Gestures as a type of non-verbal communication

Gestures are type of non-verbal communication used in everyday communication to convey important messages. The significance of gestures led to the introduction of kinesics, which deals with the study of body motion or body behavior. Naturally, it is essential to know the various categories of gestures that are in use in order to be relevant within a given conversation. Besides knowing the various types, going on a fieldwork, enabled me to know their meaning and how often involved parties incorporate them in conversation. On this specific fieldwork, I attended a mall and was lucky to experience a conversation between an attendant and a customer. The customer wanted to know the location of a given item.

I realized that the two parties involved the use of emblems. The customer made use of “shoulder shrugging” to indicate that he did not know the right way to access the specific item.  This cleared the way for the attendant to tell him of the right way(Kendon 97). The attendant made use of headshake to show the customer that the way he was following was the wrong way. Headshake, acting as a negation, conveyed to the customer that he was supposed to seek for the right way.  After making the client divert from the wrong way to the right way, the attendant had to nod towards the former. The use of head nod enabled the attendant to show the client that he was following the right way(Kendon 98).
Use of illustrators was also dominant in the conversation. In order to show the customer the right way, the attendant had to use “pointing”.  The client had to follow the direction, pointed at, in order to access the required item. It was only once that the conversation between the parties had “pointing”. The attendant also had to use “outlining” to describe the specific shelf that the client was to obtain the needed item. Outlining the picture of the shelf with his hands aided the attendant to give an accurate direction, especially when considering that it (the shelf) was not discernible from the scene(Kendon 97).

The client and the attendant also made use of regulators. During the conversation, the client had to make use of “neck movement” to show that he did not have better understanding of the location that the attendant was talking about.  The attendant also “rubbed his head with his hands” to show that he was ready to help the client in accessing the given item. Eye movement was dominant between the two parties, helping to support the interaction and communication. Amidst the conversation, the client leant forward to indicate to the attendant that he was really eager to hear from him, the right direction(Kendon 97).

Further, “affect displays” was recognizable in the conversation. The client frowned at the attendant after losing his way towards the item he required. The “frown” readily conveyed to the attendant that the client was missing something, and needed help. Consequently, the attendant went to the client to help because of the gesture. After obtaining help from the attendant, the client went smiling as sign of satisfaction. A “smile” indicated to the attendant that the client could then locate the item.

Another category of gestures used ware “adaptors” Amidst the conversation, the attendant started biting his finger nails, unintentionally, although he continued with the conversation. This was enough to show that the attendant could think soundly when biting his finger nails. After obtaining help, the client started scratching his head, a sign that he did not want to forget the right direction (Kendon 97).

Work cited
Kendon, Adam. Gesture: Visible Action As Utterance. Cambridge [u.a.: Cambridge Univ. Press,     2005. Print.