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MTSU professor shares top three tips to improve co...

MTSU professor shares top three tips to improve communication on WKRN’s ‘MTSU on 2’ segment [+VIDEO]

By Matthew Hibdon

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Mary Beth Asbury, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, understands the impact of communication in our everyday lives and has three top tips to be a more effective communicator.

“In our field of communication studies, we study human interaction — how we communicate verbally, nonverbally and over text — essentially how we use messages to create meanings in people,” said Asbury on a recent “MTSU on 2” segment from the studios of WKRN-TV News 2, the ABC affiliate in Nashville.

Her tips for improving communication are:

  1. Be cautious when interpreting nonverbal communication.
  2. Use fewer, simpler words.
  3. Conflict is natural.

You can watch the segment, part of the station’s Local on 2 programming, with program co-host and producer Laura Schweizer below.

“There’s no dictionary for nonverbal communication. So that means it’s going to vary from person to person, and usually you can only interpret their nonverbal communication accurately if you actually know them and know the context,” she explained. 

When tackling her second tip, Asbury got straight to the point. “Keep it simple. Make sure that people are understanding what you are getting across by being clear and concise,” said Asbury.

“One of the myths about communication is that ‘conflict is always bad.’ And actually conflict is healthy and exists in every single relationship we have,” she said. “Learning how to handle conflict is what’s important, and learning how to work through it will actually make your relationships stronger.”

To learn more about the undergraduate programs offered in the MTSU Department of Communication Studies in the College of Liberal Arts, please visit https://mtsu.edu/communication

— Matthew Hibdon (Matthew.Hibdon@mtsu.edu)

  • Mary Beth Asbury, left, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, recently appeared in studio on WKRN-TV News 2’s Local on 2 program with co-host and producer Laura Schweizer, right, at the station in Nashville, Tenn., to provide tips on good communication. Asbury’s segment is part of the station’s new “MTSU on 2” partnership to spotlight university faculty and staff expertise and programs. (MTSU photo by Matthew Hibdon)
  • Mary Beth Asbury, left, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, recently appeared in studio on WKRN-TV News 2’s Local on 2 program with co-host and producer Laura Schweizer, right, at the station in Nashville, Tenn., to provide tips on good communication. Asbury’s segment is part of the station’s new “MTSU on 2” partnership to spotlight university faculty and staff expertise and programs. (MTSU photo by Matthew Hibdon)
  • Mary Beth Asbury, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, stands next to the MTSU logo displayed on a monitor in the studio for WKRN-TV News 2’s Local on 2 program in Nashville, Tenn. Asbury recently appeared for an interview with program co-host and producer Laura Schweizer to provide tips on good communication. Asbury’s segment is part of the station’s new “MTSU on 2” partnership to spotlight university faculty and staff expertise and programs. (MTSU photo by Matthew Hibdon)
  • Mary Beth Asbury, left, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, answers a question from Laura Schweizer, right, WKRN-TV’s Local on 2 program co-host and producer, during a recent appearance in studio at the station in Nashville, Tenn. Asbury, who provided News 2 viewers with tips on good communication, appeared as part of the station’s new “MTSU on 2” partnership to spotlight university faculty and staff expertise and programs. (MTSU photo by Matthew Hibdon)
  • Mary Beth Asbury, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, stands next to guest entrance sign outside the studio for WKRN-TV News 2’s Local on 2 in Nashville, Tenn. Asbury recently appeared on the program to provide tips on good communication. Hersegment is part of the station’s new “MTSU on 2” partnership to spotlight university faculty and staff expertise and programs. (MTSU photo by Matthew Hibdon)

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