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The Art of Positive Communication

Theory and Practice

Julien C. Mirivel

How we communicate with each other matters greatly. Our identity, our friendships and marriages, our families, and our culture are the product of how we speak to one another. Our words affect our hopes and dreams, as well as those of our children. We insult, complain, or criticize. We compliment, offer support, and inspire. These are choices that take place in the crevices of our most private and public conversations with others.
This book bridges communication theory and practice to foreground an important message: positive communication matters. By examining closely how people talk to each other at home or at work, this book enables undergraduate and graduate students to communicate more positively. The Art of Positive Communication is an ideal text for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in interpersonal communication courses and as a supplemental text to inspire all students to communicate better.
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Chapter 8: Positive Communication Influences Others

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POSITIVE COMMUNICATION INFLUENCES OTHERS

Prelude

About two years ago, Dr. Arvind Singhal visited my department. Arvind is well-respected for his scholarship on the diffusion of innovation and for igniting social change across the globe with an approach called positive deviance. Arvind delivered a presentation and was then available to meet with students. At the time, the department was creating study abroad opportunities to France and India. The students who were going to India came to the session because Arvind is originally from India. At one point, he asked the students for questions. One student raised his hand and said, “Well, as you know, we’re going to India. Do you have any advice for us?” Arvind paused for a second and then responded:

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