Body-language and nonverbal communication

Eyes or ears?






Eyes or ears?

In western countries it is very popular and of course useful to look at somebody to get an impression of his body-language, nonverbal behaviour and his state of feeling. It is important to get an impression of that what is not put into words or verbal expression. This eye-approach is quite typical for western country. So the visual part of communication is activated and vitalized and a necessary competence for communication.

Of course people in China …………..look at each other in order to get an impression of the gesture, the facial expression, the tone of the voice, the movement, the posture and the state of feeling. For western people it is quite difficult to get familiar with the Chinese body-language and nonverbal expression. Often there is very little to see. Often people’s facial expression and gestures can only be consciously be aware of in the way they show up as micro phenomenon. So it’s quite difficult for us to judge somebody (in China) from his nonverbal expression.

If you’re used to micro-movements and not many of us are really consciously aware of this, you get a good impression. It also helps to relate the nonverbal expression to the context where the people are in.

When I talk to Chinese about this they smile a little at me and agree to what I say. But they also smile a little because they pointed out that Chinese obviously more often show up emotionally by their voice, by the tone of the voice, by the intonation, by the melody or the rhythm of the voice. So it is very difficult for us to get familiar with this ear-approach.

I think we western people are quite in the loss because most of us don’t speak Chinese and because only very few of us are really familiar with the emotional differences in the Chinese voice.



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