Social competence is not easy to define, but it has long interested researchers,
and social intelligence is considered a basic intellectual capacity distinct from
other cognitive abilities
•Some people are comparatively more alert to nonverbal cues and better able to
identify what these cues mean; some people are also more proficient at expressing
their feelings and attitudes nonverbally.
•social competence that comprises such skill is essential in our daily lift, both personal
•Although nonverbal communication skills are often talked about with reference to
judging and expressing emotions, people actually judge and express many other kinds
of nonverbal messages, states, and traits as well.
•For example, we might notice and remember that our friend likes dangly earrings,
that she often wears blue, or that she might be a bit too plump for the sweater you are
thinking of buying her.
•Sometimes we notice something and make an interpretation right away
•People also, need to grasp verbal meanings--literal, metaphoric, and shades of
inundated to integrate verbal and nonverbal cues; sarcasm and joking, for ex- ample,
are expressed through combinations of verbal and nonverbal cues.
•Empathy, rapport, intuition, and charisma, as well as processes such as social
comparison and impression formation, can all be construed in terms of accurate
sending or receiving of nonverbal cues among people
•People generally know how to play these roles very well, and they do so without
having to think about it consciously; furthermore, people are sensitive to whether
roles are being enacted appropriately by others.
•Clearly, the ability, to read and send the subtle cues required for role negotiation, and
to know when roles are being fulfilled appropriately, is an important social skill.
DEVELOPMENT AND IMPROVEMENT OF NONVERBAL SKILLS
•Most of our ability to send and receive nonverbal signals is derived from "on-the-job
training," the job being the process of daily living. In short, we learn our nonverbal
skills, not always consciously, by imitating and modeling others and by adapting our
responses to the coaching, feedback, and advice of others.
•That nonverbal and other social skills are strongly rooted in learning seems apparent
enough and provides insight into why individuals differ so much in these skills.
•Monkeys reared in isolation were incapable of producing the necessary expressions
and, when put in the role of receiver monkey, proved deficient at reading the fearful
facial expressions of the other monkey
•Feedback from others as we grow up does not have to mention our behavior
explicitly; it can be a response to our behavior.
•You can practice nonverbal sending and receiving frequently, but without regular,
accurate feedback, you may not improve your ability.
•Individuals from culture have alto been successfully trained to understand and enact
characteristic nonverbal behaviors of people from a different culture or subculture