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Journal of Effective Teaching, v12 n1 p20-31 2012

This article describes a novel teaching activity that allows students in diversity, leadership, and communication courses to observe the powerful effects of nonverbal communication. The nonverbal experiences female leaders may encounter as they rise through the ranks of organizations are simulated and consequences discussed. Two student volunteers give impromptu speeches acting as "leaders," while the rest of the students in the class provide positive nonverbal feedback to the first leader and negative nonverbal feedback to the second leader. Data collected in undergraduate student courses demonstrated that, as expected, the leader in the negative nonverbal feedback condition expressed reduced interest in performing future leader-related tasks thereby demonstrating how negative nonverbal reactions to leader behavior have serious consequences. Pre- and post-demonstration surveys clearly indicated that the students' knowledge of gender, leadership, and nonverbal behaviors increased, and that students found the activity to be both effective and enjoyable. These findings suggest that this activity can be integrated into curricula with positive learning outcomes.

Descriptors: Learning Activities, Nonverbal Communication, Females, Women Administrators, Leadership Training, Feedback (Response), Undergraduate Students, Leaders, Negative Attitudes, Pretests Posttests, Surveys, Gender Issues, Knowledge Level, Student Attitudes, Instructional Effectiveness

Journal of Effective Teaching. Center for Teaching Excellence, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403. Tel: 910-962-3034; Fax: 910-962-3427; e-mail: jet[at]; Web site:

Autor: Morgan, Whitney Botsford; King, Eden B.


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