Scholar, leader, and academic handyman Darrin Griffin drops by the Muse to help us put our game face on and show up better at work and home.

Show Notes

What you say and how you say it matters. In this episode of
Management Muse, author and researcher Darrin Griffin discusses the importance
of nonverbal communication.

As managers, we should be master noticers and pay attention to how
nonverbal cues like dominance behaviors, body language, and timing impact people
around you. This episode also covers the importance of perception checks to
reduce miscommunication.


  • Paying attention nonverbal behavior can help identify others’ interests and conversational goals and aid in better communication.
  • Nonverbal communication varies significantly from person to person. Translation: people are quirky, so we need to pay attention.
  • Nonverbal communication can help build trust and make people feel understood.
  • Because miscommunication is common, feedback and perception checks are essential.

Episode Quotes by Darrin Griffin

  • “If you’re going to hone your nonverbal skills, do it in a way that is goal driven and mutually ethical because you’re not doing it just to benefit yourself, right? You want to better understand people so you can react to them more accurately.”
  • “We know how to communicate. But nonverbal communication as managers is often challenging when you’re doing it with a lot of people with different perspectives.”
  • “Don’t try to interpret nonverbal behavior with certainty. Be tentative and do reality checks on what you think you are seeing.”
  • “It’s okay to be wrong. And by acknowledging you might have been wrong, misunderstood, or the source of miscommunication, you’ll build trust and rapport. People will like you more. They’ll think you’re human.”

About Darrin Griffin:

Darrin Griffin is the communication department chair at the University of Alabama and is a prominent author and researcher. His academic expertise is in nonverbal communication and deception and his practical expertise is in BBQ and motorcycles.


Lying and Deception in Human Interaction by Mark Knapp, Billy Earnest, Darrin Griffin, Matthew McGlone

Key words: Nonverbal communication, body language, self-presentation, influence, power

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