Nonverbal Mistakes

women networking arms crossed professional
Here’s an article on body language that you should avoid; body gestures that can create a negative impression in another person. It's best to look at these gestures as creating negative impressions under certain circumstances but, certainly, not in all situations:
1. Crossing your arms across your chest can indicate defensiveness.
2.      Leaning forward can indicate aggressiveness.
3.      Breaking your eye contact too early in the interaction.
4.      Putting your hands on your hips when standing can indicate aggressiveness.
5.      Taking a step or two back when asked a question or for a decision.
6.      Putting your hands behind your back or in your pockets can make you look overly stiff.
7.      Nodding more than usual can make you look less than serious.

Nonverbal Cues to Lying

Here’s an interesting article on lying and the nonverbal cues that often (but, not always) reveal that a person is, in fact, lying. The author correctly points out that the first thing one needs to know is how the person behaves normally—what we call establishing a baseline of behavior. Deviations from this baseline are the most revealing. Here are the 11 signs. 
1. Liars change their head position more than truth-tellers
2. Liars' breathing changes
3. Liars stand still
4. Liars repeat words and phrases
5. Liars provide more information than needed
6. Liars touch or cover their mouth
7. Liars cover vulnerable body parts
8. Liars shuffle their feet
9. Liars find it difficult to speak
10. Liars stare without blinking
11. Liars point a lot


Facebook Loneliness

Here's an interesting article reporting on research claiming that Facebook actually increases loneliness.



Here’s a wonderful brief article on excuse making (Psychology Today, August 2014, p. 22--doesn't seem to be online yet), a topic covered in the Interpersonal Communication Book and Interpersonal Messages by Amy Nordrum. Among the conclusions are these: (1)   Excuses work; they can often deflect/stave off/lessen retaliation. (2)    Too frequent excuses--such as self-handicapping excuses--will lead to a loss of faith. (3)  Effective excuses accomplish two goals: (a) they accept responsibility and offer assurances that this will not happen again and (b) they show empathy for the difficulties they caused.


Conversation Infographic

Here's an interesting infographic: 9 Simple Conversation Hacks: How to Turn Any Interaction in Your Favor, sent to me by Sarah Johnson. Thank you, Sarah. It's sure to spark some interesting class discussion on the uses of communication skills or with the section on conversation or persuasion.


Communication and Ethics

Here is an interesting case that would work well in any communication class dealing with ethics. 

In Sunday's New York TimesChuck Klosterman, the Ethicist, was asked if it was ethical for a beer company to bottle the exact same beer but package it in two different type bottles with different labels, one “regular” and one “premium.” The answer from the ethicist was that this was not unethical since the brewer didn’t say these beers were different; it was left it up to the customer to make the inference.  “It only becomes unethical,” says Klosterman, “if the brewer claimed the premium beverage was literally different.” This is nonsense, IMHO. The brewer did say, claim, communicate that the beers were different by the different bottles and the different labels. The label “premium” means that the product is different from one that is not labeled “premium.”  To limit communication to words seems a bit na├»ve and leaves us with a conclusion that is intuitively incorrect and unacceptable. This was clearly an act of deception—the intention of the brewer was to fool the buyer—but this goes unrecognized and unidentified because the way in which communication works is misunderstood.  


Communication Infographic

Here's a wonderful Infographic on communication sent to me by Michael Yunat, coordinator/GetVolP. It should make a good discussion starter in interpersonal or fundamentals of communication courses.