Communication and language are fundamental aspects of working life, especially for those working with people and their problems in a variety of settings. In this important new textbook, the best-selling author Neil Thompson explores the complexities of the vast theory base underpinning communication and language, demonstrating how theoretical ideas can be applied in practice. The book is organized into two parts. Part I provides an introduction to the range of theories that have been developed to account for communication and language, drawing on the literature associated with communication theory, social psychology, linguistics, sociology and cultural and media studies, and looking at both traditional and contemporary approaches. Part II explores the practice implications of this material, examining in particular: * how to maximize our effectiveness in interpersonal encounters through language, paralanguage and body language; * how to communicate clearly and effectively in writing, including by email; * the principles of good communication management, covering systems of communication, using forms, and organization culture. In ‘people work’, success often depends on how effectively we are able to communicate, while serious problems can be seen to arise from communication breakdowns. Developing our knowledge and skills in relation to communication and language is therefore an important goal to pursue. With its strong practice focus, its emphasis on reflection and its suggestions for further reading, this book can play an important part in that pursuit.