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The Interpersonal Communication Playbook

The Interpersonal Communication Playbook

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528 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

“This textbook takes a practical and applicable approach to teaching interpersonal communication. It uses real-life examples to link theory to practice.”

—Angela Gibson, Shelton State Community College

Practical skills for developing successful relationships—both face-to-face and online

Written in a conversational style and presented in an innovative handbook format, The Interpersonal Communication Playbook empowers students to take an active role in the development of their communication skills. Best-selling authors Teri Kwal Gamble and Michael Gamble provide students with abundant opportunities to make personal observations, analyze personal experiences, and assess personal growth across interpersonal contexts. Offering an array of communication settings for students to practice their skills, this text makes it easy for students to see how relevant theory can be applied to develop and maintain healthy relationships with family, friends, romantic partners, and coworkers.

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About the Authors
Chapter 1: Interpersonal Communication: Why It Matters
Communication Presence  
What Is Interpersonal Communication?  
Models of Interpersonal Communication  
How Does Interpersonal Communication Enhance Life?  
Understanding Interpersonal Contact  
Diversity and Cultural Considerations  
The Impact of Gender  
The Impact of Media and Technology  
On the Way to Gaining Communication Competence  
Review This  
Chapter Summary  
Check Your Understanding  
Key Terms  
Chapter 2: Self-Concept, Identity, and Communication Presence
Self-Concept: Your Answer to Who You Are  
Self-Esteem: Assessing Self-Worth  
Others Help Shape Our Self-Concept  
The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy  
Revising Your Self-Concept: Reexamining Impressions and Conceptions  
Diversity and Culture in Relationships: How Important is the “I”?  
Seeing the Self Through the Media and Technology Looking Glass  
Gaining Communication Competence: Ways to Strengthen Your Self-Concept and Communication Presence  
Review This  
Chapter Summary  
Check Your Understanding  
Key Terms  
Chapter 3: Perception and Social Experience
Our Perception Defines Our Reality  
The Perception Process in Action  
Frameworks of Perception  
More Barriers to Accurate Perception  
Diversity and Culture: Interpreting Through Different I’s  
The Media, Technology, and Perception  
Gaining Communication Competence: Enhancing Your Perceptual Skills  
Review This  
Chapter Summary  
Check Your Understanding  
Key Terms  
Chapter 4: Listening and Life Contexts
Listening in Your Life  
Stages of Listening  
Ways of Listening  
Listening Ethics  
Responding With Feedback  
Diversity and Culture in Listening  
Media and Technological Influences on Listening  
Gaining Communication Skills: Becoming a Better Listener  
Review This  
Chapter Summary  
Check Your Understanding  
Key Terms  
Chapter 5: Communicating With Words
Defining Language  
The Triangle of Meaning  
Remove Semantic Barriers  
Consider the Effects of Your Words  
Language and Relationships: Communication Style, Words, and Feelings  
Language Conveys and Reinforces Attitudes Toward Culture, Gender, and Age  
Language, Media, and Technology  
Gaining Communication Competence: Making Your Words Work  
Review This  
Chapter Summary  
Check Your Understanding  
Key Terms  
Chapter 6: Nonverbal Communication
Defining Nonverbal Communication  
Reading Nonverbal Messages  
Culture and Nonverbal Behavior  
Gender and Nonverbal Behavior  
Media, Technology, and Nonverbal Messages  
Gaining Communication Competence: Using Skills to Enhance Relational Understanding  
Review This  
Chapter Summary  
Check Your Understanding  
Key Terms  
Chapter 7: Conversations: Social Glue
Small Talk: Social Lubricant  
What Is Conversation? Why Is It Important?  
Conversation Management  
Having Difficult Conversations and Repairing Conversational Damage  
Cultural Differences and Conversation  
Gender Differences and Conversation  
Media and Technology Talk  
Gaining Communication Competence: Improving Your Conversation Skills  
Review This  
Chapter Summary  
Check Your Understanding  
Key Terms  
Chapter 8: Emotions
What Are Emotions?  
Managing Emotions  
Emotions Have a Look and Feel  
Experiencing Emotions in Relationships  
Culture and the Expression of Emotion  
Gender and the Expression of Emotion  
Media and Technology: Modeling and Channeling Feelings  
Gaining Communication Competence: Communicating Emotion Skillfully  
Review This  
Chapter Summary  
Check Your Understanding  
Key Terms  
Chapter 9: Trust and Deception
What Is Trust?  
Forgiveness: Rebuilding a Relationship After Trust Was Betrayed  
Cost-Benefit Theory: The Price We Are Willing to Pay for a Relationship  
Exploring Relational Situations  
Lying and Relationship Ethics  
Culture and Gender  
Media, Technology, and Lessons in Trust  
Gaining Communication Competence: Developing Skills Needed to Nurture Trusting Relationships  
Review This  
Chapter Summary  
Check Your Understanding  
Key Terms  
Chapter 10: Power and Influence
The Control Factor: Exploring the Balance of Power in Relationships  
Exercising Persuasion  
The Impact of Culture, Gender, Media, and Technology on Conceptions of Power  
Gaining Communication Competence: Skills for Balancing Power in Relationships  
Review This  
Chapter Summary  
Check Your Understanding  
Key Terms  
Chapter 11: Conflict in Relationships
The Meaning of Conflict  
Sources and Classifications of Conflict  
Conflict Management Styles  
Communicating During Conflict  
Your Expressive Style  
Culture and Conflict Resolution  
Gender and Conflict Resolution  
Media, Technology, and Conflict Resolution: Models or Madness  
Gaining Communication Competence: Guidelines for Skillfully Resolving Conflict  
Review This  
Chapter Summary  
Check Your Understanding  
Key Terms  
Chapter 12: Interpersonal Needs, Attraction, and Relationship Dynamics
Why We Form Relationships  
Relationship Characteristics  
Relationship Attractors  
The Relationship Spectrum  
How Culture, Gender, and the Media and Technology Influence Our Relationships  
Gaining Communication Competence: Guidelines for Skillfully Navigating the Relationship Spectrum  
Review This  
Chapter Summary  
Check Your Understanding  
Key Terms  
Chapter 13: Intimacy and Distance in Relationships
Self-Disclosure and Intimacy  
Using Relational Dialectics Theory to Understand Relationships  
Focusing on Relationship Maintenance  
Relationships in Need of Repair: Fix It or End It  
The Dark Side of Relationships: Dysfunctions and Toxic Communication  
Relationships and Death: Processing Grief  
The Effects of Culture, Gender, and Media and Technology on Relational Intimacy  
Gaining Communication Competence: Handling Relational Closeness and Distance Skillfully  
Review This  
Chapter Summary  
Check Your Understanding  
Key Terms  
Chapter 14: Relationships in Context: Family, Work, and Health-Related Settings
The Nature of Familial Communication  
Interpersonal Communication at Work  
Interpersonal Communication in Health Care Settings  
Gaining Communication Competence Across Contexts  
Review This  
Chapter Summary  
Check Your Understanding  
Key Terms  


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  • learning objectives that reinforce the most important material;
  • exclusive access to influential SAGE journal articles that tie important research and scholarship to chapter concepts to strengthen learning; and
  • video and multimedia resources that facilitate student use of Internet resources and further exploration of topics.

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o    test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy that provide a diverse range of test items with ExamView test generation

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o    instructions on how to use and integrate the comprehensive assessments and resources provided;

  • assignable SAGE Premium Video (available via the interactive eBook version, linked through SAGE coursepacks) that is tied to learning objectives, and curated and produced exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life, featuring:

o    Comprehensive, downloadable, easy-to-use Media Guide in the Coursepack for every video resource, listing the chapter to which the video content is tied, matching learning objective(s), a helpful description of the video content, and assessment questions

    • TV and movie clips from pop culture that illustrate different concepts from interpersonal communication and animations of key concepts that give context to the scenes
  • chapter-specific discussion questions to help launch engaging classroom interaction while reinforcing important content;
  • exclusive SAGE journal articles that tie influential research and scholarship to chapter concepts;
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  • lecture notes that summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help you with preparation for lectures and class discussions;
  • integrated links to the interactive eBook that make it easy for students to maximize their study time with this “anywhere, anytime” mobile-friendly version of the text. It also offers access to more digital tools and resources, including SAGE Premium Video ; and
  • select tables and figures from the textbook

“This textbook takes a practical and applicable approach to teaching interpersonal communication. It uses real-life examples to link theory to practice.”

Angela Gibson
Shelton State Community College

“The text is written well.  It makes complex concepts easily accessible to students through the use of relevant and up-to-date examples and scenarios.”

Bayo O. Joachim
Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, Missouri

“The wonderful resources at the end of the chapters are a jumping-off point for students and professors alike to expand their discussions and critical thinking. They will spark creative thinking and analysis in classrooms everywhere.”

Shannon M. DeBord
Austin Community College

“The pedagogical content is this book is better than any I have seen. If a student uses all these features they should be able to clearly understand the material and apply it to their personal situations effectively.”

Kylene J. Wesner
Texas A&M University

“This textbook engages students by using multiple creative approaches and valuable examples. The breadth and depth of coverage of the field of interpersonal communication is highly appreciated. Students and instructors alike will enjoy learning about the basics of interpersonal communication using this all-inclusive book.”

Leslie Ramos Salazar
West Texas A&M University

“A comprehensive book which allows students to play with interpersonal concepts.”

Diane M. Ferrero-Paluzzi
Iona College

“This is an excellent text for an introductory interpersonal communication course with a relational focus in a program that does not offer additional upper division courses in interpersonal or relational communication.”

Todd Lee Goen
Christopher Newport University

“I would say this book was a comprehensive look at interpersonal communication with a very conversational tone and interactive ideas and activities embedded throughout.”

Kristin H. Carlson
University of Minnesota Duluth
Key features
  • Insightful, relatable examples and real-world scenarios engage students and encourage them to critically reflect on their own communication dynamics.
  • Learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter outline key objectives and help students master important concepts and prepare for exams.
  • Opening vignettes introduce the relevance of chapter content through a contemporary example of communication in action, exemplifying chapter themes with engaging and relevant stories.
  • “What Do You Know?” features promotes self-assessment of knowledge and encourages students to address any misconceptions they discover.
  • “Try This” boxes promote active learning and provide students with opportunities to put their skills into practice.
  • “Reflect On This” boxes connect theory with practice—bringing key concepts and ideas to life.
  • “Analyze This” boxes encourage students to apply critical thinking to examples of interpersonal encounters from literature and popular culture.
  • “Connect the Case” features includes chapter-ending cases designed to help students assess interpersonal communication outcomes to help solidify and further develop the skills learned.

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ISBN: 9781544381688

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