Nov 13

It’s Not What You Say But The Way That You Say It

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Do you:
• want to be heard more?
• want to be more assertive?
• want to make more impact?
• want to be taken more seriously?

Good communication skills underpin a lot of the training and coaching that I do whether I am developing customer service, presentation or leadership skills.

Understanding the impact that we make through the words we choose, the tone of our voice and our body language makes a big difference. Whenever I discuss this in a workshop, people in the group are always surprised by the research by Albert Meharabian and how important non-verbal behaviour is.

This research show that, when someone is communicating with us face-to-face, and there is some emotional content to their message, we pick up only 7% of the message from the words that they use. 38% comes from their tone of voice and 55% from their body language.

Before you wonder why on earth we use language at all, this is not to say that words are not important. Where this information is significant is where there is an inconsistency between these three elements of communication – the words, voice and body language.

When somebody stands in front of you and says “I am really confident” with a quivering voice, won’t make eye contact with you and is trembling, do you believe that they are confident? Of course not, their non-verbal behaviour overpowers the words that they speak.

So if you:
• want to be heard more?
• want to be more assertive?
• want to make more impact?
• want to be taken more seriously?

or simply you want people to understand you, make sure that what you say is supported by the way in which you say it.

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