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Brandon Tara

Final Analysis
12/10/2015
Nonverbal Communication Improvement Plan
Through this self-analysis paper I will examine my nonverbal communication skills
according to various studies found in the book, Nonverbal Communication written by
Burgoon, Guerrero, & Floyd (2010). I have chosen to examine the gestures of sexes, facial
expressions, and immediacy. These areas of nonverbal communication have helped me revamp
and develop a new understanding of how I interpret nonverbal cues from others. Gestures of
sexes (behaviors that reveal) take a look at how men and women are different and similar
through their behaviors. Through the evaluation form by Anderson, P.A. (1999), I was able to
evaluate my own judgment and understanding of both men and women. Facial expressions allow
both the sender and the receiver to interpret messages that are also commonly misconceived for
their intended purpose. Though the messages can be misconstrued, they have been found to be
very important when pertaining to issues of intent, consciousness, and awareness. This directly
links to the information, behavior, and communication model. Immediacy can be defined as
proximity of your actions that are directed or felt by others, that can be used in a manner such as
intimacy as well as plutonic relationships. I will evaluate these areas of nonverbal behavior in
correlation to my personal strengths and weaknesses, effective principles in order to conduct the
best communication possible, my steps to improve in the particular area. I will then construct a
timeline for each change in my behavior.
First, I begin with how I assess both men and womens gestures. At first glance when
observing men and women walking around the Colorado State University campus, I noticed
there was considerably less communication being done between individuals. The majority of the

time they both were obsessively staring at their phones or the ground and the feet of others in
front of them, as if they were avoiding human interaction all together. The Behaviors That
Reveal tool, allowed me to categorize each individuals gestures and how they changed between
genders. Burgoon et al (2010) define the information, behavior, and communication to be
interpreted that, Information can be conceived as all stimuli in the environment that reduce
uncertainty for the organism (Burgoon at al, p.12).
I found that I had many more strengths when it came to the realization of how both men
and women on campus were to carry themselves, through their body language. With such a
diverse population I found my observations to mirror those of my actual perception. I concluded
that both men and women have a staring obsession with their phones while walking to class, or at
their computers when it comes to the classroom. They both also often struggled with maintaining
another persons gaze. I find this more often when individuals are meeting for the first time or
passing by one another. The only two explanations I could come up with are insecurity and
worry. I personally have felt these when approaching another individual on the street. In a sense
of insecurity, some people may experience the thought process that there must be something
wrong with their appearance, or that they are being judged. The line between judgment and
observation can be thin, as it comes down to your interpretation of their gaze upon you.
For individuals to communicate successfully they must expose their selves to others in a
visually exposed format. Though tough for most people their emotions and sporadic thought
processes tend to get the better of the true underlying message of the sender. Themselves as
senders also presents a complication. This brings a great difficulty to the realization of how both
genders have been misunderstanding one anothers actions and behaviors for such a long time.

I have came to the realization that for me to excel as a good nonverbal communicator I will have
to improve my self-confidence, and become more aware of my movements and gestures. I
believe that within a short period of time before I graduate from college my gestures and body
movements will be at a professional level. Though they will never stop conforming and
improving.
Next, I calculated how my girlfriend and I both perceive my personal facial expressions. I
concluded that I believe that I have more control over my facial expressions than others observe
of me. Facial expressions can be wrongly taken for another form of emotion that the sender is
expressing rather than their actual feelings. The tool, What Faces Do You Wear, helped me
realize that I have correctly diagnosed my own control for my facial expressions, thus
confirming that I have higher level of control. My realization came from my girlfriends total
score of (51) and my score (69), which are considered moderate scores, which models having
higher control over my facial expressions. When comparing the two scores, they matched up
well and were rarely differing from one another. Another weakness I found regarding my
perception of myself was that I believe I often sound different than how I look. I recognized this
when looking at the data my girlfriend reported about me sounding the same as how I look.
Another question I examined was about whether or not my face tends to keep a frozen
expression. The results of this were that both my girlfriend and I believed this was false, because
I tend to be a very animated person with my facial expressions. Charles Darwin is noted in
Burgoon et al (2010), by announcing the connection of foul or pungent odors to cause people to
cover or plug their noes, as to prevent any dangerous or toxic chemicals to enter, as us as humans
may use the same nonverbal gesture of disgust in place of an opinion or a bad idea. To
effectively communicate your facial expressions have a very powerful underlying meaning to

others who observe them. For instance, some people may turn to judge your expression if they
are unaware of the context. To improve in this area I have came to the realization that I often
tend to crack a smile or lightly laugh in some serious discussions. This will be very tough for me
because I am a genuinely happy person who is very up beat. I have recently been promoted in
my place of work, and there have been some recent situations where my professionalism as a
Leasing Agent has a clear reflection on my company. Also with graduating from college in a
semester I will have more time to improve my professional communication skills before I hit the
real world.
Lastly, I will conclude with my self-assessment of immediacy. Immediacy or what
Burgoon et al (2010) presented as a significant relationship, Goffmans study in (1995, 1961b,
1963a) dramaturgic analysis of the presentation of self. In his study, he believed that we are
always on stage. . . . Being able to adapt to different situation and audiences is a key
component of self-presentation, (Burgoon et al (2010). He infers that we are always under the
microscope and must always present our self as alert and accepting to all forms of interaction. I
have always believed to keep my proximity to others on a very professional level. Physical
boundaries can be very important to various relationships. Burgoon et al (2010) brings forth a
very compelling inference of boundaries. They mention Scott (1988), conceptualized personal
space boundaries as invisible boundaries that separate a persons internal self (body, mind, and
spirit) from the external environment (Burgoon et al, p.160). I find my self to be very
understanding of these areas and find very few weaknesses in this particular area. One weakness
in particular would be on the receiving end of someone who was to touch me or stand overly
close to me while conversing. In the correct context this can be indispensable.

To be a good communicator immediacy helps an individual control their body language


when interacting. There are positives and negatives to being an overly expressive individual.
Being overly animated can have a negative effect on your audience by overstepping proximity
boundaries with dramatic hand gestures and excessive body movements. On a positive note,
being overly animated can show the audience that you are very invested and interested in the
conversation. To excel as a good nonverbal communicator you must connect with your audience,
and learn how they will interpret your actions. Often I find a better understanding for teachers in
the classroom when they are more expressive through their nonverbal behaviors because it shows
that they are comfortable in an intimidating environment. I also like how real they can become
using extensive eye contact and intricate gestures. The importance of eye contact for multiple
circumstances it that it, might communicate interest, attraction or anger, whereas failing to make
eye contact may denote submissiveness, respect, or shame, Stated (Burgoon et al, p.73). This
proves that eye contact is important but it is also connected to houw the rest of your face and
body language appear to the receiver. Though some areas may seem a little foreign, I believe that
for me to excel in the immediacy category I will need to work on accepting how others interact
with me. There are instances where if I feel the intensity of direct eye contact is too much I feel
obligated to redirect my glance, to not feel the need for a starring match. Understandably eye
contact is key, I will have to utilize my body language to draw the concentration of the other
individual away from my eyes momentarily. As I am graduating next semester, I will be
preparing for various interviews, and will make note to become more aware of my body
language and immediacy. I will prepare by conducting mock interviews, as they are readily
available at my disposal.

All in all, I have been able to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses through gestures,
facial expressions, and immediacy to help perfect my own level of communication. I have
realized that nonverbal communication is a never-ending journey that travels through the
Information, Behavior, and Communication model, where the sender and the receiver must be on
the same level to gain any ground. Now realizing what areas I need to work on I will be able to
confront them on a daily basis.

Work Cited
Andersen,P.A.(1999).NonverbalCommunication:FormsandFunctions.Mountview,
CA:Mayfield.Pp.130&131.
Burgoon,J.,Guerrero,L.,&Floyd,K.(2010).NonverbalCommunication.Boston:Allyn
&Bacon.
Wrench,J.S,Cole,J.G,Richmond,V.P,&McCroskey,J.C.(2005).SelfAssessmentof
Immediacy.Boston:Pearson.P.65&73.