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Small Group Facilitation: Improving Process and Performance in Groups and Teams by Judith A. Kolb

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Paralanguage—It’s How You Say It

A popular phrase, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it,” makes an important point. Never underestimate the effect of a sarcastic tone of voice. Consider this question, “Why are you here?” By placing the emphasis on a different word of the question, the meaning changes. “Why are you here?” asks for a reason for your presence. “Why are you here?” asks, “Why you instead of someone else?” “Why are you here?” is a question of place—”Why are you here instead of somewhere else?”

Paralanguage refers to tone of voice, volume, range, quality, articulation, rate of speech, fillers such as ums and ahs, as well as groans and sighs. If you’ve ever noticed a colleague sighing and groaning, you know the power of these ...

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