Sunday, August 12, 2012

Space Language

Proxemics or Space Language
Non verbal communication involves not only body language and Para language but also the space around us Proxemics is the study of how we communicate with the space around us. The space here means the distance between the sender and receiver of the message in oral communication. This distance is called proximity.
Edward T. Hall has done very useful and interesting work in his idea. Placing ourselves in the centre he has presented the space around us in the form of the following concentric circles: - Distance wise it can be stated as below: - Intimate: Physical contact to 18 inches. Personal: 18 inches to 4 feet. Social: 4 feet to 12 feet. Public: 12 feet to as far as one can see or hear.

1. Intimate space language: In this very close contact is maintained within the space of 18 inches. It is most suitable for the use of body language as most of our body movement originate within this area. Only very special people like our family members, relatives and close friends enter into this area intimate space is very suitable for highly confidential talks and decision concerning sensitive matters.
2. Personal space language: Personal space extends from 18 inches to 4 feet. People have normal conversation with close friends, colleagues and visitors. The nature of communication is more or less personal and is generally relaxed and casual. It permits informal spontaneous talking. Some important decisions are also taken in this.
3. Social space language: Social space extends from 4 feet to 12 feet. It is used for formal and official relationship. Most of the communication in the organization takes place in this space. Communication here is dominated by reason and planning rather than by emotion and feeling.
4. Public space language: public space extends beyond 12 feet. Communication in public space is highly formal and objective. Public address system may have to be used. Public announcement and election rallies are best examples of public space language.

Proxemics is also concerned about the use of space by groups of people. Different people make use of space around them in different ways. The way a group uses the space assigned determines their respective position and interaction pattern. For example: people seated in front are considered to be bold and are the ones who initiate the conversation. Fixed and semi fixed spaces have important implication in communication. Let us analyse it further.
a)      Fixed spaces: Fixed spaces refer to permanent features like room, walls, and buildings and its total capacity, length, breadth etc. These features determine who interacts with whom, why, how and for what purpose.
b)      Semi Fixed Species: Semi fixed spaces refer to physical features which are not permanent and can be changed or re-arranged. For example, furniture decor etc. In other words semi fixed spaces are flexible that permits the use of a variety of spaces to conduct different types of communication. For example, some furniture can be arranged or rearranged as per the need of communication.