Here is a wonderful infographic on mental disorders in children, sent to me by Katherine Rose--an area that is clearly relevant to communication but which we seldom address. http://www.topmastersineducation.com/forgotten-children/
Here’s an interesting study I found in the current issue of the Harvard Business Review (November 2013). It should prove useful in nonverbal communication but really in any course in which ethics, power, or environment are considered. In brief, the study explored the relationship between the size of one’s chair (which allows for body expansion or encourages contraction) and the tendency to engage in unethical behavior. For example, random selected participants were placed in large or small chairs. All the participants were purposely overpaid but 78% of those in expansive postures kept the extra overpayment while only 38% of those in contractive postures did. Well, there is much more to the study which you can read at http://www.andyjyap.com/#!reserach/cm8a--the website of the lead author, Andy Yap. The HBR discussion, however, is also interesting because it’s a part of their feature, “Defend Your Research” and so there’s a brief 2-page interview with Yap in which he explains some of the implications and limitations of the study.
The current issue of Inc. (October 2013) has a wealth of information on public speaking, persuasion, and leadership that I think students will relate to easily. Among the articles are How to make people believe, How I conquered public speaking anxiety, The pose that’s worth 1,000 words (on rhetorical gestures), Rallying the troops (on motivation), Secrets of a great TED talk, Give the audience more of what it wants: less (on PechaKucha), Both simple and true (on storytelling), What kind of leader are you?
Kendall-Hunt has put up a website for my The Nonverbal Communication Book. (www.KendallHunt.com/devito). The website has links to the Preface, the TOC, and a sample chapter--(click "Samples"). I chose the chapter on temporal communication--Time Messages. This sample chapter is open access and so students as well as instructors can use it. It's a really very different nonverbal communication textbook and that's why I wanted the chapter made available online. If anyone does use it in class or just looks at the chapter--as student or instructor, I'd sure appreciate hearing any reactions, negative as well as positive.
Here is a portrait of the poor professor—and by implication, the good professor--as seen by students, at least as noted on some 100+ professors as rated by students on RateMyProfessor. My method was simple: I examined the comments on some 100+ professors at random. I simply plugged in a school—some colleges and some universities, some public institutions and some private or religious--and selected names, some male and some female—at random. Nothing terribly scientific but reasonably fair, it seems. I then grouped the comments into general categories, though, as you’ll see, there is considerable over-lapping.
The portrait of the professor who is not well liked that emerges is amazingly clear. Students regularly note similar traits and behaviors that they consider “poor teaching.” Here are ten characteristics that seem to be identified over and over again. These also suggest—to my mind at least--that students’ expectations for professors are realistic, reasonable, and achievable.
These ten items seem to identify—at least in part—the professor who students do not like and to whom they give poor ratings. These are not necessarily the same items that we’d discover if this were a list of “ineffective” professors. For example, one of the things that students resent is the professor who gives directions that are vague and ambiguous; students dislike the professor who doesn’t make directions explicit. But, it can be argued that in some situations ambiguous directions might be preferred because they encourage creativity more than would explicit instruction. So, being liked and being effective are not the same. Yet, they don’t seem totally different either.
I was recently invited to review a book, How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship by Frank Love, a popular/trade book, rather than a textbook.
I’m happy to do so because it echoes much of my own feelings about what we call relationship dissolution and that is that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Lots of relationships end because they should end, because they’re no longer productive or rewarding. Further, there are things you can do to dissolve a relationship effectively/gracefully.
This is a short book and can easily be read in one sitting but it covers a wide range of topics such as understanding how you would prefer to be told “it’s over,” negotiating your relationship, unrealistic expectations, the problems with manipulation, expressing your desire to exit the relationship, dealing with an unreasonable partner, dealing with children, and dealing with yourself.
Conversation is something we engage in everyday, often without thinking about the process itself. Yet, there are conversations that may create difficulty, apprehension, and an uncertainty about how to proceed. Here are a few such conversational situations: small talk, making introductions, giving and receiving compliments, giving and receiving advice, making excuses, and offering apologies. What follows is a brief discussion of each of these conversational situations, some suggestions for making them go more smoothly and effectively, and brief exercises to practice the skills. As such it can easily be used as a unit in a course in Interpersonal Communication [or Introduction to Communication] and in fact much of this comes from my Interpersonal Messages, Interpersonal Communication Book, and 50 Communication Strategies books.