Communication

Whether you’re a CEO, public relations professional, truck driver or preschool student, you are always communicating. Intentionally or not. Verbally or nonverbally. You have the skill the moment you enter the world.

Dr. Carrisa Hoelscher, director of graduate communication studies at Missouri State University, sets her target on competent communication to help others improve their skill.

Do you have something you hope to change or build upon this year in your life?

If you've ever struggled to make a substantial life change, it might be because you're too focused on correcting your weaknesses rather than investing in your strengths. That's according to Clifton Strengths Finder.

Nora Cox, senior instructor of communication at Missouri State University, is a certified Strengths Finder coach. She says awareness of ourselves makes us more productive at whatever we hope to achieve.

As a young child, Dr. Elizabeth Dudash-Buskirk learned about politics handing out fliers for family members running for office or joining her father at political rallies.

Now an associate professor of socio-political communication at Missouri State University, she teaches about political messages, commentary, debates and so much more. She’s here to discuss the shifts in the political communication process and how to be civil even while disagreeing.

The trouble with online forums is this: Participants are usually faceless and the opinions can be ruthless. That's what triggered Dr. LeAnn Brazeal, assistant professor of communication and the director of the public speaking program at Missouri State University, to research maintaining civility in online discussions. She and a co-author from Kansas State University, Dr. Soo-Hye Han published "Playing Nice: Modeling Civility in Online Political Discussions" in Communication Research Reports.

Adults take for granted the ability to resolve conflict — a skill perfected over a lifetime. Missouri State professor Dr. Charlene Berquist hopes to offer victims, offenders and other at-risk youths the opportunity to build the skills needed to pull themselves out of a justice system that may swallow them up.

She discusses the Restorative Justice program at the Center for Dispute Resolution – a center she serves as the director for.

  Due to the fact the offenders are juveniles, the parents play an important role, she added.

How can we become more inclusive in our communities? Dr. Stephanie Norander and Dr. Gloria Galanes, researchers and professors of communication at Missouri State University, studied efforts in Springfield, Missouri, to become a more diverse and inclusive community to answer this question. They found that engaging and embracing racial differences through ongoing dialogue are central to creating and maintaining a strong sense of community.

What do you communicate through body language? What do your text message choices say about you? How much influence do you hold in a conversation?