Symbols in Business Communication

Non-verbal communication is divided into four broad categories: Physical – This is the personal type of communication. It includes facial expressions, tone of voice, sense of touch, sense of smell, and body motions. Aesthetic – This is the type of communication that takes place through creative expressions: playing instrumental music, dancing, painting and sculpturing. Signs – This is the mechanical type of communication, which includes the use of signal flags, the 21-gun salute, horns, and sirens. Symbolic – This is the type of communication that makes use of religious, status, or day to day activitites symbols.
Symbols are representations of an event, action, object, person, or place that can be used to communicate about the event, action, object, person, or place. Concrete symbols : The more a symbol resembles what it represents, the more concrete that symbol is. An example of a concrete symbol would be a spoon, used during mealtimes, to represent mealtime. Abstract symbols: The less a symbol resembles what it represents, the more abstract that symbol is. A less concrete (or more abstract) symbol would be a small line drawing of a person eating or action of eating.
A symbol stands in place of an object. It may be a physical object such as a flag standing for patriotism and national pride. a cross with strong religious meaning for Christians. even the Nike swoosh or the McDonald’s arches. Or it may be a word or phrase, such as the “Jai Mata Di” printed on head bands. Symbol Representation an object used as part of the activity it represents, an object identical to the one used as part of an activity, an object similar but not identical to the object used as part of an activity, a part of an object, full-sized coloured drawing of the object, a full-sized black and white drawing of the object or a reduced-size coloured drawing of an object, a reduced-size black and white drawing of an object, a printed word. There is a similar hierarchy for movement with an object to sign: movement with an object used as part of the activity it represents, movement with an object identical to one used as part of an activity, movement with an object similar to but not identical to the one used as part of an activity it represents, movement without an object

Disadvantages of symbols For example, a symbol based on visual similarities may not be as concrete for a person with a visual impairment as it would be for an individual who is fully sighted. A symbol based on an action may be abstract for an individual with physical impairment such that he/she had never performed that action.

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