It is noteworthy that nonverbal communication is vital as most of human communication is sent via nonverbal messages. Numerous nonverbal behaviours can be considered while communicating named as looking down, raising the eyebrow, eye contact, lowering the eyebrow, blank face, and arms crossed, and so on (Bambaeeroo & Shokrpour, 2017). This essay is going to reflect on my experience with a person having poor nonverbal communication skills. Moreover, it discusses the impact of that experience on me. Besides, it entails the significance of nonverbal behaviours is having a relationship.
As far as my experience with a person having poor non-verbal communication skills is concerned, I came across a doctor, dealing with stress and anxiety, who was not well aware of his non-verbal behaviour to understand my nonverbal cues. The effective nonverbal communication skills of doctors or counsellors are indeed important for the positive outcomes like patient satisfaction, physician detection of emotional distress, patient understanding, and so on (Silverman & Kinnersley, 2010). However, the nonverbal communication skills of my doctor were ineffective enough to better understand my concerns and anxiety. Eye-contact is one of the essential nonverbal behaviours while dealing with the patients but this was missing when my doctor was dealing with me as a patient to cure my depression (Khan et al. 2014). Moreover, due to the lack of eye contact, there was a lack of rapport between us. It is essential as a gaze helps to deliver interests in a person and enable information collecting. Moreover, there was no effective and sensitive talk between us due to which I was not being attended with empathy. It means that there was a lack of empathy also during the entire counselling session. My doctor failed to show an understanding of my suffering and was described as insensitive towards me. It is true to say that doctors must behave in a friendly manner with their patients to better comprehend the state of a person's stress and anxiety level (Kee et al. 2018). Additionally, he didn’t smile in the entire session that was the most essential element in dealing with stress and anxiety patients. This experience of mine demonstrated the case of poor nonverbal communication skills as the case involves a doctor who was lacking all the skills required to understand the nonverbal cues of the patient. Those skills were proxemics in form of interpersonal relationships; kinesics in the form of body movement, facial expression, eye behaviours, and so on; and paralanguage including tone, rhythm, the pitch of speech, and more.
This entire experience of mine has a profound impact on me. I was not satisfied with the consultation from the doctor as I felt I was not the centre of care for him. Since he didn’t show empathy to me hence it has a big impact on my mental and physical health. I was of the view that doctors and other counsellors are genuine compassionate individuals who can easily comprehend the patient’s concerns and simply detect the disease (Sinclair et al. 2017). However, my experience has changed my perception of general practitioners or counsellors in respect of decent nonverbal behaviours while communicating with their patients. I interpreted that the poor eye contact of the doctor as a sign of a lack of interest in what I was saying. The major impacts were in the form of my dissatisfaction with the non-affiliation nonverbal behaviour of the doctor. It was because the doctor's affiliation behaviour entails warmth, rapport, caring aspects, and so on for his patient that are responsible to develop a positive association with the patient while communicating empathy non-judgmental attitude. It is evident from a study by Mast & Cousin (2013) that patients are more satisfied when doctors smile more, lean forward, and make more eye contact, and gesture more. Moreover, I was less satisfied with my doctor as he adopted highly dominant nonverbal behaviours in Inspite of less dominant ones. Furthermore, I lost trust in my doctor as I perceived him as non-caring, incompetent, and a non-communicative individual. Additionally, my visit to the doctor was also of short duration hence doctor was not able to make a trust for me. Due to his poor nonverbal behaviours, I didn’t adhere to the regulations as prescribed by him like meditation, and medication. He even didn’t obey the treatment proposed by the doctor due to his fewer affiliate behaviours. The lack of eye contact, unconcerned facial expressions, not smiling, far distance behaviours of the doctor have negatively influenced my self-discourse (Junaid, & Shaban, 2018).
Nonverbal behaviours are indeed essential in helping relationships. There is no doubt that nonverbal communication assists in building relationships, offer signals to fundamental unexpressed concerns and feelings, and aids to strengthen the verbal comments. It plays an important role in a person’s life as it can refine his ability to engage, relate, and develop expressive interactions in daily life. The use of nonverbal communication is important for both patient and their doctors to understand each other (Sadati, Tabei & Lankarani, 2018). The patients who comprehend their physicians are more expected to know health issues, their treatment strategies, adhering to their medication. It can be said that an abundance of what is carried between a doctor and patient in the practice occurs via nonverbal communication. The patient's facial behaviours are good signs of concern, grief, or anxiety. Besides, the doctor who reacts with suitable concern to such nonverbal cues will probably influence the patient's disorder to a larger degree than the doctor desiring to stringently send truthful information. On the other hand, the doctor’s body language and his facial behaviours also address volumes to the patient. The study stated that the likely impacts of nonverbal communication in the medical practices were found that patient satisfaction augmented concerning the existence of specific nonverbal styles like expressiveness, and sensitivity to postural cues. Such styles were assumed as the capability of the doctor to interpret the body posture and comprehend the expressive signs from the patient. Moreover, this capability is seen as a relational success for doctor-patient interactions. The doctors with higher sensitivity to nonverbal behaviours incline to be more proficient at gratifying their patients’ socio-emotional desires, and further the patients are also capable of intellect if doctors are subtle and aware of their socio-emotional desires (Kozimala, 2016).
From the above reflective essay, it can be concluded that non-verbal communication is very essential in the helping relationship and it includes behaviours like eye contact, attentive posture, encouraging patients while talking with patents like nodding. Moreover, it can be concluded that the lack of eye contact, unconcerned facial expressions, and not smiling, far distance behaviours of a doctor can negatively impact the self-satisfaction level of a patient. Besides, it is inferred that the use of nonverbal communication is important for both patient and their doctors to understand each other. Therefore, overall it concludes that sending and getting nonverbal signs between the physicians and the patients is extremely essential to maintain the quality of healthcare.
Bambaeeroo, F., & Shokrpour, N. (2017). The impact of the teachers’ non-verbal communication on success in teaching. Journal of advances in medical education & professionalism, 5(2), 51.
Junaid, A., & Shaban, M. (2018). Perceptions of patients on doctors’and nurses’non-verbal communication in Lahore, Pakistan: A phenomenological stud. Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Journal, 68(6), 1731-36.
Katz, R. A. (2017). The relationship between nonverbal communication and patient willingness to comply in framed, low-risk medical settings. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1251&context=comssp
Kee, J. W., Khoo, H. S., Lim, I., & Koh, M. Y. (2018). Communication skills in patient-doctor interactions: Learning from patient complaints. Health Professions Education, 4(2), 97-106.
Khan, F. H., Hanif, R., Tabassum, R., Qidwai, W., & Nanji, K. (2014). Patient attitudes towards physician nonverbal behaviours during consultancy: Result from a developing country. International Scholarly Research Notices, 2014.
Kozimala, M. (2016). Influence some chosen elements of nonverbal communication used by the doctors for patients’ satisfaction after the examination. Progress in Health Sciences, 6(1), 7-18.
Mast, M. S., & Cousin, G. (2013). The role of nonverbal communication in medical interactions: Empirical results, theoretical bases, and methodological issues. In The Oxford Handbook of Health Communication, Behavior Change, and Treatment Adherence (pp. 38-53). Oxford University Press Oxford.
Sadati, A. K., Tabei, S. Z., & Lankarani, K. B. (2018). A qualitative study on the importance and value of the doctor-patient relationship in Iran: physicians' views. Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, 6(10), 1895.
Silverman, J., & Kinnersley, P. (2010). Doctors' non-verbal behaviour in consultations: look at the patient before you look at the computer. British Journal of General Practice, 60 (571), 76-78
Sinclair, S., Beamer, K., Hack, T. F., McClement, S., Raffin Bouchal, S., Chochinov, H. M., & Hagen, N. A. (2017). Sympathy, empathy, and compassion: A grounded theory study of palliative care patients’ understandings, experiences, and preferences. Palliative medicine, 31(5), 437-447.
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