Dr. Allison Alford
Clinical Assistant Professor
"Communication is so much more than talking. It involves listening, the nuance of reading between the lines, clarifying assumptions, anticipating responses and formulating feedback."
- PhD Communication Studies – University Texas Austin
- MA Communication Studies – University Texas Austin
- BA International Studies – Texas A&M University College Station
- Began teaching post-secondary courses in Communication. To date, I have taught courses at eight colleges and universities in both Nevada and Texas, 2005
- Started coaching and consulting firm, Good Talk Communication Consulting, LLC and started as a faculty member at Baylor University in the Management Information Systems department, 2017
Which classes do you teach online?
What do students learn in this class? What is the expected outcome?
Students will better understand the multiple facets of communication and learn to strategically harness key applications for professional success. Students will practice professional writing and revision, powerful presentations, critical and thoughtful feedback practices, and structures that can be used to get any project off the ground. Students will be challenged to expand their communication skills past their comfort zone and learn more about conflict resolution in leadership.
Why did you start teaching?
Being raised by a marriage and family therapist, I learned early the value of talking about 'talking.' Communication is the foundation of every good relationship, whether in business or in our personal lives. My unique upbringing—filled with in-depth discussions of the ins and outs of communication styles, conflict, power, and more—built the foundation, and I further pursued these topics through my education. I discovered a true passion for translating scholarly research into usable ideas; I began teaching post-secondary courses in 2005 and found that every time I teach, I also learn. Communication is an art form that never stops growing and changing; providing an opportunity for professionals at any level of their career to gain skills that will enhance their day-to-day work lives and all of their relationships.
What advice would you give to prospective online students?
Oscar Wilde said, "You can never be overdressed or overeducated"; to that I will add "or overcommunicated." Communication is so much more than talking. It involves listening, the nuance of reading between the lines, clarifying assumptions, anticipating responses and formulating feedback. There is no possibility of communicating too much, so don't underestimate the time or effort needed for this endeavor.
What qualities make someone particularly successful in the business world?
In the field of communication studies, one must continue to ask, "How can I do it better?" As William H. Whyte once said, "The great enemy of communication is the illusion of it." If we assume we have achieved communication, then we are actually a barrier to it. Never stop seeking greater understanding of those around you, then employ that whether it be in business or in personal circles.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that people in business face today?
The double-edged sword of technology. It promotes connection, but often hinders true communication.
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
"How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie
Tell us something your students might not know about you:
Along with my husband, I competed on Wheel of Fortune in January 2018. While we didn't win our show, we got some cash, luggage and a lot of great memories!