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Nonverbal communication in the workplace



Nonverbal communication is an important but under-studied element of organizational life. This chapter summarizes key insights into the functions, applications, and ubiquity of nonverbal communication in the workplace setting. The chapter is intended to provide an accessible and research-based resource by which academics and practitioners alike can better understand the unique challenges and opportunities of nonverbal communication. The authors present an overview of nonverbal behavior, speak about the workplace as a communication context, and explore the details of relevant issues including: status and power, physical appearance, interviews and performance assessments, sexual harassment, attire and uniforms, leadership communications, advertising and sales, emotions and deception, and computer mediated communication. Future directions in organizational nonverbal behavior research are also discussed.
Ravi S. Kudesia and Hillary Anger Elfenbein
 Nonverbal communication in the
Abstract: Nonverbal communication is an important but under-studied element
of organizational life. This chapter summarizes key insights into the functions,
applications, and ubiquity of nonverbal communication in the workplace setting.
The chapter is intended to provide an accessible and research-based resource by
which academics and practitioners alike can better understand the unique challen-
ges and opportunities of nonverbal communication. The authors present an over-
view of nonverbal behavior, speak about the workplace as a communication con-
text, and explore the details of relevant issues including: status and power,
physical appearance, interviews and performance assessments, sexual harass-
ment, attire and uniforms, leadership communications, advertising and sales, emo-
tions and deception, and computer mediated communication. Future directions in
organizational nonverbal behavior research are also discussed.
Keywords: nonverbal communication, workplace, organizations, status characteris-
tics, appearance, interviews, facial behavior, vocal behavior, gestures, impression
Communication skills are among the most important skills for businesspeople. In
workshops aimed at honing these important skills, it is not at all uncommon to
hear, further, about the importance of nonverbal communication. Often speakers
confidently declare that research shows a full 93% of all communication is nonver-
bal 55% comes from body language and 38% from tone of voice. Although such
an assertion seems suspect upon reflection, its widespread prevalence in industry
networking guides and repetition by presentation gurus lends it an air of credibil-
ity. However, the original research behind this much-abused statistic does not sup-
port these broad conclusions (Mehrabian and Ferris 1967). To counteract the misap-
plications of his famous equation, Dr. Albert Mehrabian, a pioneer in nonverbal
communications, even adds a bolded disclaimer on his website explaining that
these figures apply only to the very specific situation of communicating ones own
feelings and attitudes (Mehrabian 2011).
Yet, like all good urban legends, the misapplication of this statistic persists.
And it provides a well-suited context to introduce the study of nonverbal communi-
cation in the workplace. We begin this section with the Mehrabian Myth anecdote
because it illustrates the extensive gap between research and practice. The subject
 Ravi S. Kudesia and Hillary Anger Elfenbein
of nonverbal communication is widely acknowledged as being extremely impor-
tant, but is vastly under-researched and thus often greatly misunderstood in busi-
ness practice (Riggio 2005). And this should not come entirely as a surprise.
Although verbal behaviors such as writing are governed by well-defined rules that
are practiced for years, nonverbal behaviors are often dependent upon the relation-
ship history of the people involved and can be performed with a degree of automa-
ticity (Ekman 1965, 1985). For these and other reasons, it holds a special promise
and merits unique attention.
The aim of this chapter is to survey key insights into the functions, applica-
tions, and issues of nonverbal communication in the workplace setting. In doing
so, we hope to provide an accessible and factual resource by which researchers
and practitioners alike can better understand the unique challenges and opportu-
nities in workplace life.
Survey of workplace nonverbal communication
. Definition, components, and purpose
To begin with, it makes sense to qualify the scope of this domain. After all, there
exists a wide array of potential behaviors that qualify as nonverbal. A straightfor-
ward definition might read: Any form of communication that does not specifically
use words is considered nonverbal. This definition includes a speakers vocal tones
and inflections, but excludes the actual words used in the exchange (DePaulo and
Friedman 1998). To make this expansive subject more tangible and accessible, we
list on the next page seven primary components of nonverbal communication from
the relevant literature (Richmond, McCroskey, and Hickson 2011), paired with a
relevant and intuitive example from workplace life in Table 1.1.
Thus we can see the ubiquitous ramifications of nonverbal communication in
the workplace. From preparing for the job interview to executing the positions
responsibilities and eventually exiting the firm, businesspeople are constantly
exchanging and interpreting nonverbal behavior. This much is certain. However,
simply knowing the key components of nonverbal communication does not neces-
sarily provide insight into the underlying purposes behind these behaviors. Why
do some colleagues stand far apart from each other? What does it mean when a
supervisor gives a blank stare? Does body posture play a role in perceiving who
has higher status? In short, we must ask ourselves two questions: Why do we
engage in nonverbal behaviors? And secondly, what do they tell us about the work-
place life?
 Nonverbal communication in the workplace 
Appearance The choice of heels worn by a pharmaceutical sales representa-
tive to a meeting with a physician.
Movement The sweeping gesticulations of a visionary CEO presenting a key-
note address.
Facial Behavior The slight furrowing of an advertising copywriters brow upon
receiving critical feedback.
Vocal Behavior The tone of an interviewers voice while telling a candidate,
Well get back to you.
Space The distance between two standing coworkers when they collabo-
rate on a project.
Touch The firmness with which a supplier shakes a buyers hand after
the two sign a contract.
Time The speed with which an account executive responds to a clients
Table .: The Key Components of Nonverbal Communication
There are four primary functions of nonverbal communication: identification,
relationship, emotion, and delivery (Patterson 1983). The key components and
workplace issues inherent in each of these functions are listed in Table 1.2.
Identification: Signaling affiliation with or distance from a particular group.
Relationship: Forming, modifying or broadcasting dominance or affection.
Emotion: Expressing and interpreting feelings, attitudes and intentions.
Delivery: Integrating verbal and nonverbal messages in listening and speak-
. Workplace as a context
As we previously mentioned, nonverbal behavior is context dependent (Ekman
1965; see also Ambady and Weisbuch 2010). The same okay gesture in the United
States means money in Japan and zero in France; it is a vulgar sign in Germany
and a meditation sign in India (Verderber, Verderber, and Sellnow 2007). Our non-
verbal actions shift not only with cultural context, but also social context. People
are more likely to smile while watching a video if they watch it with a friend or
are merely told a friend is watching the video (Fridlund 1991). The specifics of
social context are equally important. For example, people often show less emotion
around strangers than they do around familiars (Buck et al. 1992). We additionally
tend to utilize specific emotional displays, such as smiling, when we are seeking
to curry favors from others (Godfrey, Jones, and Lord 1986). So the people in a
context and our ambitions within the context are of great significance. Is it any
 Ravi S. Kudesia and Hillary Anger Elfenbein
Function Components Examples of Workplace Issues
Identification Appearance Employee-Culture Fit
Space Work-Life Balance
Attire and Uniform
Workplace Discrimination
Relationship Facial Behavior Status and Power Displays
Touch Leadership Perceptions
Space Sexual Harassment
Organizational Culture
Emotion Facial Behavior Employee Motivation
Movement Workplace Productivity
Vocal Behavior Team Rapport
Delivery Facial Behavior Interviewing Techniques
Movement Performance Assessments
Vocal Behavior Communication Effectiveness
Time Salesperson Persuasiveness
(Adapted from Remland )
Table .: Nonverbal Functions, Components and Examples of Workplace Issues that are Relevant
to these Functions
surprise then that the workplace should be a context that provides a wide variety
of implications for nonverbal communication?
But the workplace is not a single entity that functions uniformly across firms
and industries. Not only do different workplaces exhibit a wide array of diversity
in terms of structure, power distribution, culture, etc., but there exists a great deal
of diversity within any organization as well. For example, even within a university,
academic departments differ tremendously. Daily life involves a wide variety of
interactions among people of different organizational positions: supervisors
addressing subordinates, employees communicating with clients, or peers speak-
ing with peers. Within the complex matrix of organizational positions and interac-
tion contexts, we find many interesting situations that draw significantly from
questions of nonverbal communication.
Indeed, workplaces manifest their own unique standards about what nonver-
bal displays are appropriate (Ekman, Sorensen, and Friesen 1969). Workplaces
often tend to suppress negative displays that create social distance and encourage
integrative displays that support organizational goals such as customer service
(Wharton and Erickson 1993). Such display rules can be described explicitly and
are even enumerated in many corporate manuals (Van Maanen and Kunda 1989).
For these reasons, the workplace provides a rich environment to document the
vast challenges and opportunities of nonverbal behavior. Now let us look in depth
at some of the fields most salient points of analysis.
 Nonverbal communication in the workplace 
In-depth discussion of workplace nonverbal
Instead of arranging our discussion around the particular nonverbal functions or
components, we chose to instead formulate functional topics that align with broad
areas of research interest. We then explore the full breadth of nonverbal concerns
related to each topic. This makes for easier readability and more insightful com-
mentary as real-life issues seldom fit neatly into a single function or component.
For example, sexual harassment is a relationship issue, but has components of
delivery and identification. Under which should it be categorized? The extant
research has focused on several such issues, which we address here: status and
power displays, physical appearance effects, job applicant behaviors, interview
structures, performance evaluations, gender differences, sexual harassment, attire
and uniforms, effective communication, advertising and sales, and computer medi-
ated communication.
. How to know whos in charge: Nonverbal displays of status
and power
Among some of the most important nonverbal relationship cues are perceptions of
leadership, status, and power (see Hall, Coats, and Smith LeBeau 2005; Chapter 19,
Schmid Mast and Cousin, this volume). In fact, some nonverbal displays such as
those of pride may function primarily to transmit messages of deserved high sta-
tus a message that others interpret automatically and unambiguously (Shariff
and Tracy 2009). Some leaders are not aware of the overt nature of these status
signals. They thus often unknowingly degrade the time, territory, or physical pres-
ence of subordinates through nonverbal displays of their high status, which erodes
the quality of unequal relationships (Remland 1981). However, leaders can con-
sciously manage their status displays through the use of posture, body orientation,
and vocal dynamics notably, leaders whose nonverbal cues suggest less status
difference between them and their subordinates are considered more considerate
(Remland 1984). This observation holds whether leaders decrease their own status
displays or allow subordinates to increase their status displays. As such, there
is a significant need for increased awareness of how status is communicated in
organizational settings.
Consider the status cues evident as one walks into an office building. In many
cases, the layout of offices makes superiors harder to access and more insulated
than subordinates (Remland 1981) particularly within Western cultural settings.
Even within a conference room, for example, leaders tend to exercise dominant
status by voluntarily sitting at the head of tables (Heckel 1973). Interestingly, those
who assume such leadership seating positions also tend to maintain a greater
 Ravi S. Kudesia and Hillary Anger Elfenbein
internal locus of control (Hiers and Heckel 1977). Yet, perhaps the richest source
of nonverbal status information comes less from the environment and more from
the individual. For example, when interacting with students, teachers who have
a functional role of higher statustend to occupy more direct space with their
bodies and use gestures such as touching others possessions and pointing to
intrude disproportionately upon the space of others (Leffler, Gillespie, and Conaty
1982). Although this is confounded with the sharing of information inherent to the
teacher role, they also speak more frequently, even if that means interrupting oth-
ers (Leffler, Gillespie, and Conaty 1982). In other studies, those in higher power
positions also tend to speak with louder volume (Ridgeway, Berger, and Smith
1985). High-status individuals maintain lowered brows (Keating, Mazur, and Segall
1977) and have a higher visual dominance ratio: looking proportionately more
while speaking compared to looking while listening (Dovidio et al. 1988).
Anecdotal evidence suggests it is not at all unusual for superiors to lean back
in their chairs, look around the room while being spoken to, and arrive late to
meetings (Remland 1981). Needless to say, such behavior would be deemed com-
pletely inappropriate for subordinates. High status, thus, is actually less associated
with formality and more associated with an easygoing, relaxed, and inattentive
demeanor (Remland 1981).
However, nonverbal signals may not merely reflect power. They might also help
create power. Simply holding expansive body postures for two minutes shifts an
individuals neuroendocrine profiles to one conducive to leadership: increased tes-
tosterone and decreased level of cortisol, the stress hormone (Carney, Cuddy, and
Yap 2010). Conversely, the same research shows that low-power postures decrease
testosterone and increase cortisol. As a result, those who hold high-power poses
experience an increased tolerance for risk and feel significantly more powerful
and in charge. Research shows that body posture has a greater effect in determin-
ing an individuals thought and behavior patterns than hierarchical role: those
with an expansive posture think of more power-related words and are more prone
to act in situations (Huang et. al 2011; see also Hall, Coats, and Smith LeBeau 2005
for a general review, and Chapter 19, Schmidt Mast and Cousin, this volume).
. How looks can literally pay off: Workplace effects of
physical appearance
Although the promise of posture shifts in increasing the personal power of individ-
uals is compelling, many significant nonverbal cues are less malleable. For exam-
ple, elements of physical appearance such as facial structure, attractiveness, and
height are largely determined by genetic components and early exposure to hor-
mones such as testosterone, and cannot be easily changed. Yet they have notable
impact on workplace perceptions. Attractive individuals typically receive greater
 Nonverbal communication in the workplace 
compensation than the unattractive (French 2002) and are viewed as more intellec-
tually competent (Jackson, Hunter, and Hodge 1995), dominant, mentally healthy,
intelligent, and socially skilled than unattractive people (Feingold 1992). Addition-
ally, they are less lonely, less socially anxious, more popular, and more socially
skilled (Feingold 1992). Those with attractive faces and likeable voices are also
considered better nonverbal communicators (Larrance and Zuckerman 1981). How-
ever, it seems that as the quality of work increases, the bias towards physical
attractiveness diminishes: the unattractive are not discriminated against if their
work is impressive, whereas unattractive people performing average or sub-par
work are judged lower than their more attractive counterparts (Sigall and Aronson
Managers find highly attractive candidates better suited for hire and promotion
than marginally attractive candidates (Marlowe, Schneider, and Nelson 1996). One
study even found that physical appearance had a larger effect on interviewer rat-
ings than impression management, verbal behavior, and other nonverbal behaviors
(Barrick, Shaffer, and Degrassi 2009). This could be because of the primacy effect
appearance may be given disproportionate weight in applicant assessments
because it is among the first cues that an interviewer receives. Attractiveness, a
significant component of appearance, has a complicated relationship with hiring
intentions, especially for women. Use of eye contact, smiling, and head movements
were more significant than attractiveness in assessing whether female applicants
deserved a job (Young, Beier, and Beier 1979) suggesting that interviewers cared
not only about an individuals appearance, but also about interpersonal cues indi-
cating the quality of their relationship. In organizations with masculine cultures
and job responsibilities, attractive women are actually seen as less qualified and
less likely to be hired than unattractive women (Cash et al. 1977). Although there
are certainly biases towards hiring and promoting attractive and male candidates,
these biases decrease as the experience level of hiring managers increases (Mar-
lowe, Schneider, and Nelson 1996).
An interesting and relatively understudied bias is that towards charisma, espe-
cially in CEOs (Khurana 2004). For example, in discussing the reasons why a well-
qualified internal candidate was bypassed in favor of an external candidate, a
firms director explained: A top executive must have stature and poise. Someone
needs to move with focus, crisply and gracefully. They need to make the first move
to shake hands…” (Khurana 2004). Needless to say, vague perceptions of cha-
risma which are largely nonverbal do not necessarily translate into compe-
tence. It is also worth pointing out that the realm of nonverbal behavior is complex
enough to have conflicting findings in the literature on questions as basic as
whether high versus low status individuals are the first to shake hands (c.f. Hall
Other nonverbal elements of appearance also have significant impact on work-
place-related outcomes. For example, the obese typically receive less compensation
 Ravi S. Kudesia and Hillary Anger Elfenbein
than their thinner counterparts (Cawley 2004) and daughters who are overweight
tend to receive less money from their parents during college than do sons (Crandall
1995). Height is positively related to social esteem, leader emergence, performance,
and success it too was correlated to income after controlling for sex, age, and
weight (Judge and Cable 2004). Height is also a key factor affecting promotions of
managers (Melamed and Bozionelos 1992) as well as election of politicians. In fact,
not since 1896 have US citizens elected a president whose height was below aver-
age (Judge and Cable 2004).
Facial appearance is another extremely influential nonverbal cue. For example,
the facial dominance of West Point cadets in their graduation portraits relates not
only to their ranks at the military academy, but also to promotions in their late
career over 20 years after their portraits were taken (Mueller and Mazur 1996).
This could relate to biases about appearance, and also the likely greater exposure
to testosterone for those higher in facial dominance. Even more interestingly, infer-
ences of competence based solely on one-second exposure to the faces of candi-
dates predicted the outcomes of 68.8% of the U.S. Senate races in 2004 and were
also linearly related to the margin of victory (Todorov et al. 2005). However, one
cannot define a specific set of superior facial characteristics for politicians because
the desirability of such facial traits partially depends on the current political envi-
ronment (Little et al. 2007; Rule et al. 2010).
. How to impress without saying a word: Interviewee
nonverbal behaviors
Many of the aforementioned perceptions of credibility, status, and leadership
potential are informal and occur through everyday interactions. However, organiza-
tions also maintain formal processes for determining the qualifications of job appli-
cants and evaluating the performance of employees. What effect do nonverbal
behaviors have on such formal processes? This is one of the most well researched
questions of nonverbal issues of workplace environment and deserves in-depth
As with the more informal assessments, nonverbal elements play a role in the
interview process for both interviewer and applicant. Certain behaviors have been
demonstrated to affect likeability and hireability. For example, increased use of
gestures, eye contact, and smiling lead to better ratings (Washburn and Hakel 1973)
whereas movements reflecting tension or stress harm evaluations (i.e., shifting
gaze, awkward speech, body swaying, etc.; Patterson et al. 1992). Applicants are
seen as significantly warmer and more enthusiastic when they increase immediacy
by sitting closer to their interviewer or expressing greater perceptual availability
(Imada and Hakel 1977).
Unlike with verbal behaviors, applicants instructed to convey particular
impressions cannot seem to significantly modify their nonverbal behavior (Peters
 Nonverbal communication in the workplace 
and Lievens 2006). In the case of changing emotional displays to suit ones own
interpersonal goals, however, men better make significant adjustments, yet women
seem either unable or unwilling to do so (Levine and Feldman 1997). This aligns
with the fact that nonverbal reactions occur rather quickly and more spontaneously
than verbal reactions. This difficulty in consciously manipulating nonverbal chan-
nels could be the reason that Sigmund Freud once famously said, No mortal can
keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes
out of him at every pore (Freud 1905/1997).
Ultimately, it is difficult to make a generalized assessment of the full impact
exerted by nonverbal elements in interviews. For example, research suggests that
in situations where resume and verbal information vary widely among the intervie-
wees, nonverbal behavior alone has a relatively small effect relative to resume
credentials (Rasmussen 1984). This could be because the significant differentiation
in relevant verbal content such as resume credentials and spoken answers over-
shadows the influence of nonverbal behaviors, which typically have less variation
than do verbal behaviors (Riggio and Throckmorton 1988). However, nonverbal
behavior could play a more significant role when the candidate pool is more similar
in verbal behavior and qualifications. For instance, displaying high levels of non-
verbal expressiveness is known to increase outcomes when verbal behavior is
strong, but not when verbal content is poor (Rasmussen 1984). In the case of a
close and competitive job selection processes, nonverbal cues may just make or
break an applicants case.
. How to ask the right questions: Interviewer behaviors and
interview structures
Firms utilize interviews to ascertain particular information about the candidates.
However not all types of information are equally accessible and not all interview
formats are equally effective. For example, social skills are more accurately inferred
from interviews than motivation to work is because social skills are transmitted
interpersonally through nonverbal cues such as dress, speaking time, and gesture
rate (Gifford, Ng, and Wilkinson 1984). Therefore a consideration of the interview
process from the firm and interviewer side also merits attention.
Interviewer behavior affects the applicant behavior. If an interviewer first sits
at a distance from the job applicant, the applicants are more likely to choose a
seat farther away from the interviewer (Word, Zanna, and Cooper 1974). If the
interviewer makes frequent speech errors, applicants follow suit (Word, Zanna, and
Cooper 1974). And if an interviewer asks sex-related questions, female applicants
performance diminishes they speak less fluently, give lower quality answers, and
ask fewer job relevant questions (Woodzicka and LaFrance 2005).
The interview method is another significant variable in the applicant evalu-
ation process. For example, interviewers tend to evaluate applicants more posi-
 Ravi S. Kudesia and Hillary Anger Elfenbein
tively when using videoconference technology as opposed to in-person interviews
(Chapman and Rowe 2001). This could be because face-to-face interviews provide
additional nonverbal cues that likely reveal the interviewees anxiety, which leads
to more negative evaluations (Chapman and Rowe 2001). As such, the interviewing
method, whether done by phone, videoconference, or in-person determines the
amount of nonverbal cues available to the interviewer, and thus impacts overall
Certain interview structures enable applicants to influence interviewers more
significantly with their nonverbal behavior. In behavior description interviews,
which seek to assess knowledge, skills, and abilities based on past performances,
applicants nonverbal impression management tactics have little effect (Peters and
Lievens 2006). Yet, in situational interviews, which ask applicants to respond to
hypothetical situations, the same tactics influence evaluations perhaps because
the shorter answers elicited in situational interviews increase interviewer reliance
on nonverbal content to form judgments (Peters and Lievens 2006).
Some firms choose not to standardize interview questions, criteria, or formats.
This increases the discretion available to interviewers (Huffcutt and Roth 1998).
Applicant self-presentation tactics are most effective in such unstructured inter-
views, which suggests that employers are at a disadvantage in gathering reliable
information if they routinely employ unstructured interviews (Barrick et al. 2009).
Interviewer stereotyping biases also have greater influence on ratings in less struc-
tured interview formats (Huffcutt and Roth 1998). Of structured interviews, behav-
ior description interviews also have less bias than do situational interviews (Huff-
cutt and Roth 1998).
Based on the body of available research, there are notable nonverbal effects in
evaluations based on racial factors (for a review of race effects in interviews more
generally, see Arvey 1979; Huffcutt and Roth 1998; also see Chapter 22, Dovidio and
LaFrance, this volume). Whites interviewing Blacks tended to keep more physical
distance and stuttered more often (Word, Zanna, and Cooper 1974). Interview
lengths were also typically shorter (Word, Zanna, and Cooper 1974). An interesting
study had Black, Hispanic, and Irish retail job applicants wear caps that were
either neutral or accentuated their race, but did not tell them which they were
wearing (Barron, Hebl, and King 2011). Applicants predicted that other-race mana-
gers would treat those who displayed ethnic identification less favorably, and
applicants who received negative treatment presumed they were wearing the ethnic
identification caps. Interestingly, manifesting ethnic identification actually
improved the job application interactions across all races. Their interracial interac-
tions with store managers were longer and more positive but their ethnic identifi-
cation did not improve same-race interactions. Therefore, racial discrimination in
the interview process may have implications in the implicit assumptions at play
when judging members of minority groups based on their nonverbal behavior.
 Nonverbal communication in the workplace 
. How to pick winning performers: Interview outcomes and
job performance
An important and related question to evaluating job seekers is how to evaluate job
incumbents, as well as the association between the two i.e., whether interview
judgments predict actual job performance. Research demonstrates that self-presen-
tation tactics have a greater impact on interview ratings than they do on job per-
formance ratings especially those tactics related to appearance and impression
management and less so with verbal and nonverbal behavior (Barrick et al. 2009).
Because interviewers have less information and limited interaction with applicants,
self-presentation tactics could have a stronger initial impact at interviews that
fades in performance reviews as interactions increase (Barrick et al. 2009).
Even so, certain nonverbal cues that affect interview performance also affect
job performance. Such vocal cues include pitch, pitch variability, speech rate,
pauses, and amplitude variability; visual cues include attractiveness, smiling,
gaze, hand movement, and body orientation. All of these taken together can elicit
personal reactions such as liking, trust, and perceived credibility in interviewers
(DeGroot and Motowidlo 1999). In turn, interviewer reactions suggest the extent to
which the applicants, as future employees, would be cooperative and supportive
of them, which colors their hiring decision (DeGroot and Motowidlo 1999). Interest-
ingly, the same vocal cues that lead interviewers to form favorable personal reac-
tions are also associated with effective performance in management jobs. This is
understandable as individuals who can elicit such positive personal reactions have
a greater chance of being interpersonally successful, which is crucial to the effec-
tive performance of managerial duties.
. How gender works at work: Differences in status, power,
and influence
A large body of research has examined gender differences in nonverbal behavior
(see Chapter 21, Hall and Gunnery, this volume). In the present chapter, we focus
on the role of gender in judgments made in organizational settings. Power and
status concerns play out through nonverbal behavior in even the most basic of
workplace environments. For example, in an office buildings elevator, both men
and women tend to avoid violating personal space whenever possible. However,
both genders are less apt to encroach upon a males space, and men particularly
would rather violate a females space than that of another male (Buchanan,
Juhnke, and Goldman 1976).
There are certain differences in how the power displays of males and females
are interpreted. For men, maintaining direct eye contact increases perceptions of
credibility and a relaxed facial expression increases perceptions of most forms of
 Ravi S. Kudesia and Hillary Anger Elfenbein
power: reward, legitimate, referent, expert, and credibility (Aguinis et al. 1998). In
contrast, women who maintain direct eye contact increase perceptions of coercive
power (Aguinis and Henle 2001), a suboptimal power base that increases resistance
and decreases organizational commitment (Aguinis et al., 1996). Additionally, a
relaxed facial expression decreased perceptions of all six power bases for women
(Aguinis and Henle 2001).
Men are expected to use direct means such as assertion, jokes, or threats to
influence others to complete work, whereas women are expected to use indirect
means such as appearance, charm, and compliments (DuBrin 1991). If men score
high in expansiveness, a dominant trait, they are seen more favorably, versus
women who display less of the trait are regarded more positively (Gallaher 1992).
In a sample of physicians, the satisfaction of role-playing patient observers was
higher when doctors displayed more sex-stereotypical nonverbal behavior (Schmid
Mast et al. 2008). Indeed, women are more persuasive with male judges when they
use warmth and friendliness as opposed to more stoic task-oriented styles (Carli,
LaFleur, and Loeber 1995). This same work shows that likableness and competence
both predict influence, but men are more apt to like and be influenced by a compe-
tent woman who is also sociable.
Men and women also differ in the degree of competence they communicate
when speaking with their superiors, peers, and subordinates. Women are seen as
more competent when talking to superiors and subordinates, and less competent
when talking to their peers (Steckler and Rosenthal 1985). Men are perceived as
less competent when talking to superiors and more competent when talking to
their peers and subordinates. These findings could reflect the efforts of women to
increase displays of competence to superiors, who are more likely to doubt their
ability (Steckler and Rosenthal 1985).
In conversations between peers, emergent female leaders seem to be disadvan-
taged, especially if they demonstrate dominance. In a study examining mixed gen-
der groups of equal status, emergent female leaders received more negative nonver-
bal responses and fewer positive responses than men (Butler and Geis 1990; Koch
2005). This held even if women offered the same suggestions and arguments as
their male counterparts. Such findings correspond to work on stereotypes demon-
strating that women are perceived as being either likeable or competent, typically
high in warmth and low in competence (Ekes 2002; Fiske et al. 2002). When women
speak with other women, their vocal behaviors converge and accommodate to the
more attractive conversant (Haas and Gregory 2005). By contrast, if two women are
similarly attractive or similarly unattractive, they dynamically compete for status in
conversation instead of accommodating.
However, conversation patterns change when women have official leadership
roles. Legitimate power, as bestowed by position and status within an organiza-
tional hierarchy, is more important than gender in understanding conversation
patterns (Johnson 1994). That is, although gender has significant impact on percep-
 Nonverbal communication in the workplace 
tions of power, competent and sociable females with legitimate power hold consid-
erable ability to achieve success in workplace situations. For example, regardless
of gender, subordinates engaging with their superiors are more supportive, with
higher rates of back channeling, positive interruptions, and less talking time, and
are less directive as well, qualifying their statements more frequently (Johnson
. How ambiguity becomes threatening: Sexual harassment in
Sexual harassment is a salient point of focus because it thrives on the ambiguity
of nonverbal behaviors. It concerns subjective interpretations of events, which
makes black and white distinctions difficult. According to one study, men and
women agree in their perceptions of a woman whose behaviors connoted a high
interest in sex, but men typically perceive behaviors more sexually than do women
(Kowalski 1992). This effect is intensified because women also tend to see an
ambiguous act as sexually harassing more often than do men (Jones and Remland
1997). This ambiguity is worth discussing because many actions that can be inter-
preted as harassing are also normal expressions of high status and status and
gender issues often get intermingled, to the extent that women are often seen as
lower in status (Lockheed and Hall 1976).
For example, men high in likelihood to sexually harass describe themselves as
more socially and sexually dominant and carry themselves as such (Murphy, Dris-
coll, and Kelly 1999). In fact, observers in the study could identify such men by
silent video clips based on their dominant nonverbal behaviors. Indeed, in related
work, women interacting with task administrators viewed the dominant ones as
being more sexual and more likely to show gender-based attention and enact sexu-
ally harassing behaviors (Kelly et al. 2005). Thus, disentangling dominance and
harassing behaviors can be difficult. But the effect of male dominance is signifi-
cant. Although women did not consciously notice, interacting with such a domi-
nant administrator negatively affected their performance. These studies also found
that nonsexual aggression, such as hostile displays and impeding the job perform-
ance of others, have larger negative effects on victims overall job satisfaction than
does sexual aggression (Lapierre, Spector, and Leck 2005).
. How to dress for success: The uses and outcomes of attire
and uniforms
Clothing can be a powerful signal of a firms brand, whether worn by its employees
in an office or in customer-facing environments. Think about the powerful message
 Ravi S. Kudesia and Hillary Anger Elfenbein
communicated by the IBM consultant uniform of a white shirt, dark suit and
sincere tie (Smith 1999). However, aside from such marketing communication
uses, clothing in the form of uniforms can be used to promote egalitarianism (Flor-
ida and Kenney 1991). For example, in many Japanese firms, middle managers
wear the same uniforms as shopfloor workers and most top executives even wear
company uniforms (Florida and Kenney 1991). Uniforms also serve to increase
worker identification with the company (Florida and Kenney 1991).
The dress of employees is an important symbol that can influence the way
others judge the employees behavior and intent (Galin 1990). Those who con-
sciously use clothing not only have higher public self-awareness (Solomon and
Schopler 1982) but those who value attire believe it can be manipulated to influ-
ence the views of others, achieve greater power and influence, and obtain work-
related outcomes such as promotions (Peluchette and Karl 2006).
There are various degrees of formality in clothing. Based on a sample of 190
M.B.A. students, researchers found that employees tend to prefer business casual
attire (48%) followed by formal business (28%) and casual clothing options (24%)
(Peluchette and Karl 2007). If employees feel their attire is role-appropriate, they
also tend to feel their clothing improves their performance in that role (Solomon
and Schopler 1982). The effect of clothing on self-perception is worth noting. These
business students reported feeling most authoritative, trustworthy, and competent
when wearing formal business attire but friendliest when wearing casual or busi-
ness casual attire. They also reported feeling significantly less productive when
wearing casual attire than when wearing business casual attire. There are even
potential bottom-line impacts to the strategic use of clothing. For example, one-
day absences and Friday absences decreased significantly in female employees
after their firm implemented casual days (Yates and Jones 1998). Additionally, indi-
viduals in an experimental study were less sensitive to the nonverbal emotional
cues in language when wearing formal business attire compared to Hawaiian print
shirts (Sanchez-Burks 2002). Clothing, therefore, can serve a variety of organiza-
tional and personal goals, whether utilized consciously or unconsciously.
. How to convince and succeed: Effective leadership
Managers may spend four out of five hours at work engaged in communication
(Mintzberg 1973). And their nonverbal communication is extremely impactful on
those around them. Viewers tend to smile automatically upon seeing an image of
a leader expressing reassurance and frown when a leader is threatening (McHugo
et al. 1985). Such expressive displays of leaders have a direct impact on the emo-
tions of viewers on an automatic level regardless of their prior attitudes of the
leader (McHugo et al. 1985). Nonverbal cues not only play into leader effectiveness,
 Nonverbal communication in the workplace 
but can even identify the emergent leadership status of people gathered in a small
group they are also more important than verbal cues in generating liking (Stein
1975). So we can determine that nonverbal cues are important for communication
competency of managers.
However, as Dr. Martin Remland, an expert in the field of nonverbal communi-
cation said, Much of what a manager says may be contradicted by what he or she
does (Remland 1981). Indeed, a survey of many types of workplaces found that
45% of employees felt frequently or occasionally confused by inconsistent cues
from their supervisors (Graham, Unruh, and Jennings 1991). Additionally, more
than 94% felt frustrated or distrustful when confronted with discrepant communi-
cations (Graham et al. 1991). Such inconsistency between nonverbal and verbal
cues leads others to form a negative impression of the individual, characterized by
decreased honesty and coherency (Weisbuch et al. 2010). Organizations cannot
reach maximum productivity with such frequent occurrences of verbal-nonverbal
discrepancies, which cause frustration. Workplace productivity and morale could
be significantly increased if awareness of nonverbal behaviors improved (Weisbuch
et al. 2010). As such, the most successful leaders are receptive and attentive to the
needs of their subordinates (Bass 1990). This, in turn, leads employees to feel
increased satisfaction with their managers (Byron 2007). As such, the abilities of
leaders to decode their followersfeelings and react to them with support and
motivation nonverbally are key to success (Riggio 2005).
Nonverbal behaviors also affect peoples perceptions of the leaders. Even sub-
tle nonverbal cues of approval from group members can make a leadership per-
formance seem more competent than an identical performance marked by disap-
proving nonverbal cues (Brown and Geis 1984). Similar results have been found
elsewhere. In fact, studies show that ABC newscaster Peter Jenningsnonverbal
bias in favor of Ronald Reagan is a likely culprit to explain voting behavior: viewers
of his station were far more likely to vote for Reagan (Mullen et al., 1986).
In workplace situations, the positive affect of leaders can increase the positive
affect of followers who are influenced by emotional contagion (Johnson 2008).
Emotional contagion plays a significant role in groups for example, in observing
work groups across a variety of industries, researchers found that members who
sat in meetings together ended up experiencing mood convergence which extends
to facial expression and vocal indicators of affect all in a relatively short period
of time (Bartel and Saavedra 2000). Thus, those teams whose members choose to
withhold displays of negative emotions better reduce the negative performance
effects caused by dysfunctional behavior which mitigates the power of behavior
that can adversely affect organizations and their employees (Cole, Walter, and
Bruch 2008). As such, leaders must be cognizant not only of their nonverbal behav-
iors, but also of the nonverbal behaviors of others and how the collective influence
can affect culture, performance, and other outcomes.
 Ravi S. Kudesia and Hillary Anger Elfenbein
. How marketers win hearts and minds: Nonverbal cues in
advertising and sales
Television advertisements provide a host of nonverbal cues such as music, casting,
setting, gestures, facial behavior, dress, mood, commercial format, and camera
format (Haley, Richardson, and Baldwin 1984). Such nonverbal elements correlate
more strongly with attitude shift than they do with recall. In general, however,
nonverbal cues are far more likely to work against a commercial than to enhance
its effectiveness they frequently provide deception cues (such as fast glib talk,
cliché settings, coy or cute antics, and exaggerated demonstrations) that cause
suspicious viewers to ignore the ads content (Haley et al. 1984). These researchers
find that nonverbal cues that communicate simplicity and single-mindedness actu-
ally work best in changing attitudes about products.
One of the trademarks of good advertising is its ability to feel right. Research
shows that this sensation of alignment between an individuals priorities and the
style of advertisement influences the messages effectiveness (Cesario and Higgins
2008). For instance, if promotion-focused individuals i.e., who to tend to look
for how they may be able to benefit from a situation and view goals as aspira-
tions watch an advertisement where messages are delivered in an eager nonver-
bal style or if prevention-focused individuals, who tend to look for how they could
be harmed from a situation and view goals as obligations receive messages deliv-
ered in a vigilant nonverbal style, they are more likely to have positive attitudes
towards the messages topic and higher intention to follow its recommendation
(Cesario and Higgins 2008). Thus advertisements that suit viewers preferred deliv-
ery style foster the feeling of regulatory fit and thereby increase message effective-
The nonverbal behaviors of salespeople have important effects on their presen-
tations. For example, steady eye gaze positively affects believability and engage-
ment, but does not significantly affect persuasiveness or perceived trustworthiness
(Leigh and Summers 2002). Frequent speech hesitations influence buyers to view
presentations as less interesting and less persuasive (Leigh and Summers 2002).
Many of the same interpersonal skills that increase ones efficacy in other commu-
nication contexts, like interviews, also hold true for sales.
Another element of effective salespeople is their ability to induce facial expres-
sion in others. If customers smile while looking at a product, they feel better and
may consequently like the product better. Thus, salespeople who can encourage
customers to smile have better odds at selling (Puccinelli, Motyka, and Grewal
2010). Research suggests that the best strategy for salespeople to induce this reac-
tion is a pleasant smile and display of moderately friendly behavior as it is likely
to invoke a social norm to smile back. However, as many of us have experienced,
overly excited and exuberant salespeople are less effective (Puccinelli, Motyka, and
Grewal 2010).
 Nonverbal communication in the workplace 
. How to see the signs: Recognizing emotions and deception
The skill to recognize emotions through nonverbal behavior is an important one.
Those high in this ability more accurately obtain information about the internal
states of others, which leads to better decision-making and increased workplace
effectiveness (for reviews, see Elfenbein 2007 and Hall, Andrzejewski, and Yop-
chick 2009; see also Chapter 15, Nowicki and Duke, this volume). The body of
existing work shows that this connection between effectiveness and emotion recog-
nition accuracy is relatively robust, having been replicated across a wide range of
workplace settings and job functions that includes business executives, foreign
service officials, school principals and teachers, physicians, therapists, and public
service workers. Among the variety of relevant business functions are negotiation
abilities, sales competencies, and deception recognition.
Negotiation has a fundamentally crucial emotional component (Kumar 1997).
In order to negotiate effectively, one must understand his or her counterparts
interests and preferences, even though such information is often explicitly hidden
and revealed only through nonverbal channels (Elfenbein et al. 2007). The research
with negotiation is also notable because it demonstrates a workplace benefit from
emotion recognition accuracy that cannot be attributed to potential bias on the
part of judges completing performance evaluations. Like many skills, even if emo-
tion recognition is generally beneficial there can also be a problem having too
much of a good thing. In particular, those individuals who are highly skilled in the
more challenging arenas of recognizing others expressions notably, the leakier
channel of vocal tone versus the more controllable channel of facial expression
can be capable of eavesdropping on messages they were not meant to receive,
which can make them less valued as colleagues (Elfenbein and Ambady 2002).
We discuss above the importance of producing appropriate nonverbal messa-
ges in effective selling. However, the ability of salespeople to decode their custom-
ers nonverbal behaviors could be even more important. In fact, nonverbal expres-
sions can offer more accurate information about customer feelings than what
customers actually say (Puccinelli, Motyka, and Grewal 2010). Salespeople who
more accurately read nonverbal expressions of emotion are more successful across
multiple measures of job success such as average annual salary increases and units
sold per month (Byron, Terranova, and Nowicki 2007). Leakier cues such as tone
of voice may be more diagnostic of true feelings, whereas more controllable cues
such as facial expression may indicate what the customer wants others to think
(Puccinelli, Motyka, and Grewal 2010). Accordingly, as with negotiations, a cus-
tomer who deeply desires a product and expresses this desire nonverbally is actu-
ally hampered in the negotiation process.
There is a significant literature on the recognition of deception (see Chap-
ter 16, Frank and Svetiva, this volume). Several nonverbal cues tend to accom-
 Ravi S. Kudesia and Hillary Anger Elfenbein
pany acts of deception including body movements (gestures, shrugs, postural
shifts, head, foot and leg movements, and increased touching of the head, face,
neck, or hair) and vocal behaviors (response latency, response length, speech
rate, speech errors, speech hesitations, and pitch increase) along with diminished
eye contact and increased smiling (Feldman and Chesley 1984; Zuckerman, DeP-
aulo, and Rosenthal 1981; DePaulo et al. 2003). However, more recent large-scale
work casts doubt on whether there are diagnostic cues that indicate deception
(Hartwig and Bond 2011).
Deception and its detection have both inherent and contextual elements. For
example, the ability to appear honest across situations is general, not situation
specific; and is related primarily to dynamic facial nonverbal behaviors (Frank and
Ekman 2004). This means that some people are perceived as deceptive independent
of their actual behaviors. However, other situational elements impact detection
recognition. For example, nonverbal deception cues have greater impact in assess-
ing less serious offenses than greater ones (Feldman and Chesley 1984). This is
presumably because when faced with more serious accusations, individuals have
a right to appear nervous, even if innocent. Other contextual influencers are more
demographic. For example, older customers are good at masking negative feelings,
whereas younger consumers are better at masking positive feelings; politeness
norms across various cultures also can affect perceptions of agreement and hon-
esty (Puccinelli, Motyka, and Grewal 2010). Thus, an increased sensitivity to non-
verbal behaviors is beneficial to a variety of business activities.
. How the digital workplace connects: Computer mediated
The workplace must no longer be a single place. Although employees were tradi-
tionally co-located, or situated in the same physical location, new trends have
emerged along with the advent of practical remote technology solutions. For exam-
ple, an increasing number of employees either engage in telecommuting, the pro-
cess of working remotely from home and communicating using either telephones
or Internet access. Offshore outsourcing is another growing trend, whereby
employees may work in a different country than their direct supervisors. Virtual
Teams, cross-functional groups that operate across physical and time differences
and communicate mainly through information technologies, pose unique leader-
ship and communication challenges (Kayworth and Leidner 2001).
As communication in the business world increasingly turns digital, elements
of nonverbal behavior are being translated to online media such as email (see
Chapter 24, Burgoon and Walther, this volume). Just as the face and the voice
are the primary in-person means to signal emotion, emoticons and text are the
approximate online correlates (Carter 2003). The use of acronyms, icons, emoti-
 Nonverbal communication in the workplace 
cons, and formatting such as capitalizations and italics can be considered quasi-
nonverbal cues that display emotion (Carter 2011). Most research on the use of
nonverbal cues via text-based communication has been done specifically on emoti-
cons. For example, without the use of emoticons, most people misperceive the
correct emotion, attitude, and attention intents. (Lo 2008). With emoticons, how-
ever, receivers can correctly understand the level and direction of emotion, atti-
tude, and attention expression. These results prove that emoticons perform nonver-
bal communication functions. Further, the invention of emoticons suggests the
strong power of the human urge to express nonverbal cues in that being thwarted
was so frustrating that early users invented a new communication channel.
Yet, since the senders actual expressions cannot be seen in text-based commu-
nication, there still exists a great deal of ambiguity to which individuals must
adjust (Carter 2011). Effects of ambiguity include the neutrality and negativity
effects, by which emails intended to be positive seem emotionally neutral and
messages with negative information find those elements emphasized (Byron 2008).
The reduced availability of cues and feedback make emails less physiologically
arousing than in-person communication (Byron 2008). In a field study inside a
Fortune 500 company, researchers found that this reduction in social context cues
has substantial effects on communication (Sproull and Kiesler 1986). For example:
emails reduced status differentials because messages from superiors and subordi-
nates looked the same, people preferred to email superiors more than subordi-
nates, people engaged in irresponsible behavior more frequently online than in
face to face communications, emails were preferred for sending negative news,
people overestimated their contributions to email communications, 60% of emails
provided new information, and, finally, much of the information in emails would
not have been conveyed through another medium (Sproull and Kiesler 1986). For
these reasons, emails tend to be more task-oriented and perhaps should be (Sar-
baugh-Thompson and Feldman 1998).
Computer mediated communication is also unique in that it diminishes most
clues of an individuals uniqueness because text-based messages all look more or
less the same, especially in emails (Collins 1992). Because of the lack of physical
and social subtext in online communication, it is easy to forget not only the iden-
tity of the target person but also your own, which can lead to uninhibited behavior
called flaming (Collins 1992). As a result, emails sent in organizations scored high
for flaming as they contained profanity, capital letters, and excessive exclamation
points or question marks, which can lead to organizational conflict (Turnage 2007).
Thus, along with the increased amount of new information and improved speed
of communication, organizations must adapt to face the new nonverbal challenges
that accompany computer-mediated communications. (See Chapter 24, Burgoon
and Walther, this volume, for extended discussion of nonverbal behavior and com-
puter mediation.)
 Ravi S. Kudesia and Hillary Anger Elfenbein
Future directions in workplace nonverbal
Although there is a unique and noteworthy role of nonverbal behavior in workplace
situations, much of the existing research in applied settings focuses on medical,
counseling, and classroom environments or, alternatively, is simulated by college
students (Graham, Unruh, and Jennings 1991). Even so, the area of nonverbal
behavior touches many elements of Industrial/Organizational Psychology and
Organizational Behavior, such as emotions, trust, negotiation, leadership, power,
diversity, among others. The relative lack of more research relevant to workplace
settings could be because few workplace interactions lend themselves easily to
study by nonverbal communication researchers and research topics that do not
seem to have direct ties to organizational productivity and profits are regarded as
a nuisance (Riggio 2005). Because of the deep need for research to help bridge
the gap between science and practice, future work needs to go where the phenom-
enon actually lives. In doing so, we point out that applied research needs to follow
the best practices developed over decades by those working within traditional aca-
demic departments. This means, notably, using bona fide stimuli and measures of
sensitivity to nonverbal cues even when self-report and vignette measures are
simpler for researchers.
There is a growing need for research that deals with the nonverbal elements
involved in online communication, especially as the use of electronic mail and
online marketing shifts the way the firms communicate both internally with
employees and externally with customers. Interestingly, virtual communications
are, through their technologically-mediated nature, relatively more accessible for
researchers to record and study. There are certainly unique opportunities and chal-
lenges in these low-context communication channels especially with more recent
developments such as the proliferation of social networking websites. Another rele-
vant trend is the continued emergence of workplace relationships that span cul-
tural and political lines. As different cultures express key emotions in varying ways
(Elfenbein et al. 2007), it is worth examining what business practices are impacted
and how stronger lines of communication can be forged across such boundaries.
Finally, although the impact of certain nonverbal behaviors can be isolated
and studied in experimental settings, the workplace is a complex and adaptive
system. Because in the office there exists an abundance of verbal and nonverbal
cues, some of the existing work done in controlled laboratory settings may not
necessarily translate. Notably, the study of nonverbal behavior typically examines
such behaviors in isolation from each other, one communication channel at a time,
for the purpose of experimenter control. However, in the real world nonverbal
behavior typically accompanies a rich set of cues including not only the multiple
nonverbal channels expressed simultaneously, but also verbal language and larger
context around the situation and relationships. Research that has modeled the use
 Nonverbal communication in the workplace 
of multiple sources of information has been informative about the way we use
these multiple sources of information in tandem. For example, nonverbal behaviors
have significantly less impact on interview outcomes when considered in context
with verbal content and resume information (Rasmussen 1984). To balance out the
inherent inadequacies of laboratory experiments to represent the complex delivery
of these multiple nonverbal channels and relationship context, we recommend the
increased use of naturalistic observation. At this time, there is a dearth of such
work in the field, due largely to limited access and logistical challenges. However,
by giving up some researcher control, we also limit researcher interference in the
ebb and flow of real life. As such, this methodology could yield new insights that
could tap into the gestalt of real-world communication. Naturalistic observation
would be especially helpful in studying the integration between verbal and nonver-
bal elements, where they are produced and comprehended simultaneously and in
real time. Elements of nonverbal delivery in complex situations like the workplace
deserve further study. It can help inform communicators, managers, and salespeo-
ple alike in how to best further their organizational goals.
Workplaces, as well as society at large, have taken great pains to train individu-
als in verbal skills. Reading, writing, and speaking all enjoy significant training
in educational and organizational settings. However, equally important nonverbal
elements typically receive negligible attention. This is especially important given
that workplace environments often lack a vocabulary for discussing emotional
experiences (Sandelands 1988) and, yet, emotional experiences are woven into
everyday life and we live so much of our modern lives in organizational settings.
As such, there is a real value for work that serves to not only observe and describe,
but can also prescribe normative uses of these aforementioned phenomena.
Most employers hardly recognize the potential that nonverbal behaviors carry
in their workplace and many of those who do have little research-driven advice
to utilize. In the gap between the need for actionable advice and available research,
a host of pop literature and training has emerged. Needless to say, there is a great
deal of overstatement and oversimplification in such cases but they arise from
an enthusiasm and even thirst outside of academia for what scholars know about
nonverbal behavior. It is our belief that a deeper understanding of and command
over nonverbal behaviors carries extremely valuable benefits for business practi-
tioners across industries and organizational positions as well as valuable benefits
for researchers trying to understand the role of nonverbal communication in some
of the rich settings where it unfolds on a daily basis.
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female job applicants in the employment interview. Personnel & Guidance Journal : .
Zuckerman, M., B. M. DePaulo, and R. Rosenthal . Verbal and nonverbal communication of
deception. In: L. Berkowitz (ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology : . New
York: Academic Press.
... As online communications are prevalent among individuals, research has begun to consider the underlying mechanisms of nonverbal cues in technology-mediated communications for work. For example, given that nonverbal cues are often embedded in emoticons, capitalized/italicized/bolded texts, and incons/avatars (Kudesia & Elfenbein, 2013;Skovholt et al., 2014;Walther & D'addario, 2001), individuals may form discrepant expectations based on their interpretations of the nonverbal cues in various online communications (e.g., email, text, messenger). When expectancy violations occur, it is important to consider the valence and importance of such violations to further understand the role of various expectations and social norms about ICT use in the workplace. ...
Several decades of research have addressed the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology. However, segmented research streams with myriad terminologies run the risk of construct proliferation and lack an integrated theoretical justification of the contributions of ICT concepts. Therefore, by identifying important trends and reflecting on key constructs, findings, and theories, our review seeks to determine whether a compelling case can be made for the uniqueness of ICT-related concepts in studying employee and performance in I-O psychology. Two major themes emerge from our review of the ICT literature: (a) a technology behavior perspective and (b) a technology experience perspective. The technology behavior perspective with three subcategories (the “where” of work design, the “when” of work extension, and the “what” of work inattention) explores how individual technology use can be informative for predicting employee well-being and performance. The technology experience perspective theme with two subcategories (the “how” of ICT appraisals and “why” of motives) emphasizes unique psychological (as opposed to behavioral) experiences arising from the technological work context. Based on this review, we outline key challenges of current ICT research perspectives and opportunities for further enhancing our understanding of technological implications for individual workers and organizations.
... It is important to point out that emotion recognition can be rife with inaccuracy-in spite of our natural ability to recognize other people's emotional expressions, even under carefully controlled situations that involve high intensity expressions and explicit instructions that participants should pay attention to them, average accuracy rates rarely exceed 80% . I n real-life situations, we have contextual clues to assist with emotion recognition, as well as full-channel presentations that include facial expressions, vocal tone, and body language, which aid in recognizing others' emotions (Kudesia & Elfenbein, 2013). However, we have drawbacks as well: the lack of perfect attention as well as the challenge of display rules (Ekman, 1972) that attempt to hide expressions for the sake of social goals. ...
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Emotional contagion—emotions being linked across people—has captured psychologists’ attention yet little is known about its mechanisms. Early influential treatments focused on primitive mimicry. Later accounts emphasized (a) social comparison, whereby people compare their feelings with compatriots’, (b) emotional interpretation, where others’ expressive displays serve as information, and (c) empathy, or imagining another person’s feelings. This paper introduces affective process theory (APT), which unifies these mechanisms and identifies others. Using a rule-governed theoretical process, APT reveals ten distinct mechanisms that connect people’s affective states, which fall into three types. Convergent linkage occurs when individuals share the same vantage point and interpretations of emotionally evocative stimuli. Divergent linkage occurs with a shared vantage point but different interpretations. Complementary linkage occurs when the other person is itself the stimulus. APT integrates past findings on moderating factors such as social closeness and cooperation. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
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In this paper the authors analyse the conditions of effective communication in the mentoring process. In the literature on the subject effective business communication is considered as a key to planning, leading, organizing and controlling the resources of organizations to achieve their objectives. Still, communication models in the mentoring network have not been of interest to researchers yet. The aim of this study was to identify the factors that influence the effectiveness of communication in the mentoring process. The authors created a theoretical model of communication in the mentoring process which became a basis for primary research conducted among 103 mentors and 119 mentees in Poland. It occurred that the factors influencing the effectiveness of communication in the mentoring process are similar in both groups. Next, the authors incorporated the Exploratory Factor Analysis and Cronbach’s alpha reliability test of different factors influencing the effectiveness of communication in the mentoring process. The results proved that all the developed scales demonstrated reliability above the recommended threshold. The final stage involved developing a regression model which allowed to identify the factors influencing the effectiveness of communication in the mentoring process. Those factors are: non-verbal channels and tools of communication, written and oral channels and tools of communication as well as social engagement in the mentoring process.
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This paper addresses the issue of transferring L2 prosody teaching to online settings due to the lockdown. The reasons are provided to account for the vulnerable status of pronunciation teaching and related risks. We report the results of the research project carried out in Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology with forty Russian-speaking engineering students. In this study a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods was used. The study first provided a critique of pre-existing computer-based pronunciation training (CAPT) options ensuring learning continuity. These options were then analyzed against global educational policies related to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on this understanding, a methodological framework was designed to bridge the gap between prosody teaching goals and digital tools. At the next stage, experimental teaching was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of this framework. Once data from the interviews, rating scales and participant observation were collected, a descriptive analysis of the results was given. The findings showed that the suggested training had an important effect on L2 prosody acquisition by engineering students.
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The relationship between culture and customer care is an important subject that has gained considerable attention among academics and practitioners across sectors and contexts. The right blend of an excellent customer service orientation and customer-centred firm-level culture create competitive advantages that offer value to both the customer and the firm. In this chapter, we discuss these two elements, highlighting their collective effect, which is essential to creating a more competitive outlook for businesses as well as enhancing the value delivery of both profit and not-for-profit organisations. We, therefore, take a holistic approach in this chapter by integrating the unique roles of both firm-level culture and firm-level customer service orientation to create enhanced service experiences that in turn create sustainable competitive advantage. The chapter further suggests winning ways through which firms can deliver excellent customer service by first creating a customer-focused organisational culture. We also acknowledge the heightened level of competition in today’s business environment, particularly in the service sector where the unique nature of service makes the applicability of most marketing strategies in such settings a bit cumbrous.
In this chapter, we discuss social intelligence and why it is of crucial importance to the world today. We open by defining social intelligence. Then we discuss whether social intelligence should be separated from general intelligence. Then we discuss the role of nonverbal communication in social intelligence. Finally, we discuss how social intelligence fits into a broader notion of adaptive intelligence. We conclude that, in the twenty-first century, the major problems the world is facing will be solved not merely by exercise of cognitive intelligence but by exercise of social intelligence and related constructs.
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Denault, V. (2015). L’incidence de la communication non verbale lors de procès: une menace à l’intégrité du processus judiciaire? [The impact of nonverbal communication during trials: A threat to the integrity of the judicial process?] [Master's Thesis, Université du Québec à Montréal]. Archipel UQAM.
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The purpose of this investigation was to assess the effect of race on employment interview evaluations. A mete-analysis of 31 studies found that both Black and Hispanic applicants received interview ratings that on average were only about one quarter of a standard deviation lower than those for White applicants. Thus, interviews as a whole do not appear to affect minorities nearly as much as mental ability tests. Results also suggested that (a) high-structure interviews have lower group differences on average than low-structure interviews, (b) group differences tend to decrease as the complexity of the job increases, and (c) group differences tend to be higher when there is a greater proportion of a minority in the applicant pool. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Each of 72 professional personnel consultants rated the suitability of one bogus applicant for selected masculine, feminine, and neuter jobs, and for alternatives to employment. Each resume was identical with the exception of the systematic variation of the applicant's sex and the omission or inclusion of a photo depicting the applicant as physically attractive or unattractive. As predicted, personnel decisions strongly reflected the operation of sex-role stereotypes as well as sex-relevant and sex-irrelevant attractiveness stereotypes. These factors similarly affected consultants' recommendations of alternatives to employment and consultants' causal attributions of applicants' projected occupational successes and failures. Sex-role typing provides a significant example of the powerful effects of stereotypes in the expansion and restriction of alternatives of expression and action available to men and to women in our society (Bern, 197S; Block, von der Lippe, & Block, 1973; Broverman, Vogel, Broverman, Clarkson, & Rosenkrantz, 1972). The influence of sex-role stereotypes on both access and employee treatment is centrally important to sex discrimination in employment, a practice prohibited by Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, The social sciences have begun to systematically examine sex discrimination in a number of settings, both naturalistic and experimental. The greatest amount of research has assessed discrimination against females in traditionally masculine, that is, male-dominated, occupations. Men have been evaluated more favorably than women for writing journal articles (Goldberg, 1968), for painting pictures (Pheterson, Kiesler, & Goldberg, 1971), and for
Research on the likelihood to sexually harass (LSH) indicates that men high in likelihood describe themselves as more socially and sexually dominant than low LSH men. Perceivers are able to distinguish men varying in sexual harassment proclivity by merely viewing silent video clips of an interaction between these men and a subordinate female. The present study investigated whether men high and low in the likelihood to sexually harass differ in dominance and sexual interest nonverbal behaviors when interacting with a subordinate female. Male undergraduates varying in the likelihood to sexually harass were surreptitiously videotaped while being interviewed by a subordinate female. Judges reliably coded the participants' nonverbal behaviors. We found that high likelihood to harass participants expressed more dominant nonverbal behaviors, but not more sexual interest nonverbal behaviors, than low LSH participants. Implications of these nonverbal differences for detection of, and coping with, sexual harassment proclivity are discussed.
The French and Raven power taxonomy (coercive, expert, legitimate, referent, and reward) was utilized to investigate graduate students' perceptions of their supervising professors' power and the relationship between professors' power and various students' perceptions, intentions, and behaviors. The results show that faculty power bases are related to several variables that are critical to student satisfaction and success.