You are here

Due to global supply chain disruptions, we recommend ordering print titles early.
SAGE online ordering services will be unavailable due to system maintenance on June 26th at 8:30 pm Pacific / 11:30 pm Eastern for 30 mintues. Thank you for your patience and we apologize for the inconvenience.
The Interpersonal Communication Playbook

The Interpersonal Communication Playbook

First Edition
Available with:

January 2019 | 528 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

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 W. 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.

This title is accompanied by a complete teaching and learning package.
Contact your SAGE representative to request a demo.


  • Digital Option / Courseware
    SAGE Vantage
    is an intuitive digital platform that delivers this text’s content and course materials in a learning experience that offers auto-graded assignments and interactive multimedia tools, all carefully designed to ignite student engagement and drive critical thinking. Built with you and your students in mind, it offers simple course set-up and enables students to better prepare for class. Learn more.
    • Assignable Video with Assessment
      Assignable video (available with SAGE Vantage) is tied to learning objectives and curated exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life. 
      Watch a sample video now. 
  • LMS Cartridge (formerly known as SAGE Coursepacks): Import this title’s instructor resources into your school’s learning management system (LMS) and save time. Don’t use an LMS? You can still access all of the same online resources for this title via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site. Learn more. 

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



Student Study Site


The open-access Student Study Site makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime. It offers flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, as well as learning objectives that reinforce the most important material.

Instructor Resource Site

For additional information, custom options, or to request a personalized walkthrough of these resources, please contact your sales representative.

LMS cartridge included with this title for use in Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace by Desire2Learn (D2L), and Moodle

The LMS cartridge makes it easy to import this title’s instructor resources into your learning management system (LMS). These resources include:

  • Test banks
  • Editable chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides
  • Sample course syllabi
  • Lecture notes
  • All tables and figures from the textbook 
Don’t use an LMS platform?

You can still access all of the same online resources for this title via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site.

“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


  • This text is available as a digital option through SAGE Vantage, an intuitive digital platform that offers auto-graded assignments and interactive multimedia tools—including video—all designed to enable students to better prepare for class. Learn more.
  • 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.
Vantage Reference: 
The Interpersonal Communication Playbook- Vantage Digital Option

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

Electronic version
Prices from
*180 day rental

ISBN: 9781544381688

ISBN: 9781544332772