Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Spectrum of Social Communication Cues

Social cues can often enhance or even downplay what is being said or portrayed in a situation, but the social cue needs to be interpreted in the right manner for it to better a social situation. People who are better equipped to identify and understand these social cues are more likely to act appropriately to them and will be better prepared to respond to them and adapt their behavior.

As in all situations, there is always a possibility for going from one extreme to the other without having any middle ground in between. For social cues, it can be a fairly wide spectrum with plenty of variations. On one side of the spectrum, a person can be very obvious with their cues such as speaking very loudly or making very large and awkward hand gestures. These types of cues are easy to spot and can often make people feel uncomfortable right away. On the other hand, there are cues that are more subtle and can often be missed if not recognized right away such as excessive eye blinking or adding a tone to their words. 
Unfortunately, these types of cues may go unnoticed and can portray the wrong message. The key point is being able to recognize each side of this spectrum and the different ways a social cue can be interpreted. When you learn the extremes, you will be better equipped to catch the cues and adapt your behavior faster.

Until next time ...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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