Infographic on Mental Disorders

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/


Power, ethics, and chairs

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.


Public speaking, persuasion, leadership


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?


Nonverbal Communication

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.


The Poor Professor



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.


How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship

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.


Everyday (but Sometimes Difficult) Conversations


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.



Cultural Rules

Take a look at this article. It's a great example to use in class to illustrate the differences in cultural rules within the United States/Canada and the consequences of violating them.



How to Hold Your Own During a Conference

Here is a guest post on communication during conferences. Hope you like it.

How to Hold Your Own During A Conference


In the fast-paced world of business, every meeting is an important meeting.  Mobile applications and web conferencing makes any location a suitable location for a business meeting, and true success comes from being able to transition seamlessly from one environment to the next.  All the practice and preparation won't change the fact that how well you engage your peers is more important than the content of your presentation, or the polish of your pitch. 


Surviving the On-The-Spot Skype Interview


Holding your own in a conference boils down to holding your own in a conversation.  This means being able to act natural, confident, and relaxed while still focusing on the topic of the meeting.  More often than not, speaking comfortably and confidently comes from speaking with others – often. 


Conversing with others sounds easy enough – on the surface – but it doesn't always provide ample preparation for discussing detail-heavy business topics with the appropriate level of poise.  Scripted role-play may be okay for some training situations, but what about those times when an unanticipated question comes up? That's where simulation training comes in.


Practice Makes Perfect

  • Keep Cool – Practicing the art of dialogue and etiquette will result in a sense of confidence and poise which will help you keep a clear head in even the tensest of business meetings.  Great leaders are often marked by their ability to remain unflappable even when under fire, they weren't born that way, they practiced it until it looked easy. 
  • Anticipate Curve-balls – Today's job market is increasingly competitive, getting a job means standing out from the crowd. Most interviewers have not only mastered keeping a straight face and unreadable body language, but also delight in asking insightful questions which force you to shift mental gears quickly.
  • Organize Coherent Thoughts – Being heard and appreciated as part of the business team means being able to comprehend what your cohorts are saying while also preparing a coherent response. Practicing active listening allows you to touch upon the important points others have raised while also providing a resolution of your own. 


To keep up with the break-neck pace of today's high-tech business world, it's important to remain in step with the latest in business innovations.  Learning how to hold your own in a conference is just like learning a foreign language, which is why simulation training is so important for anyone wanting to maintain a competitive edge.


SimSource Inc. is a communication company that provides performance-based training and assessment services. Their mission is to provide customized actor-based training, assessment and consultation for a variety of industries such as health care providers, human resources, and law school. For more information visit www.simsourceinc.com.


Persuasion, Persuasion, Persuasion



The current issue of Harvard Business Review (July/August, 2013) is devoted to “Influence: How to get it, How to use it.” One of the best articles is an interview with persuasion expert, psychologist Robert Cialdini who offers six principles of persuasion (as he has in his other excellent works, Influence: Science and Practice and Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive, with Noah Goldstein and Steve Martin):

1.      Liking. You’ll be more persuasive if people like you.

2.      Reciprocity: If you help others, they will help you.

3.      Social Proof: If you tell people that others are doing what you want them to do, they’ll be more apt to do it as well.

4.      Commitment and consistency: If you get people to make a commitment, they will try to follow through.

5.      Authority: People are persuaded by experts even though they may deny it.

6.      Scarcity: People place a high value on items that are scarce.

Other useful articles emphasize the importance of communicating warmth if you want to influence others and the ways in which experts gain influence.


Gay Pride and the Spiral of Silence

Yesterday, I attended the 44th NYC Gay Pride Parade. Standing on 14th Street and Fifth Avenue and scanning the thousands and thousands of marchers and side-line well-wishers, many waving the rainbow flag, I was reminded of an incident from a long time ago when I had the pleasure of having dinner with, among others, John Paul Hudson (1929-2002). John was a gay activist (at a time when there were very few) and out gay writer (at a time when there were even fewer).
John was one of the main organizers of the first New York City gay pride parade in June 28, 1970, one year after the Stonewall Riots in which GLBT people fought off the police on their usual mission of harassment (June 28, 1969).  And so it was especially nice to see members of the New York City Police Department and Goal (Gay Officers Action League) marching in the 2013 parade—as they have for many years.

But, the incident that stands out in my mind was a story John told about a book he wrote. Writing under the name of John Francis Hunter, he wrote a book called The Gay Insider. It was a guide to gay New York City. As I recall, John had a disagreement with his publisher and tried to prevent the book from being sold. I don’t recall the circumstances (or even if John mentioned them) but I remember that his publisher counter-argued that it should be allowed to sell the book since it already had orders for 600 copies that it promised to fill. When the judge in the case heard the publisher say it had orders for 600, his response was: “600? You mean there are 600 of them?”

The other thing this brings to mind is the spiral of silence theory, a theory postulating that people will voice opinions they think the majority hold and be silent on voicing minority opinions, opinions to which the majority would object. Before voicing opinions, people estimate the likelihood of positive and negative response. Opinions that are likely to get a positive response are voiced and opinions that are likely to get a negative response go unspoken.

In the 60s and 70s the demand for gay rights, for equality, for an end to harassment, for an end to job discrimination, and a lot more, was definitely a minority opinion and so the voice remained relatively silent, save for a few brave souls like John. Majority opinion was that being gay was a psychological disorder, a sin, and much worse. And this majority opinion grew, at least for a time. Gradually, however, more and more people (though still in the minority) spoke out. And, they spoke out loudly enough and continued to speak out even to the point of being heard and responded to by the Supreme Court.

And today, the day after some of the largest and most well attended gay pride parades throughout the country, I’m pleasantly reminded that speaking out for justice and truth—even when in the minority—eventually pays off.




Textbook Changes

You may have noticed (or will soon notice) a number of changes in your textbooks and I thought I’d note some of these here.

1.      Quotations that often introduce our chapters or that appear in margins will be a thing of the past unless they’re very old; contemporary quotations will be gone. The reason: permission problems. The same is true of quotations from research studies that occur within the basal text.

2.      Research instruments that have been so common in our basic texts for illustrating the concepts and also for introducing the nature of research (and something that I like to take credit for introducing into our basic texts, tho’ I may be wrong here) will be gone. Again, the reason is permission problems, especially the difficulty/impossibility of getting digital rights. NCA journals, for example, will be off limits. You’re likely to see “adapted from” as a way around these restriction but that approach is not likely to prove effective in the long run.

3.      References to other chapters in the text are likely to disappear. The reason here is that custom books—the books that instructors create out of existing textbooks and their own materials—are becoming so popular that cross references will only make sense if the entire textbook is used; they’ll prove incomprehensible when they refer to deleted chapters.

4.      Third party URLs are being deleted because of their unreliability. Although this system requires extra clicks for those using a digital edition, the lack of permanence seems to have been the deciding factor in eliminating all URLs except those of the publisher. When citing a website article as a source, the organization, college, or agency rather than the URL is given.

5.      A more rigid organizational structure with numbered Learning Objectives prefacing each chapter, repeated in the chapter’s main headings, and again in the summary will become standard. I think one reason for this is the assumption being made that it’s good pedagogy. Another reason I’m sure has to do with digitizing and coordinating the varied materials that now come with the textbook.

6.      Cartoons will probably be cut back or eliminated entirely, largely because of cost (they’re much more expensive than photos) and digital permission problems.  Cartoons are also different in that some people really like them and others don’t.

7.      Media components will be increased.  Online videos, exercises, and vocabulary quizzes, for example, will become part of the textbook package.

The Nonverbal Communication Book TOC

Here is the Table of Contents for The Nonverbal Communication Book.

The Nonverbal Communication Book


Contents in Brief Kendall Hunt


Welcome to The Nonverbal Communication Book


Part One. Foundations of Nonverbal Communication

1.      Introducing Nonverbal Communication


Part Two. The Codes of Nonverbal Communication

2.      Body Messages

3.      Facial Messages

4.      Eye Messages

5.      Artifactual Messages

6.      Space Messages

7.      Touch Messages

8.      Paralanguage and Silence Messages

9.      Time Messages


Part Three. Putting It All Together

10.  Attraction, Deception, Immediacy, and Power



A.    Researching Nonverbal Communication

B.     Creating a Video on Nonverbal Communication


Glossary of 200 Nonverbal Communication Concepts





The Nonverbal Communication Book Preface

Recently, I published The Nonverbal Communication Book with Kendall Hunt.  Here is the preface; the TOC will follow in another post.



The Nonverbal Communication Book
Kendall Hunt 


The Nonverbal Communication Book is one of many textbooks currently available for the popular Nonverbal Communication course. This book, however, is different in several important respects. Here I explain the focus of the text, its plan and organization, and the ways it may be used.


TGIF, Negativity, and Optimism


The other day I got a call from a person who wanted to sell me marketing services. In our “hello, how are you” phase, he responded with “very good, after all it’s Friday.” And so I thought about what he intended to communicate with this TGIF reference. It could have been lots of things: a cliché response that one says on Friday rather mindlessly, an expression of relief that the work week is over, a negative evaluation of life at work, or perhaps a comment to assure me that he had a life beyond work. And on Facebook and other social media sites a great number of people note their anticipation of Friday and the weekend, probably as genuine expressions of the joy of not working but perhaps also to communicate their (implied) exciting weekend.

 For many listeners/readers, however, the meaning communicated is not at all positive. For example, I didn’t feel that this marketing person was really interested in his job or in me; rather, that he was focused on Friday, the end of work, and the weekend—whether he really was or not. Do I really want to do business with someone who is just marking time? The customer, client, student, and patient don’t want to deal with people who are focused on after-work activities; they want to deal with people who enjoy their job because these are the people who make dealing with them a positive experience.

Perhaps the most important message that these comments communicate is to the prospective employer who reads the potential employee’s social media posts and concludes that this person really doesn’t want to work. It’s the equivalent of an interviewee bad-mouthing a previous employer—one of the major mistakes novice interviewees make. It conveys a negativity that is just not productive and not what employers are looking for. In the current issue of Fortune (June 10, 2013) there’s a great article on Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group—a huge real estate firm—panelist on Shark Tank and popular guest on talk shows. Among her advice to managers and others in positions of workplace influence is to protect your company’s optimism. “The minute I spotted a chronic complainer, I’d fire them,” says Corcoran. “I didn’t care how much money they brought in because negativity kills optimism and belief in the future.”

None of this is to say that it’s wrong or unethical to TGIF—hey, if that’s how you feel, that’s how you feel. The problem comes in when you post it and the prospective employer reads it, for example; you’re simply loading the dice against yourself.



Citing a Blog Post



A number of people—most recently a student from Malaysia—have asked how to cite a blog post.  Generally, I think this should do it:
For APA style:

Last name of author, first initial. (Date of publication—year, month, day). Title of blog post. [Web log post]. Retrieved from Blog URL.  

So, if you were citing a recent post from my own blog, it would look like this:

DeVito, J. (2013 April 30). Interviewing exercise. [Web log post].  Retrieved from htpp://tcbdevito.blogspot.com.

Another style manual does it a little differently:

DeVito, J. (2013, April 30). Interviewing exercise. Retrieved from http://tcbdevito.blogspot.com.

For MLA Style:

Author’s last name, first name initial. Title of post. Title of blog. Date post was written. Date post was accessed.

DeVito, J. “Interviewing Exercise.” The Communication Blog. 30 April 2013. 21 May 2013.

Hope this helps.


Interviewing Exercise

When Jen Guzman—chief executive of Stella & Chewy’s pet food company—was asked (NYTimes, April 28, 2013, BU 2) what three questions she would ask in interviewing someone for a job, she said: (1) “Why do you want this job?” (2) “Why do you think you would be good at this job?” and (3) "What do you think are the five most important qualities or things that you need to be good at this job?”

I thought this would make an interesting exercise in an interviewing class as students prepare their responses to potential employment interview questions.

Public Speaking Example

Here’s a great public speaking example to illustrate how to make large numbers real to an audience, courtesy of the HuffingtonPost.com:

Walmart’s CEO earns an annual salary of $20.7 million. To make the same amount of money, it would take an average Walmart worker (earning $12.67 per hour, working 40 hour weeks, 52 weeks a year, without paying any taxes) 785 years.

A great brief exercise would be to ask students to illustrate this discrepency in other ways.


Living Without the Internet

One way to introduce computer-mediated communication and its role in our everyday lives would be to identify important lifestyle habits that we’d be willing to give up as long as we could keep our Internet connection. It would be interesting to poll a class on this and compare the results for different age groups, for men and women, and even for academic major. Here, for example, are some interesting statistics, reported in the Harvard Business Review (October, 2012, pp. 32-33), on the percentage of people in various countries who would be willing to give up an important lifestyle habit to keep the Internet:

·         89% of those in Indonesia and 65% of those in the United Kingdom would give up alcohol instead of the Internet.
·         91% of those in the United Kingdom and 67% of those in India would give up fast food rather than the Internet.
·         56% of those in Japan would give up sex rather than the Internet but only 12% would in Brazil.
·         56% of those in China would give up driving a car (but only 10% in South Africa) instead of giving up the Internet.
·         86% of those in Japan and 59% of those in Brazil would give up chocolate rather than the Internet.
·         85% of those in China and 55% of those in Germany would give up coffee rather than the Internet.
·         78% of those in Indonesia but only 5% of those in France would give up showing rather that the Internet.
·         60% of those in Japan and 42% of those in France would give up exercise rather than the Internet.


Metaphors of Culture

Here is a brief table that I created for use in  the current edition of Interpersonal Messages to stimulate different ways of thinking about culture and also about metaphors. I thought it might be useful more generally in a variety of different courses/classrooms.  These insights are taken from a variety of sources including Edward Hall's Beyond Culture; Geert Hofstede, Gert Jan Hofstede, and Michael Minkov's Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind; and the websites of Culture at Work and Culturally Teaching: Education across Cultures.
Seven Metaphors of Culture

Metaphor’s Claim/assumption
Salad/Jelly beans
Like items in a salad or bag of jelly beans, cultures are individual; yet, they work together with other cultures to produce an even better combination.
Like the iceberg, only a small part of culture is visible; most of culture and its influences are hidden from easy inspection.
Like the tree, you only see the trunk, branches, and leaves but the root system, which gives the tree its structure and function, is hidden from view.
Melting pot
Cultures blend into one amalgam and lose their individuality. But, the blend is better than any one of the ingredients.
Culture dictates what we do and don’t do much as does a software program. Out of awareness, people are programmed, to some extent, to think and behave by their culture.
Culture, like an organism, uses the environment (other cultures) to grow but maintains boundaries so its uniqueness is not destroyed.
Like a beautiful mosaic is made up of pieces of different shapes, sizes, and colors, so is culture; the whole, the combination, is more beautiful than any individual piece.



Conversational Empathy


Here is an exercise for stimulating class discussion of empathy that I wrote for the conversation chapter in the next edition of Human Communication. But, I thought it might be of interest more generally.

Conversational Empathy

is a quality of interpersonal communication that involves feeling what another person feels from that person’s point of view without losing your own identity. Empathy enables you to understand emotionally what another person is experiencing. To sympathize, in contrast, is to feel for the person—to feel sorry or happy for the person, for example.
Although empathy is one of the most important qualities of interpersonal communication, expressing it is not always easy. This exercise is designed to help you identify some of the responses that are not empathic and the reasons they fail to express this essential interpersonal connection.

Here are ten possible responses to the “simple” statement, “I guess I’m feeling a little depressed.” For this exercise:

1.      Identify why each of the ten responses is (probably) inappropriate and not empathic. You may also want to consider the motivating factors that contribute to the varied responses. That is, why does someone respond as these Oranges did?

2.      Write original (but unempathic) responses for Orange 11 and Orange 12.

3.      Write what you’d consider an appropriate and empathic response. Consider too why your response is empathic. What does your response communicate that the varied responses from Orange did not communicate?  

Assume that Apple and Orange are close friends—not best friends but more than acquaintances. You may assume that Apple and Orange are two women, two men, or a woman and a man—select the genders as you wish.

APPLE: I guess I’m just feeling a little depressed.

ORANGE  1: I’ve been reading about depression and it’s all in your head. This research—it was done at NYU—showed that the ….

ORANGE  2: You depressed? Have you talked to Pat? Now that’s depression.

ORANGE  3: You’re not depressed; you’re just a bit sad. After all, that breakup could not have been easy.

ORANGE  4: Well, then, you need to get out more; let’s go and have some fun.

ORANGE  5: What else is happening? Have you talked to Chris?

ORANGE  6: Me too. I don’t know what it is but I woke up this morning and felt so depressed. I thought it was from a dream but I’m still feeling that way. Do you think I should see a counselor?

ORANGE  7: Are you? That’s really serious; it’s often a sign of suicide. Remember Pat? Got depressed after the breakup and jumped off the roof.

ORANGE  8: Reminds me of that movie—what’s the name? You know, the one with Meryl Streep?

ORANGE  9: Yeah, lots of people tell me the same thing.

ORANGE  10: Not you. I can’t believe that. I’d believe it about anybody but you.

ORANGE 11: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­________________________________________________________.

ORANGE 12: ________________________________________________________.

EMPATHIC/APPROPRIATE RESPONSE: ________________________________


[The types of responses illustrated here were designed to represent five common but (probably) inappropriate, non-empathic responses. These are not the only kinds of non-empathic responses but they seem among the more important.

1.        Depersonalizing involves moving the conversation away from the person and the person’s feelings as in the intellectualizing of Orange 1 or the shifting of the topic away from the person speaking to a fictional example as did Orange 8.

2.        Minimizing involves lessening the importance of what the person is thinking and feeling as in the responses of Orange 2, 3, and 9 or simply denying it as in the response of Orange 10.

3.        Problem-solving involves offering solutions to the person’s feelings as in the response of Orange 4.

4.        Re-focusing involves shifting the topic focus from the person speaking to another topic as in the response of Orange 5 or to the self as in Orange 6.

5.        Catastrophizing involves making the problem seem even worse than it probably is as in the response of Orange 7.]




Benefits of Studying Nonverbal Communication

The following is an edited version of a discussion that will appear in The Nonverbal Communication Book to be published soon (Kendall Hunt).
But, I thought it might be of interest more generally--to anyone teaching or taking or contemplating taking a course in nonverbal communication. The exercise at the end should prove useful for stimulating class discussion.
The Benefits of Studying Nonverbal Communication
The ability to use nonverbal communication effectively can yield a variety of both general and specific benefits in your social and your workplace lives. First, let’s identify some general benefits and then some more specific benefits.

Some General Benefits

The general benefits span the entire range of your communication life whether online or face-to-face, whether personal or workplace.

First, it will improve your accuracy in understanding others, those who are from your own or similar culture as well as those who are from cultures very different from your own. Increased accuracy in understanding others will yield obvious benefits in social and workplace situations—from understanding a coy smile from a date to the meaning of a supervisor’s gestures.

Second, an increased knowledge of nonverbal communication will improve your own ability to communicate information and to persuade others. In many instances, it will help you reinforce your verbal messages. The greater your nonverbal skills, the more successful you’re likely to be at informing as well as influencing others.

Third, it will increase your own perceived attractiveness; the greater your ability to send and receive nonverbal signals, the higher your popularity and psychosocial well-being are likely to be (Burgoon, Guerrero, & Floyd, Nonverbal Communication, Allyn & Bacon, 2010).  

Fourth, it will enable you to make a more effective self-presentation. Consider, for example, that when you meet someone for the first time—at least in face-to-face meetings—you form impressions of the person largely on the basis of his or her nonverbal messages. Being able to more effectively understand and manage your nonverbal messages will enable you to present yourself in the way you want to be perceived. Each of these benefits and skills can be used to help or support another, or, unfortunately, they can be used for less noble purposes. For example, a person adept at nonverbal communication will be more effective in persuading others to buy cars or sign a mortgage they can’t afford or present themselves as competent when they aren’t or increase their attractiveness before hitting you up for a loan.

Some Specific Benefits

In addition these general benefits, here are some specific benefits of studying and mastering the art of nonverbal communication. Of course, learning about an important area of human behavior—what it is, how it works, what influences it, and a variety of other dimensions—is a benefit in itself. Increased knowledge is a benefit, pure and simple. But, there are additional, more immediately pragmatic, specific benefits that you can gain as a result for reading the text and completing the exercises. Here are just 25:

  1. Use nonverbal messages to interact with your verbal messages thus creating meaningful packages of messages.
  2. Use nonverbal messages to manage the impressions you give to others.
  3. Use nonverbal messages to help form and maintain productive and meaningful interpersonal and work relationships.
  4. Use nonverbal messages to help regulate conversations and to make them more effective and satisfying.
  5. Use nonverbal messages to persuade—to influence the attitudes or behaviors of others.
  6. Use nonverbal messages to help express and communicate your emotions.
  7. Use nonverbal messages with sensitivity to cultural and gender differences and expectations.
  8. Use hand and body gestures to communicate varied meanings.
  9. Use body posture to reinforce your intended messages.
  10. Manage your facial expressions to communicate the meanings you want to share.
  11. Vary your facial styles to communicate a wide variety of messages.
  12. Communicate different meanings with eye movements and with eye avoidance.
  13. Use color, clothing, and other artifacts to communicate the meanings you wish.
  14. Use spatial messages to reinforce your verbal messages and in ways appropriate to the purpose of the interaction.
  15. Use territorial markers and respond to the markers of others appropriately.
  16. Use touch appropriate to the relationship stage and avoid touch that may be considered overly intimate or intrusive.
  17. Use paralanguage to signal conversational turns, your desire to speak or to continue listening, for example.
  18. Use silence to communicate a wide variety of meanings.
  19. Respond to the rules of interpersonal time that are maintained in the particular context, for example, the workplace or the classroom.
  20. Manage your time effectively and efficiently; avoid wasting time.
  21. Increase your own attractiveness in a variety of ways.
  22. Increase your ability to detect lying (but with important limitations).
  23. Increase your immediacy or closeness to others when you wish.
  24. Increase your perceived power with nonverbal cues.
  25. Use nonverbal cues in a civil and polite manner to further your purposes.
 Explaining the Values of Nonverbal Communication Study

Continue personalizing the areas of nonverbal communication by examining the specific benefits you can derive from the study and mastery of nonverbal communication. In Column 1 are listed the areas of nonverbal communication. For 1, 2, 3, or all of the areas, record in Column 2 any potential values or benefits you might derive in your personal or business life from greater effectiveness in using each of the channels or codes. In Column 3 indicate how you specifically might go about achieving this benefit or value.

Nonverbal Channel

Personal/Business Value


Achieving the Value


Body messages


Make a good first impression.

Avoid fidgeting and playing with my hair.

Facial messages




Eye messages




Artifactual messages




Spatial messages




Touch messages




Paralanguage and Silence messages



Time messages