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I have observed a barmaid at work and how she uses her body language to communicate with the customers.

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Introduction

Observation Essay I have observed a barmaid at work and how she uses her body language to communicate with the customers. I will be observing people from around my workplace and taking notes, and photo's so that I can demonstrate my findings to my classmates. I expected to find a big difference between female and male bar staff. I also expected to find mainly positive body language being used. I observed that the barmaid I watched did not always show positive body language. In fact, more than not she showed through her nonverbal communication that she was disinterested, uncomfortable or angry. I observed her a lot of the time with one hand on her hip, and the other outreached and holding the bar. This left an arm's length between her and the customers, making sure they were not in her intimate zone. The intimate zone is a space in between 6-18 inches; the personal zone is a distance of 1.5-4 feet away from the person in question. ...read more.

Middle

I found that the male's body language was a lot more relaxed and confident than that of a female. It was also more confident and there were less signs of negative leakage. This could have been because most of the customers are male; the female staff felt as if they were being judged, especially by the drunk customers. The females touched their hair a lot, which is preening, but this was accompanied by scratching of the neck, and standing far back from the customers. This shows that the preening was not in a flirtatious nature, but was actually self-touching which is often a sign of being uncomfortable. This is a form of leakage, as it is an unconscious and uncontrollable sign which shows somebody's emotional state. I feel that my investigation was quite strong as I always observed the same two bar staff which meant the body language between the two could be fairly compared. ...read more.

Conclusion

I found that the male's body language was a lot more relaxed and confident than that of a female. It was also more confident and there were less signs of negative leakage. This could have been because most of the customers are male; the female staff felt as if they were being judged, especially by the drunk customers. The females touched their hair a lot, which is preening, but this was accompanied by scratching of the neck, and standing far back from the customers. This shows that the preening was not in a flirtatious nature, but was actually self-touching which is often a sign of being uncomfortable. This is a form of leakage, as it is an unconscious and uncontrollable sign which shows somebody's emotional state. I feel that my investigation was quite strong as I always observed the same two bar staff which meant the body language between the two could be fairly compared. However, as I knew both of the subjects I could have read their body language differently to other people. I think that if I had experimented with other people, my results would have been slightly different. ...read more.

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