Publication Date



Mentoring is a trusting, developmental supervisory relationship whose success largely depends on participants' interpersonal abilities. Feedback interventions with mentees commonly present interactional challenges to maintaining that relationship, yet are integral to any teaching–learning context. In this study we examined whether and how two key, trainable teacher communication abilities—face-threat mitigation (FTM) and nonverbal immediacy—predicted students' perceptions of being mentored by a teacher. Levels of actual FTM tactics and teacher nonverbal immediacy (TNI) cues were manipulated in a feedback intervention situation on video and analyzed across a 2x2 design. Factorial MANCOVA analysis of perceived mentoring detected significant multivariate main effects for FTM tactics and for TNI cues, no significant two-way interaction effect between those two interpersonal variables, and differences in how TNI and FTM each contributed to predicting mentoring's four measured dimensions. Theoretical and pedagogical implications are discussed in light of facework, approach–avoidance, feedback intervention, and leader–member exchange theories.

Author Supplied Keywords

Mentoring, Face-threat mitigation, Facework, Teacher nonverbal immediacy cues, Nonverbal approach behaviors, Feedback intervention, Identity management, Leader-member exchange


Communication Strategies; Communication (Thought Transfer); Feedback (Response); Intervention; Mentors; Nonverbal Communication; Student Attitudes; Teaching Methods; Teacher Student Relationship; Undergraduate Study

Publication Information

Communication Education, 2015, Volume 64, Issue 1, 1-24.

© 2014 National Communication Association

Archived version is accepted manuscript.

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Communication Education in December, 2014 available online: 10.1080/03634523.2014.978797





Document Type

Journal Article