we are busy in a meta communication we do not confine ourselves only to the words
words as we discussed earlier have a specific meaning they actually change their meaning
depending upon the context depending upon the speaker depending upon the tone also depending
upon the temper depending upon the meaning that the speaker has in a particular word
that is why we can call meta communication and if a communication that has got an implied
meaning and when we say implied meaning what we mean is how actually the speaker chooses
the words why did he choose a particular word in a particular context that a particular
word can have a different meaning if the context changes of course and moreover how important
is the tone of voice that we provide to a particular word sometimes we find many people
fumbling sometimes we find many people hesitating even though they are trying to speak something
but then they hesitate and on another occasions we also find people becoming silent or people
stopping for some time and then speaking so all these come under the term meta communication
hence meta communication is a communication where the speaker will have a choice of words
will also decide the tone because whenever we speak every now and then we do not have
one tone otherwise the entire communication process will become monotonous so whenever
you speak you find depending upon the context depending upon the situation depending upon
your own purpose you actually start positioning the word and the way you position the word
that actually lends a lot of communication to the entire context
now if meta communication is a communication beyond words so it mean that it will be intentional
no it cannot be intentional all the time a meta of communication may at times be unintentional
also because you never know the mind of the person you are talking to you actually sometimes
ignore the mood of the person but still you are speaking and sometimes when a speaker
said something you take it lightly but you do not look into the nuances which are involved
in the way he or she said it so we can say that meaning is not confined only to the words
after you speak a word you sometimes maintain a sort of break sometimes you maintain a sort
of silence and both these breaks and the silences are meaningful we cannot say that a person
which silent does not mean anything we shall see later how the meaning of silence can be
extracted differently in different contexts and also in different cultures
sometimes this meta communication may symbolize neutrality imagine whenever you are passing
by a street and you watch so many people so many activities but then you do not speak
anything does that mean you are not a part of it does that mean you do not have any reaction
does that mean you are not affected no actually sometimes maintaining silence is mandatory
it becomes obligatory at times and sometimes when you do not speak or sometimes when you
omit to speak you actually do it either to hide the meaning you will find on various
occasions especially when you are at a workplace your all you are working in an organization
or in a school or in a college you find that you do not want to react what does that mean
that actually means as you try to earmark your reactions either you try to hide your
feelings or your reactions or you simply want to say that you are totally impartial so through
meta communication we not only express but we also try to hide meaning
there are different ways that meta communication can also so your lack of interest for example
two people talking to each other and you find this speaker is very excited to say something
but at the same time if as a listener you do not react to after some time you will find
the speaker may feel ill at ease but what about your silence or your omission perhaps
either you did not want to appreciate or even if you wanted to react just for the sake of
cordiality or the sake of this situation or the sake of even say your generosity you did
not speak anything so meaning in meta communication we can say depends upon the positioning of
words say for example one fine morning you start for the college or for the organization
and you have taken every care to dress yourself very perfectly and when you meet a friend
of yours on the way and the reaction that he says he may say oh your looking very smart
today now he has appreciated or he has depreciated
actually depends upon his tone and the tenor sometimes when he says that you are looking
dams smart or you have dressed very well it also may mean that on earlier days you did
not dress well or you dressed very subtly now the question is to extract the meaning
you have to look at the implication that the person expresses through his tone there can
be other occasions also where you will find simply by the positioning of words or by the
change of the position of a particular word you are going to change the meaning say for
example somebody says try to reach the venue well in time you know most of the time you
feel that either somebody tries to put in a sort of advice or the speaker who or see
it maybe may try to so his or her anxiety because on earlier occasions you might have
missed your flight because you are not on time sometimes people may wish you best of
luck so that actor aims the way he speaks may also
have sometimes it may also have a sort of satiric meaning say for example look at the
sentence are the look here the sentence that us speak leave him not kill him now if you
hear this sentence what meaning do you get and if i change this sentence if i say leave
him not kill him so you will find the words are the same but simply because there has
been just a sort of break or there has been justice or sort of difference in the way i
have spoken the meaning has changed so please do remember that meta communication actually
conveys a lot of meaning sometimes it is with the help of words and after the word the way
you have expressed your tone or temper or the pitch or what so ever sometimes you will
find people even when they ask questions they ask questions in such a manner that it appears
to be a sort of request would like or would you mind having a cup of coffee with me this
is actually a question but at the same time this is a sort of polite request
now what appears important here to understand the implication of the person or that is obvious
simply by the way it is spoken now we can also say that at times when you suddenly become
silent you know we we are fond of speaking but sometimes you are in a meeting or sometimes
you are in a congregation sometimes you are among friends and suddenly something happens
or somebody ask something you try to remain silence so that silence is a form of meta
communication this silence this may be meaningful you know there there is a study where it says
ah that silence reveals silence expresses a lot and this silence the meaning of silence
may vary from one culture to another suppose in an organization if you are not
aware of the meta communication of language then perhaps you may come across problems
you go with an application to the boss or you go with a sort of prayer or with a sort
of request to the boss and the boss does not speak anything that can have either a positive
meaning or a negative meaning but the question is how would you understand that the message
that the boss wants to convey is positive or negative that totally depends upon your
reading ability upon the way you can read the nonverbal cues and also the ability you
can read the meta communication which is there because communication as all of us have been
repeating is the result of sailed assumptions no no no two people can be alike as note if
two people are from the same culture can have the same meaning with either a particular
way of responding to it with the help of meta communication so it at times becomes difficult
it is actually a successful communication is the result of shared assumptions and unspoken
arguments now these unspoken arguments they appear in
the form of silence a meeting is going on and everyone each asked his or her opinion
you will find that there are some people who simply remain silent does he have nothing
to say yes he had something to say but in order to be neutral he doesnt say anything
or in order not to express his own view because he wants to hide his meaning or reaction he
simply remains silent or sometimes by saying nothing or by remaining silent he can also
express a sort of non participation or a sort of dissonance or a sort of disagreement this
actually has to be extracted and you can do it simply by watching at the body movements
which we have talked about in our previous lecture
dear friends you all will realize that silence sometimes speaks more than words silence is
loud you know and silence sometimes may be very frightening silence sometimes may be
very rewarding you will often find in organizations if a person speaks too much that does not
mean that he is taken very seriously but if a person knows how to utilize his silence
and how to utilize his words then he can climb the ladder of success because of the way he
has made use of his meta communication now what actually are the advantages of silence
and here you should also know that there are different situations where you will feel ah
that you require silence to have its own use suppose a speaker is speaking continuously
suppose i am speaking and when you as a listener on the other side you sometimes may feel that
why doesnt he stop for some time now the question is if i stop for some time or if for that
matter any speakers stops for some time that may actually be a sort of a relief to the
audience or to the listener and you know by maintaining a little amount of silence you
will find the efficacy of his words becomes too much
so silence has several advantages and one of these advantages is that it can relieve
the audience or other people or listener or participants of a monotony because a person
is speaking and speaking so you want that there should be some space in an between his
words and this space actually helps you a lot because you are getting some time either
to revise or you get some time to digest what has been said what has been conveyed now this
silence is rewarding from the point of both the speaker as well as the listener to a speaker
suppose i am speaking continuously what will happen after some time i will be running sort
of ideas i will be running sort of information on the other hand my audience or listeners
will also feel too much burden too much tense that is why if i maintain a little bit of
silence i will be buying some time i will be buying some time to think what i have spoken
till now and what i have to speak further and this will also help the other members
relate this will help the audience members coordinate this will help them establishing
a sort of connection a sort of coherence in what this speaker has said
now silence you will also realize that silence ignites thoughts how can silence ignite thoughts
whenever a person ate silent you will find that he actually gets time to think of new
ideas suppose you have planned the lecture and you want to deliver the lecture when you
have delivered a lot and suddenly you become silent you are not only giving them a small
break but you are actually also buying time for yourself to bring some new thoughts when
we are delivering talks sometimes we find that there are some speakers or listeners
who are not in tune with what we are saying and that actually may create a sort of cacophony
or a sort of disturbance in order to bring that listener to the point of my discussion
if you suddenly become silent you will be able to concentrate on him and he will also
feel that he is being watched and more over you will also find all of us as listeners
want our speakers not to speak too fast but to speak at a pace as we have said in the
previous lecture that there should be a proper rate of delivery
so listeners would like to love or would go to love a speaker who actually is considerate
because he by by being a little bit silent he actually provides a sort of breather to
his audience a sort of say relief to his audience so that the audience members can connect listeners
laba speaker who situate silence amid words but remember those who have not practiced
this earth of silence being situated in their speech they often feel because they want to
say everything and they are not conscious of so what happens they either sometimes forget
the points or forget or the information that they have to provide moreover this fast delivery
may also help in mispronouncing certain words and at times when they feel that they are
running sort of information what will happen is they will start fumbling and by fumbling
what they will do is they will actually so that they are not prepared
now when you are speaking or when you are delivering a talk as i said there is another
way that you will find apart from words you will also be making use of non words now non
words as the world etymologically goes is no words at all so when you do not have any
words what will happen you will actually fumble for words you will start thinking for words
and silence also can be a form of non words and these non words most often you will find
faster speakers come across and that is why what they will do is they will actually start
making use of vocalized pauses and you will find they will start repeating and they will
say i mean ok ah arms so all these vocalized pauses they actually mar the flow of the speech
moreover the audience for the audience you do not have to say anything they will start
feeling that this speaker is not clear in his thoughts that there is a lot of ambiguity
there is a lot of doubt in what he says so these non words may denote or may convey ambiguity
or doubt and this this happens only when you are not aware of how for how much you should
be silent for what a sort of silence to be utilized there
whenever you speak a word you will often find as i said in my previous lecture that the
rate of delivery should be between one twenty five to one thirty words per minute now in
this case sometimes if the speaker becomes very fast what will happen he will not be
able to provide the space between two units of thought say between two clauses say between
two patterns between two words and that will actually result in a sort of meaninglessness
and the audience members they will also feel themselves in a very precarious situation
where they will start losing their respect for you as a speaker
hence the need of the are is to provide space which adjust between two words between two
fridges two clauses and two sentences these non words are very important when and and
for that there are different situations not only in the form of a speech but also when
you are in the meeting and you want to say something if you simply say it very fast nobody
will be able to decipher what you have said rather they will also feel that you are not
prepared for this meeting hence you should always try to make use of this silent time
on every occasion in every event when you are going to speak or when you are going to
listen you will watch that there each are silent time especially the novice speakers
i mean the beginners who start their lectures who start their talks who start addressing
groups of people they find it difficult to situate the silence amid the words but then
as it is a method of practice after some time if the take proper caution and if they remember
carefully the significance that silence provides they will be able to make proper use of this
silent time audiences most often hate too much noise and
lengthy silences remember if i say one has to be silent is ok but to what extent if you
feel that you are going to speak on a particular topic and you wanted to ensure you wanted
to provide the listeners the sort of breather in the form of silence and this silence if
it becomes lengthy one people wont like because they are already waiting for your new thoughts
that are lying with you so when you are going to provide silence or you are to stop for
some time see to it that you do not stop for a long time it has to be regulated and when
people resort when speakers resort to non words most of the time you will find that
it leads to a sort of confused noises so in order that this speech comes to take
its proper shape you need to provide silent silence but you need not be silent so there
is actually a difference between providing silence and and between becoming silent because
sometimes and this this usually happens with those people who have simply remembered everything
remember everything no doubt but then you cannot remember everything since you do not
know where to provide silence where to stop for some time and you know in written when
when you write something in written communication these are being provided with the help of
punctuation marks you will find there is a comma there is a semicolon there just stop
there is a dash there is a hyphen there are inverted commas these actually help and so
when you are writing your own speech or your talk so because much of the performance that
actually begins when you are writing so when you are writing you are providing
these but when you are really enacting your speech you often tend to forget it hence it
is very important that when you feel you know it is it there is no use simply using your
non words and giving rise to confused noises rather it is better but if you feel that you
do not have anything more to say it is always better to be silent rather than to resort
to the vocalized pauses and mark the beauty of the presentation or the speech that you
are going to deliver moreover these non words loudly announce as
i said when you start fumbling when you start looking for words ah you you are literally
exposed i am sorry you literally exposed so please take the extra caution that you will
not resort to these non words too much if you if you feel that you do not have anything
else to say it is better to be silent than to speak and resort to the confused noises
you will often see that good speakers they actually practice the use of silence in their
speeches so as a speaker as a as a speaking quote says
when we go to deliver a talk what we do is first you assert your own being there how
by being there and by looking at because you know and when you look at them at that time
also you are not speaking anything rather you are looking at them in such a way and
and this we call a sort of a sort of mutual agreement and this mutual agreement is in
the form of unspoken or say in the form of silence so this silence is meaningful and
then again when you speak the very first word that you speak and after the first word suppose
you address them and after addressing them there is a sort of reaction on their faces
and the same is being responded to by your audience members so at that time you feel
that you are creating a sort of rapo and there also comes this meta communication
moreover as you start and you elaborate your thoughts and as you go deeper and deeper you
are also changing some of your tones and while changing tones all because you cannot be loud
all the moment you cannot maintain the same tone every now and then otherwise it will
become a sort of monotony and it will help it will actually result in making your presentation
a dull a morose ah a sort of non effective presentation that is why the court says that
while you are speaking you are also to be very careful of your meta communication and
a an advice is that when you are looking at your speaker
so when you are looking at your speaker you are actually in a way confirming the sort
of meta communication and through that you are also conveying a sort of message adrienne
rich ah rightly had said lying is done with words and also with silence we lie when when
you ah make use of a particular word in a particular context you are with the help of
words also trying to hide or to express the meaning but at the same time you can also
do that and you most often do that with the help of silence remember when you are going
to react ah to a situation that is painful so how do you acquires in or how do you so
that you are also pained hurt grieved simply by becoming silent
so when you are silent or when you make use of silence please see that this silence has
a lot to say and when you do that most often you cannot do that because the need of the
are is that at times you can also take pauses now what is the difference between silence
and pauses pauses are just the small breaks where as if these breaks become longer they
actually become silent a speaker speaking a a lot of words and suddenly you find that
he wants to take a break so he pauses and with the help of the pause he also tried to
convey so pause is also sort of non word but then pause actually helps in dividing these
speakers their thoughts and ideas the movement that you make in your entire
pattern of thoughts that you do with the help of the pause a person who does not know how
to pause and when to pause because you know we have not been trained in all these things
especially you will find people who are either in dramatics or those who are in the field
of acting they are made to learn all these nuances of making silences and making pauses
because when you pause for a brief moment or for a small moment you are trying to ensure
a proper rapo and a good will and it is only a confident person it is only a well prepared
person who knows how to exhibit his confidence through the help of pauses and this disposed
also helps you gain a control when you stop for some time as i said earlier you are also
trying to seek the feedback or gain the feedback of your listeners
so pauses are very helpful they are actually a brief break from the flood of words from
the dill use of words now with the help of pauses you also bring a sort of wrapper and
establish a sort of relationship and with the help of pause the pause between the speaker
because you know as audience we are most of the time silent but when the speaker ah makes
use of pause he also ensures that whatever he had said till now is well taken by his
audience it also provides listeners the time to think moreover the listeners are also allowed
or given a chance to digest all that has been said they actually analyze because you know
our minds often move faster than the words so when a speakers said something what we
as listeners do we are trying to relate and you will often find as speaker also you will
find as listener you can also find that if you feel that it is going in a very smooth
manner a sort of triumphant laugh a sort of triumphant smile is there on the face both
of the speaker advilize of the listener and pauses also help to revise and reassure all
that you have said it also lends to speakers the confidence to beautify speech that is
why you will find all trend speakers and all experienced ones they often see that they
are neither in a hurry to finish is of with whatever they have said they actually know
well that they are there for the listeners and that is why they make a beautiful blend
of silence and pauses in their speech so that whatever he said is comprehended well
otherwise because you know when people are invited from a different organizations celebrities
people who are experts we actually pay a lot for them and this cannot be utilized unless
and until as a speaker we make proper balance between the pauses and the silences in order
that whatever thoughts or pieces of information we have brought they are made or they are
comprehended well by the audience for which they are remember the one of one of the lines
of the former presidents of usa when he had said ask not what your country can do for
you ask what you can do for your country it was beautiful and effective not because of
the thought that is involved in it but because of the beauty with which it has been utilized
with the help of the pause so let us let us look at this unlessen and
practice ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country
that always reminds the beauty of expression lies not only in the words but in the non
words also and these non words are the forms of meta communication i do hope my dear friends
that in the days to come and with relations being imparted to you you will also be in
the position to make proper use of and make a proper balance of silence and pauses so
that your silence speaks so that your silence means so that your pauses mean so that your
pauses beautify and so that whatever you want to convey has been conveyed well i hope you
will be in the position now when you are going to deliver a talk or a presentation you will
also take into consideration the importance of the silence pauses and non words equally
well while patterning and organization organizing your speech or talk
thank you very much

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