Type of Document Dissertation Author Lausic, Domagoj Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-04142009-073849 Title Communicating Effectively: Exploring Verbal and Nonverbal Behaviors and How They Affect Team Coordination Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Gershon Tenenbaum Committee Chair David Eccles Committee Member Allan Jeong Outside Committee Member Andrew Rudd Outside Committee Member Keywords
- Nonverbal Sensitivity
- Data Analysis Tool
- Communication Software
Date of Defense 2009-01-13 Availability unrestricted AbstractPrevious research revealed that team communication via message exchange effects team performance outcomes (Fiore et al., 2001). Additional studies confirmed that the amount of communication might distinguish between superior and inferior teams (Mosier & Chidester, 1991; Orasanu, 1990). In order to enhance verbal communication, humans use nonverbal sources of information as messages are transmitted. Recent research found that nonverbal communication skills are robust predictors of achievement in group endeavors (Burgoon & Bacue, 2003). The present study investigated the link between the perceived and actual nonverbal and verbal communication behaviors of doubles tennis players. In addition, it examined how verbal and nonverbal communication abilities relate to performance.
Male NCAA Division I tennis players were engaged in playing doubles matches. The matches were video and audio taped so that between-the-point communication could be captured. Following the matches, the players were administered Nonverbal and verbal questionnaire (NVQ), which targeted perceived communication. Recorded communications during matches were coded, and subsequently analyzed using Data Analysis Tool (Jeong, 2003). Finally, participants took Profile of Nonverbal Sensitivity test (PONS; Rosenthal et al., 1979).
The results revealed that there was a positive and low correlation between (a) perceived verbal communication and amount of verbal communication, and (b) perceived nonverbal communication and PONS scores. It is possible that perception of one’s communication abilities do not relate well to the actual abilities in reading nonverbal cues. Results of previous research indicate that stressful situation, such as a competition, can negatively affect perceptions about communication (McCloskey et al., 1971). The results furthermore indicate that players who communicated more had a tendency to score higher on PONS test. It is likely that players who are sensitive to nonverbal communication are predisposed to decoding additional information on which they elaborated and used for problem-solving.
In addition, the study examined the differences in communication between winning and losing teams. The winning teams exhibited more verbal communication during match-playing task than the losing teams. This finding suggests that better performing teams discussed plans more frequently than the losing teams, and therefore facilitated greater coordination. Also, winning teams had frequent usage of emotional and action statements, while losing teams used non-task statements. The statements used by winning teams provided grounds for (a) motivation, inspiration, and encouragement, and (b) increased planning, which in turn enhanced performance. By contrast, the statements used by losing teams (e.g., non-task statements) were not task oriented, and thus did not enhance performance. In addition, the communication patterns of the winning teams were more homogenous, which could make communication more reliable. The findings are congruent with previous research on communication in sport setting (Lausic et al., in press).
To expand the knowledge in the message exchange research, the current study represents the first attempt to evaluate verbal communication, and relate it to (a) nonverbal communication ability, and (b) performance. Further research is needed to fully corroborate PONS in sport research as this measure has been validated in this study only to a degree.
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