The Handbook of Communication Skills: 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Handbook of Communication Skills

3rd Edition

Edited by Owen Hargie, Owen Hargie


600 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2006-05-04
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The Handbook of Communication Skills is recognised as one of the core texts in the field of communication. This thoroughly revised and updated third edition arrives at a time of considerable growing interest in this area, with recent research showing the importance of communication skills for success in many walks of life. The book's core principle, that interpersonal communication can be conceptualized as a form of skilled activity, is examined in detail and a comprehensive transactional model of skilled communication is presented, which takes into account current conceptual and research perspectives.

This book provides a comprehensive analysis of research, theory and practice in the key skill areas of communication, such as non-verbal communication, persuasion, leadership, assertiveness, self-disclosure, listening and negotiation. Each chapter is written by a recognised authority in that particular specialism, among them world leaders in their particular fields. In the ten years since the last edition, a large volume of research has been published and the text has been comprehensively updated by reviewing this wealth of data. In addition a new chapter on persuasion has been added - one of the areas of most rapid growth in social psychology and communication.

The Handbook of Communication Skills represents the most significant single contribution to the literature in this domain. It will be of continued interest to researchers and students in psychology and communication, as well as in a variety of other contexts, from vocational courses in health, business and education, to many others such as nursing and social work whose day-to-day work is dependent on effective interpersonal skills.


'This book can be described as 'thoughtful' as it takes into account theoretical, conceptual, functional and empirical perspectives when describing the literature base. The text links historical origins of each topic with contemporary perspectives … Therefore, the audience can easily orientate themselves with each topic discussed. An abundance of scientific research studies are cited within the book and the dissemination and relevance of their results thoroughly justified and explained … This book enjoys specialist contributions from leading experts within the field, whose academic and practical diversity adds strength to the text. The authors offer a variety of disciplinary knowledge, including psychological, communicative, nursing, and business. Thus, it will naturally appeal to and capture the attention of a wide audience.' - Helena Young, Assistant Psychologist at St. Andrew's Hospital, Northampton, in The Psychologist, November 2006

'The Handbook of Communication Skills was first published in 1986 and has now been on Routledge’s best-seller list for 20 years. It has received widespread recognition as the key text in the field of interpersonal communication, bringing together the scholarship of notable writers from Europe, the USA and Australia. This thoroughly revised and updated third edition arrives at a time of considerable growing interest in this area, with recent research showing the importance of communication skills for success in many walks of life. This new edition will mean that The Handbook of Communication Skills will continue to be a leading communication text.' - Dr Colleen Mills, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

'Meticulously and thoroughly researched, the scholarship reflected in The Handbook of Communication Skills is excellent. Important communication skills are reviewed with fresh perspectives that integrate both the European and American thrusts. Consequently, the authors give the readers a more thorough grounding than occurs in most textbooks.' - Cal W. Downs, Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication Studies, University of Kansas, USA

'In this new updated edition of The Handbook of Communication Skills, Owen Hargie presents twenty chapters on both the theory and practice of communication skills. The book is well written: clear and pacy. It is also impressively erudite, with up-to-date references that do not in any way overburden the text. A most welcome contribution!' - Peter Bull, Department of Psychology, University of York

'In this book readers will find ‘everything they want to know about communication but never dared to ask’. This book clearly explains that the way one communicates is not innate, but can be learnt. The Handbook has become a standard work for all who are engaged in communication skills training.' - Henk T. van der Molen, Professor of Psychology at the Institute of Psychology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Past President of the Dutch Psychological Association.

Table of Contents

Editorial Introduction. Part 1 Communication skill in theory and practice. O. Hargie, Skill in Theory: Communication as Skilled Behaviour. O. Hargie, Skill in Practice: An Operational Model of Communicative Performance. Part II Core communication skills. R.A. Gordon, D. Druckman, R.M. Rozelle, J.C. Baxter, Nonverbal Communication as Communication: Approaches, Issues and Research. D. Dickson, O. Hargie, Questioning. L. Cairns, Reinforcement. D. Dickson, Reflecting. G. Brown, Explaining. C.H. Tardy, K. Dindia, Self-disclosure: Strategic Revelation of Information in Personal and Professional Relationships. R.N. Bostrom, The Process of Listening. H. Foot, M. McCreaddie, Humour and Laughter. D.J. O’Keefe, Persuasion. Part III Specialised contexts. R.F. Rakos, Asserting and Confronting. A. Wit, Interacting in Groups. I.E. Morley, Negotiating and Bargaining. M.K. Foley, S. Duck, Relational Communication. Part IV Interviewing contexts.R. Millar, A. Tracey, The Employment Interview. S.A. Rigazio-DiGilio, A.E. Ivey, The Helping Interview: Developmental Counselling and Therapy. D. Tourish, The Appraisal Interview Reappraised. A. Memon, The Cognitive Interview. Part V The training context. O. Hargie, Training in Communication Skills: Research, Theory and Practice.

About the Editors


Owen Hargie

Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Learn more about Owen Hargie >>

Owen Hargie is Professor of Communication at the University of Ulster, Adjunct Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Associate Professor at the University of Chester. He is a Chartered Member, Registered Practitioner, and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a member of the International Communication Association. His special areas of interest are in the study of interpersonal, health, cross-community, and organisational communication. He has published 15 books and over 100 book chapters and journal articles.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology