Members may be prevented from participation because a

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Members may be prevented from participation because a few others dominate the discussion. Excessive verbal domination by a few is likely to evoke hostility and loss of morale in the many. Groups may suffer along silently for
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112 years, enduring such domination. The larger the group or the more dominant a few, the more the others are denied speaking time. Finally, member listening skills have an impact on the effectiveness of group communication. if we are busy rehearsing our own statements while another is talking, we are likely to consider his remarks more of a distraction than a help 4) Non-Verbal Communication While only one person at a time may be talking in a group, all of the members may be sending non-verbal signals. Non-verbal signals consist of facial expressions, eye movements, gestures and body postures that give clues as to how we are feeling. While one member is speaking, the others may be reacting to his or her nonverbal signals as well as to each other. Some may be leaning forward nodding agreement and signaling to continue. Others may be turned away ignoring the speaker, sending quite different messages by their posture. Some faces may show openness, others antagonism. Still other members may be trying to send deliberate non-verbal messages to other speakers. All this may be going on at the same time. In verbal communication, you can choose whether to speak or not. But if you are in the presence of others, you have no choice but to communicate something. Voluntarily or involuntarily, you will be communicating something to others as they observe you. Because much non-verbal communication actually is involuntary, many people consider non-verbal signals more accurate sources of information as to what we are really feeling than our words. If there is discrepancy between our verbal and non-verbal signals, chances are it is the non-verbal signals that will be believed. In a sense, our actions speak louder than our words. Unfortunately, most of us are notoriously inaccurate interpreters of non- verbal signals. Study after study has shown we are very poor at reading others' non-verbal communication correctly. This is especially true if we do not know the other person well. In any form of communication, it is important to check with the message sender to be sure your understanding of the message is the one the sender intended. Such checking is especially important for correct interpretation of non-verbally communicated messages. Yet, in a group this is usually impossible. Someone may give us a peculiar look while another is speaking and expect that we gained some information from it. Not only did we probably not receive the message as intended, but our attention was distracted from the speaker, and we have no chance to check back with either message sender. Likewise, others may be incorrectly interpreting our non-verbal signals.
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