Constructive communication

Authored by: Kevin L. Burke

Routledge Handbook of Applied Sport Psychology

Print publication date:  October  2010
Online publication date:  October  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415484633
eBook ISBN: 9780203851043
Adobe ISBN: 9781136966675


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We cannot not communicate. Whether or not we speak, gesture, acknowledge others, or return emails and text messages, we are communicating. Good communication is a central skill sport psychologists and others in sports organizations should possess. Several authors have written regarding communicology, body language, linguistics, proxemics, encoding, decoding, sending, receiving, and other related topics (Burke, 1997). Many universities offer courses and even majors in communication. A book is available entitled Case Studies in Sport Communication (Brown & O’Rourke, 2003), and a measure of communication in team sports has been developed (Sullivan & Feltz, 2006). In the business world, studies have shown having good interpersonal relations is a key forecaster of profitability and “bottomline” advantages (Peters, 1988). Studies comparing communication among sport and business leaders emphasize similar attributes (Weinberg & McDermott, 2002). Whetten and Cameron (1991) suggested supportive communication is a competitive advantage for managers and organizations. Regardless of the setting, effective communication is central to success. Knowing how to be effective communicators may be considered one of the most important skills sport psychologists should strive to hone. Interactions with others will significantly influence our success as practitioners. Understanding the basics of communication provides a foundation for maximizing the components of this talent and potential for continual improvement.

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