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page updated/reviewed 24 Mar 06

Communications, in GeneralBack to Top

SpeakingBack to Top StorytellingBack to Top ListeningBack to Top
  • See also building rapport

  • See also Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

  • "A man who listens because he has nothing to say can hardly be a source of inspiration. The only listening that counts is that of the talker who alternatively absorbs and expresses ideas." -- Agnes Repplier

  • spiffy Listening Effectively (local copy), by John Kline

  • spiffy Practice Listening Skills (local copy) - a quick checklist from the Office of the Dispute Resolution Specialist, Dept of Veteran Affairs

  • spiffy Ten Commandments of Good Listening - as posted by the Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program
    • the first ten - from K. Davis, Human Behavior at Work, McGraw Hill, 1972
      1. Stop talking. Obvious, but not easy.
      2. Put the speaker at ease. Create a permissive, supportive climate in which the speaker will feel free to express himself or herself.
      3. Show a desire to listen. Act interested and mean it.
      4. Remove distractions. External preoccupation is less likely if nothing external is present to preoccupy you.
      5. Empathize. Try to experience to some degree the feelings the speaker is experiencing.
      6. Be patient. Give the speaker time to finish; don't interrupt.
      7. Hold your temper. Don't let your emotions obstruct your thoughts.
      8. Go easy on argument and criticism. Suspend judgment.
      9. Ask questions. If things are still unclear when a speaker has finished, ask questions which serve to clarify the intended meanings.
      10. Stop talking. In case you missed the first commandment.
    • additional listening techniques - from P. Bradley and J. Baird, Communication for Business and the Professions, Brown, 1980
      • Preparation. If you know what the topic is ahead of time, learn something about it so you will not be an ignorant listener. Even some careful thinking will allow you to listen more accurately when the communication actually begins.
      • Seek intent. Try to discover the intent of the source; why is he or she saying these things?
      • Seek structure. Look for an organizational scheme of the message. If the speaker is an accomplished one, you won't have to look very hard; it will be obvious. But if the speaker is less skilled, the responsibility falls to you.
      • Analyze. Do not accept what you hear at face value; analyze what the speaker is saying and pay attention to body language.
      • Focus. Keep the main topic of the message in mind at all times, using it to bring focus to the information which the speaker supplies.
      • Motivate yourself. This may be the most important. Listening takes work, and to do that you may have to "psych yourself up."

  • International Listening Association

  • Listening Skills - Self-Evaluation Test
  • Listening Skills Self-Evaluation
  • Listening and Empathy Responding

  • Crisis Intervention: Using Active Listening Skills in Negotiations (local copy), by Noesner and Webster, in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, August 1997

InterviewingBack to Top Being Interviewed by the MediaBack to Top InterrogationBack to Top
  • See also interviewing

  • See also NLP

  • See also deception detection

  • See also interrogations and interviewing on Lessons Learned page

  • See also torture on Law page

  • FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation, 1992 version
    NOTE: some sources believe the 1987 version below was more permissive than the 1992 version above - however, even in the 1987 version below you can see the prohibition against force.
  • Principles of Interrogation, in Chapter 1, FM 34-52 (1987 version, now superceded) - included the following

      Interrogation is the art of questioning and examining a source to obtain the maximum amount of usable information. The goal of any interrogation is to obtain usable and reliable information, in a lawful manner and in the least amount of time, which meets intelligence requirements of any echelon of command.


      The use of force, mental torture, threats, insults, or exposure to unpleasant and inhumane treatment of any kind is prohibited by law and is neither authorized nor condoned by the US Government. Experience indicates that the use of force is not necessary to gain the cooperation of sources for interrogation. Therefore, the use of force is a poor technique, as it yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear. However, the use of force is not to be confused with psychological ploys, verbal trickery, or other nonviolent and noncoercive ruses used by the interrogator in questioning hesitant or uncooperative sources.

      The psychological techniques and principles outlined should neither be confused with, nor construed to be synonymous with, unauthorized techniques such as brainwashing, mental torture, or any other form of mental coercion to include drugs. These techniques and principles are intended to serve as guides in obtaining the willing cooperation of a source. The absence of threats in interrogation is intentional, as their enforcement and use normally constitute violations of international law and may result in prosecution under the UCMJ.

      Additionally, the inability to carry out a threat of violence or force renders an interrogator ineffective should the source challenge the threat. Consequently, from both legal and moral viewpoints, the restrictions established by international law, agreements, and customs render threats of force, violence, and deprivation useless as interrogation techniques.

  • Reducing a Guilty Suspect’s Resistance to Confessing: Applying Criminological Theory to Interrogation Theme Development (local copy), by Boetig, in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, August 2005 - discusses theme-based interrogation and criminological theories

  • Strategies to Avoid Interview Contamination (local copy), by Sandoval, in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, October 2003 - some good tips, strategies, and questions

  • Criminal Confessions - Overcoming the Challenges (local copy), by Napier and Adams, in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, November 2002 - includes following principles/tips
    • follow the facts
    • identify personal vulnerabilities
    • know the suspect
    • preserve the evidence
    • adjust moral responsibility
    • use psychology versus coercion
    • allowing suspects to maintain dignity is professional and increases the likelihood of obtaining a confession

  • Conducting Successful Interrogations (local copy), by Vessel, in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, October 1998

    • Obtaining information that an individual does not want to provide constitutes the sole purpose of an interrogation.

  • Magic Words to Obtain Confessions (local copy), by Napier and Adams, in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, October 1998

    • Magic words come from three commonly used defense mechanisms-rationalization, projection, and minimization
      • Rationalize Suspects’ Actions
      • Project the Blame onto Others
      • Minimize the Crime
      • Provide Reasons to Confess

  • Interviewing Self-confident Con Artists (local copy), by O'Neal, in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, March 2001
    - "with the proper preparation and strategic approach, investigators can take advantage of the character traits of con artists"

  • Investigative Techniques: Federal Agency Views on the Potential Application of Brain Fingerprinting" (local copy), GAO report, Oct 2001

  • Hypnosis in Interrogation, by Deshere, in Studies in Intelligence, Vol.4, No.1

Deception DetectionBack to Top
  • See also deception on Info Ops page

  • See also interviewing and NLP sections

  • See also interrogation

  • Detecting Online Deception and Responding to It (local copy), by Rowe, Naval Postgraduate School

  • Detecting Deception, by Adelson, in Monitor on Psychology, Jul-Aug 2004 - includes discussion of software which can analyze written content for lying

  • Intuitive people worse at detecting lies, by Young,, 18 Mar 2002
    • People who think of themselves as being intuitive make worse lie detectors than those who do not trust in a "gut instinct", according to new research.
    • One possible explanation is that intuitives in fact rely on common misconceptions about how to spot a liar, he says.

  • A Four-Domain Model for Detecting Deception - An Alternative Paradigm for Interviewing (local copy), by Navarro, in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, June 2003

    • They can use an alternative paradigm for detecting deception based on four critical domains:
      • comfort/discomfort
      • emphasis
      • synchrony
      • perception management

  • Detecting Deception (local copy), by Navarro and Schafer, in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, July 2001

  • Microexpressions
  • Truth Wizards Can Detect Lies (local copy), in the Maine Law Officer's Bulletin, Nov 2004 - detecting the subtle signs that people reveal when they lie

  • Lying and Deceit - The Wizards Project, Police Psychology Online
    • "With 20 minutes of training, we are able to significantly improve someone's ability to recognize microexpressions which are involved in many kinds of lies," Dr. O'Sullivan said.

  • Paul Ekman
    • Lying Faces - One Man Studies Them, by Garrett
      • Discover Magazine [Jan 2005 issue] reports Ekman is working with the Department of Defense on software that could detect liars by studying facial emotions, called micro-expressions, that go unnoticed by the untrained eye.

        "They look just like an ordinary expression, except they're only on the face about a 25th of a second," this researcher observes. Ekman has shown that certain emotions flash almost undetectably when people are telling high-stakes lies, where they benefit or lose a lot.

    • Paul Ekman home page
    • Downloadable articles
    • Darwin, Deception, and Facial Expression, by Ekman, in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences - discusses the Facial Action Coding System (FACS)
    • Ekman, O’Sullivan, & Frank. "A few can catch a liar." Psychological Science, 10, 263-266, 1997
    • Ekman, P. & O’Sullivan, M. "Who can catch a liar?" American Psychologist, 46, 913-920 , 1991

    • Ekman, Paul. Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Marriage, and Politics, W.W. Norton & Company, 3rd revised edition 2002

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)Back to Top
  • See also building rapport

  • See also Van der Horst article on Culture Center

  • Communicating in Style: Discover How to Communicate with Everyone (and Like It!) (local copy), by Barrett, of PinnacleOne, presentation at 2003 CMAA National Conference, posted by GSA Project Management Center of Expertise - includes NLP as one of the methods

  • Subtle Skills for Building Rapport - Using Neuro-Linguistic Programming in the Interview Room (local copy), by Sandoval and Adams, in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, August 2001 - good short explanation of NLP basics (HTML version)

  • Model-Based Mind (local copy), by Kercel, Brown-VanHoozer, and VanHoozer, Oak Ridge National Lab, in Proceedings of SMC 2000: IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics. - using NLP to draw inferences and abstract meaning from data - also discusses internal decision functions, mental states, and visual, auditory, and kinesthetic cues used during interviews

  • Models of Reality (local copy), by Brown-VanHoozer, Oak Ridge National Lab, for ANNIE '99 Conference (Artificial Neural Networks in Engineering), Nov 1999 - includes discussion of
    • primary representational system (PRS) - the representational system we tend to favor most
    • feedback loops in decision strategies
    • neurological cues to thought processes
    • seven categories of an experience - "a framework from which an individual can elicit detailed descriptions of experience in order that sufficient, high quality, reproducible data, insofar as that it is possible when dealing with human subjects, is obtained for unpacking strategy patterns (Brown-VanHoozer, 1995)."
      1. External behavior - what the person is doing;
      2. Internal Computation - how that information is stored in sensory based distinctions in the brain;
      3. Internal State - what impact the experience has internally;
      4. Context - the precise situation in which the person is involved, which includes, but is not limited to: location, time, persons other than subject with whom engaged, etc.
      5. Criteria - how important the experience is in personal terms for the subject - a rank ordering;
      6. Cause-Effect - what, exactly, makes the experience occur, and
      7. Complex Equivalence - what it all means, to the individual.

  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming: A Basis for Language Learning, by Love, in The Journal of the Imagination in Language Learning and Teaching

  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming Interest Group at Stanford
  • NLP Information Center

  • additional references
Building RapportBack to Top Effective FeedbackBack to Top Working with Difficult PeopleBack to Top MeetingsBack to Top ReadingBack to Top WritingBack to Top Fallacies in LogicBack to Top Argumentative and Persuasive CommunicationBack to Top Inoculation TheoryBack to Top
  • McGuire, W. "Resistance to persuasion conferred by active and passive prior refutation of the same and alternative counterarguments." Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1961

  • Inoculation Theory, U. of Ky, part of the Persuasion theories page
    • Inoculation theory states that inoculation is used to describe the attribution of greater resistance to individuals. Or, the process of supplying information to receivers before the communication process takes place in hopes that the information would make the receiver more resistant.
RhetoricBack to Top MetaphorsBack to Top
    We are prisoners of our own metaphors, metaphorically speaking...
    --- R. Buckminster Fuller

  • Lakoff, George, and Mark Johnson. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

  • Quinn, Naomi. “The Culture Basis of Metaphor.” Beyond Metaphor: The Theory of Tropes in Anthropology. Ed. James W. Fernandez. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1991. 56-93.

  • Boundary of Metaphors, from MIT OpenCourseWare project

  • Effective Presentations (local copy), Army Corps of Engineers
    • Meet your listeners at their level of understanding. Use metaphors: Compare unfamiliar facts with something simple the audience already knows. An example would be comparing the flow of water in a pipe with the flow of electricity in a wire. People learn more rapidly when the information relates to their own experience.

  • Malignants in the Body Politic: Redefining War through Metaphor, by Stickle, 2004 SAAS paper

  • A Joint Task Force Staff Structure for the New Millennium: Leaner, Faster, and More Responsive, by Row, Wright Flyer Paper No. 4
    • Uses metaphors to describe organizational relations. Includes quote below.
    • "Metaphor is often regarded just as a device for embellishing discourse, but its significance is much greater than this. The use of metaphor implies a way of thinking and a way of seeing that pervade how we understand our world generally. . . . Metaphor is inherently paradoxical. It can create powerful insights that also become distortions, as the way of seeing created through a metaphor becomes a way of not seeing." - from Gareth Morgan, Images of Organization, 2d ed. (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1997), 4-5.

  • The Digital General: Reflections on Leadership in the Post-Information Age, by Harig, in Parameters, Autumn 1996
    • Just as there are plentiful examples where critical scientific breakthroughs have occurred while the right brain (our intuitive, pre-verbal cognitive resource) was operating ahead of the pack, strategic vision requires an ability to think in metaphors, to seek related patterns in unrelated objects, situations, and events. True, our future senior leaders will have access to more information. The successful ones will be those who are best able to sort out the important from the interesting. The development and testing of analogies--the patterns that allow leaders to see the important under data overload, is a skill that could waste away under a sterile diet of expert systems and virtual reality simulations.

Gender DifferencesBack to Top Citing Online SourcesBack to Top PlagiarismBack to Top Phonetic AlphabetBack to Top

Negotiation Skills
Mediation and Facilitation
Consensus Building
Crisis Negotiation and Hostage Negotiation
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)Back to Top

Above topic areas have moved to the Center for Negotiation Studies

English as a Second Language (ESL)Back to Top

Above topic area has moved to the Center for Regional and Cultural Studies

Cross-Cultural Communication, including nonverbalsBack to Top

Above topic area has moved to the Cultural Awareness & Cross-Cultural Communication page

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