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Is E-Mail Diluting Your Message?

communicate Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UCLA, is the author of Silent Messages. This book discusses his legendary research into the relative importance of verbal and non-verbal communication.

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Mehrabian’s rule

When you’re trying to communicate emotions, think about the three V’s: verbal, vocal, and visual. They are the three parts of what has become known as Mehrabian’s Rule – 7% of your message is given verbally (the words you use), 38% comes vocally (the tone you use), and 55% is delivered visually (your facial expressions and body language).

We see from his research that, when we’re trying to convey feelings or attitudes, the overwhelming majority of the message comes through non-verbally. If the verbal and non-verbal don’t agree, people will rely on the non-verbal.

Choosing your medium

Therefore, understanding the three V’s of communication helps you prevent misunderstanding. If the recipient of your message can’t hear and see you say the words, your message may get diluted.

E-mail is convenient, but it can be easily misunderstood because it’s only words. What about text messages?

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marylynnA friend of mine told me that her husband’s ex-wife texts her husband about problems with their kids. My friend gets frustrated after several rounds of nothing getting solved. She says she tells him to just call his ex-wife.

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So choose your medium carefully if you’re trying to convey feelings or attitudes. Some media only use one part of the communication trio, and a very minor one at that!

If you’re just relaying facts, e-mail is fine. If you want to express more than that, your message may get diluted. A phone call enriches the conversation because you bring in the voice. And while it’s not always possible to meet face-to-face, it is your best bet for your most sensitive communication.

Speaking of which …

Let’s apply this to a presentation, whether your audience is one or many. How you say what you say, and what you do when you say it, are actually more important, in getting your message across, than what you say.

What?

It’s hard to explain this in just words. Hey, that illustrates our point!

You can say, “I’m excited.” If you say it with enthusiasm in your voice while standing straight up, your audience will believe you. If you say it like Droopy says, “I’m happy” and slouch while you’re saying it, your audience may doubt you.

People remember the impression more than the words. So if you want to connect with an audience, it’s important to practice your inflections and your gestures to make sure they’re congruent with your words.

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We really appreciate you reading our post today. If you listened to our show, you could’ve heard our appreciation in our voices! Join us next time when we get a visit from a very special guest – Santa Claus. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Are They Hearing What You Are Saying?

The Communication Debate: E-mail, Phone, Or Face Time?

(Image in today's post by ilco)

Starting from Scratch – Part 1

scratch_beginnings

We had a special guest today on The Bigg Success Show.

Adam Shepard is the author of Scratch Beginnings. After graduating from college, he conducted a real-life experiment, by starting out homeless with only $25 and the clothes on his back, to see if the American Dream is still alive. His book chronicles his year-long journey. Here’s a summary of the conversation …

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marylynnI loved your book, Adam. There were times when I couldn’t put it down because I was worried about you! I can’t imagine what your mom and your dad must have felt.

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adam_shepard
They definitely did not sleep much on that first night … that’s for sure.

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Read more

How to Crack a Crabby Co-Worker

Bigg Challenge
Melissa e-mailed us about a co-worker that she works with regularly on projects. Her co-worker is never in a good mood. In fact, she’s often downright unfriendly to everybody. Melissa tried taking a personal interest and killing her with kindness, but it didn’t matter. She wonders how to deal with this difficult co-worker.

 

Bigg Advice
Ah, the crabby co-worker with the hard exterior shell that you just can’t crack! It seems like every office has one. We’ll offer some suggestions, Melissa, but just remember you can’t change anybody but yourself.

You’ve tried being nice, but it hasn’t helped. Sometimes the nicer you are to people like this, the meaner they get. They’re like the bully that we all picture from our childhood days.

So don’t be afraid to stand up to the bully. One of two things will happen when you do – they’ll either be more of a bully or they’ll respect you for standing up for yourself.

So confront her directly, but don’t be in-her-face about it. There’s a good chance you’ll catch her off guard, because bullies aren’t used to being called out for being rude.

When she says something curt, just ask, “Have I done something to offend you?” You can expect one of two responses:

  • She may say “Yes”.
    That gives you the opportunity to follow up. Just ask, “I wasn’t aware I had offended you, what did I do?”

    Now at least you can have a conversation. She may get it off her chest and you might become one of the few people she treats well.

  • She may say, “No, why?”
    That will open the door for you to say something like, “By the tone of your voice, I just felt like I must have upset you.”

    In some cases, bullies have behaved this way for so long (and gotten away with it), they don’t even realize that they’re doing it. By bringing it to her attention, she might change her attitude toward you.

No matter what, Melissa, be sincere. Don’t worry about her attitude and don’t take it personally – it’s her problem, not yours.

Lower the bar

On the show, George shared some advice that he learned from one of his mentors. This mentor said he discovered early in his career that he wouldn’t like everybody with whom he worked. However, he worked hard to not dislike any of his co-workers.

So lower the bar! Try to find ways to not dislike her. For example, maybe she’s really good at what she does and you can respect her for that.

Thanks, Melissa for sharing your bigg challenge! 

If you have some tips for Melissa, share them with all of us! Comment below!

Our bigg quote today is by Anais Nin:

“From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.”

So don’t fret too much about your crabby co-worker. Plenty of people will melt like butter from the warmth of your personality.

Next time, in honor of Mother’s Day, we’ll talk about mom’s lasting legacy. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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(Image by eschu1952)

How to Feel Rich Today

rich_dessert Rich is a very rich word. It’s commonly defined as “wealth”, but “rich” has many meanings.

It means “quality” – “That’s a rich idea.”

It implies “fullness” – “I have a rich life."

Another meaning is “fruitful” – “He farms rich soil.”

Rich goes way beyond the common perception.

Conditions vs. Expectations
If your current conditions equal or exceed your expectations, you’re happy. If you’re happy, you can feel rich.

If your conditions don’t meet your expectations, then you’re unhappy. In that case, you can either change your conditions or change your expectations.

3 ways to change your conditions


#1 – Change your attitude.

It all starts with you. If you think you can’t do something, you can’t. It’s that simple.

#2 – Change your self-talk.
Keep telling yourself that “you can do it”. Yes, we know about the Adam Sandler movies!

Say it over and over until you really, truly believe it. Every time you tell yourself something negative, you’re actually two steps behind. You’ve taken a step back because of this self-doubt, and you could have taken a step forward.

#3 – Emulate successful people.

You may not FEEL like doing something. Do it anyway. Fake it. Force it. Do what successful people do long enough and you’ll be successful.

3 ways to change your expectations

#1 – Stop trying to keep up with the Jones’.

It’s your life, not theirs. What difference does their opinion make? You’re the one who has to be proud of you.

#2 – Set goals that are achievable.
If you set the bar so high that all you do is work toward that goal, you won’t have a rich life. Set goals that stretch you, but don’t break you as you try to achieve them.

#3 – Look at what you have, not what you don’t have. 

Savor your accomplishments before you move on. Look at your relationships and all the things for which you can be happy.

A man who changed his conditions

A friend of ours got in with a group at work that complained about everything – their conditions, their boss, and the company. They also never gave an ounce more than they needed to in order to keep their jobs.

One day, our friend got assigned to a project with a guy who was a bigg goal-getter. This guy only said good things about work, their boss, and the company. He did little things that made him stand out. Our friend emulated him. Before long, he got a promotion with a bigg raise.

A woman who changed her expectations

Sarah Susanka is an architect who has written ten books, including The Not-So-Big Life. She was a busy professional, but she was unhappy. She was so busy, though, that she couldn’t spare the time to figure out what to do about it.

After some time, she learned that she had breast cancer. While going through treatment, she didn’t have much energy, but she had time to think. She realized that quality, not quantity, is what matters. She says to focus on your comfort, not what impresses other people.

The Bigg Goal-Planners Workbook is a great resource to determine what’s most important to you. It’s FREE when you subscribe to our
FREE weekly newsletter.

Our bigg quote today is by Oscar Wilde, who said,

“Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul
are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.”

All the things money can buy comes with a price tag. All the things money can’t buy. Priceless.

There’s our nod to VISA … but you won’t have to use your VISA!

With spring here tomorrow, we’ll discuss three steps to make your success grow. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Related posts 

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Where Are You If You Ain’t Where You Are

How Do You Define Success?

Back To The Future: Visualizing The Life You Want (Part 2)

(Image by gierszewski, CC 2.0)

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