Communication in the Workplace

The recent Time magazine (3/20/06, p. 80) article, “Why your boss may start sweating the small stuff,” by Julie Rawe is interesting not only for pointing out new directions in business but for reiterating guidelines for interpersonal communication that have appeared in textbooks over the last 10 or 20 years. For example and to use the examples used in the article, when you check your messages while talking with a colleague, it “devalues the speaker’s time and thus the speaker.” We would say it’s a good example of disconfirmation. Ditto for greeting one person with a handshake and others with a much friendlier gesture; it makes the handshake seem disapproving and disconfirms the other person.

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