Pamela Peters

Document Type



This article will examine the often de-emphasized and overlooked nonverbal aspects of communication. Understanding the impact of non-verbal messages sharpens one's ability to view seemingly superficial mannerisms and movements as potential cues. Further, this article is designed to prompt individual assessment and increase awareness of one's personal non-verbal mannerisms. This article is intended to encourage members of the ADR and legal communities to thoughtfully observe those around them and implement purposeful movements into their interactions, ultimately becoming more powerful and effective communicators and professionals. This article will consider two methods of gaining compliance through non-verbal signals. The first category examines persuading through liking, by establishing attraction and similarity. Its basic premise is that highlighting shared features, establishing favorable interpersonal relationships, building trust, and fostering credibility through non-verbal behaviors increases a messenger's ability to persuade. The second category considers the use of non-verbal signals to convey power, dominance, and status to increase compliance rates. Reward, threat, punishment, and social and organizational hierarchies are also discussed as means of establishing power, dominance, and status. The goal of this article is to persuade readers that behaviors which communicate attraction and power are the same behaviors that improve one's ability to influence others.