Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Warm Welcome!

Last weekend, I had the honor (again) of guest lecturing at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business. For the past several years, I have been thrilled to be asked to speak at Dr. Tanya Menon’s class on Power and Influence in Organizations.

After listening to me run through my speech at breakneck speed, we moved into the exciting part (for me anyway) - the role-playing exercises. Once again – the participants didn’t disappoint. It is always a pleasure attending the class and each time I take away something new that improves my teaching or speaking style, which is what makes each trip so successful.

A special welcome to any new readers from the classes who might be reading the blog for the first time. Let’s continue the dialogue and exchange of ideas here. If you have a particular topic or communication conundrum, send it my way and I will do my best to address it in a future post.

Thanks to Tanya for the wonderful introductions and always making me feel welcome!


Nayana said...

Hi Theresa,

It was wonderful to listen to you.
I am also a long time fan of the first quote in your presentation: "... People never forget how you made them feel..."
I had never consciously thought that non-verbal communication could be so important in a conversation. I was surprised to see how in some cases, you can actually see which participant will walk away feeling empowered. It was very enlightening. Being a woman, I was especially interested in the body language and non-verbal clues that women throw off in a conversation. I will definitely keep some of the things you said at the back of my mind.
Thank you so much for taking time to come see us.


Jeff Luenz said...


The insights you provided during the role-play exercises were very helpful. In fact, I've already become more aware of non-verbal cues at work.

I really appreciate you making the time to talk to us.


Shreejay said...

Hi Theresa,

Thanks for sharing your insights with us in class.

I have a question on non-verbal communication and change. I see some people who come across as high energy, enthusiastic and optimistic almost all the time. Some of these folks come across as genuine while others seem to be faking it. In corelating this to the self-monitoring exercise we did in class, my question is can someone change to a high self-monitor based on an epiphany or a specific event and how sustainable is the change? Specifically, do these life changing events/ ideas/ turning points change our attitude and behavior consistently.

I feel like there is always a inertial force that brings us back to our "natural" state and it takes a strong burst of energy to move to a different state. This "natural" state seems to be always evolving though in an incremental manner. Can you also share your insights on managing change.


Jeff Luenz said...


On our class discussion board, several students have found studies indicating that a person that flirts during negotiations gets a much worse result than the other party.

Specifically, while they were perceived as more likeable, they consistently got worse offers. This seems to run counter to cialdini's "liking" principle.

Do you have any thoughts on why this occurs?

Anonymous said...


Your presentation last week was one of the best and most memorable I have seen in my time at the GSB. I only wish that we had more time to learn more. Perhaps the school might engage you for a weekend or evening workshop. I would certainly sign-up/pay for that.

I had a very important meeting this week in which a small team of us were pitching something to our company's executive team. I believe that I did a better job than I would have, had I not seen you in class last weekend. I was actively reading the participants and managing my content, pace, inflection, and non-verbals for a more crisp delivery. Many thanks to you for sharing your time and insight!


Barbara Swafford said...

Hi Theresa,

I'm coming by to say thank you for dropping my by site and commenting. It's always great for me to see new bloggers showing up.

I'll be back again soon to check out more of your writings.

Happy Blogging!

Theresa Zagnoli said...

@ barbara - You are most welcome ... I enjoyed your blog and have been back a couple times. Appreciate you dropping by to check out my work also.

Theresa Zagnoli said...

@ Nayana: It was my pleasure.

@ Ben: Thanks for the compliment. The time certainly goes fast for me as well. A workshop sounds like a lot of fun ... I will look into it.

Theresa Zagnoli said...

@ Jeff - Appreciate the feedback and glad you have already become more aware of your non-verbals.

To address your question, flirting is not the same as being likeable. Flirting is an attempt to use gender in an inappropriate manner during an event - vastly different from likeability.

Since I haven't seen that specific research, I am in no way criticizing the results, however my opinion stands - flirting and likeability are distinctly different.

Am I addressing your question? The concepts of flirting and likeability are interesting topics and perhaps ones that I could address in a future blogs.

Theresa Zagnoli said...

@ Shreejay - People's personal traits absolutely change over time. And yes, we ultimately become a tapestry of our experiences. However, the key to being an excellent communicator is having the ability to read the context and goal of any interaction and be able to chameleon yourself while drawing upon the many communication techniques that exist.

Thoughts? Did I cover your question?