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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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A Way to Listen More Attentively with 3 Tips on How to Do It

By Bigg Success Staff
07-21-08

Life Skills

listening 

Listening attentively is one of the single most important skills you can develop. You’ll build deeper relationships much more quickly. You’ll learn more about a variety of subjects than you can imagine. You’ll also uncover opportunities that help you move onward and upward.

But listening is hard work!

We don’t think of it that way, but it is. Listening is a habit. Like many good habits, it doesn’t happen naturally. 

So here’s a way to develop the habit of listening attentively:

Focus on asking follow-up questions

When you let someone else speak, you make them feel important. When you ask relevant follow-up questions, you make them feel even more important.

You send the message that you really are listening. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to come up with a good question!

You also reinforce that you really are interested in what he or she is saying. Why would you extend the conversation if that weren’t the case?

But focusing on asking follow-up questions serves an even more important role – it forces you to listen attentively.

As we mentioned earlier, you can’t form pertinent questions if you aren’t listening carefully to what is being said.

But we won’t kid you … it’s still a hard habit to develop. So here are 3 tips to make this part of your communication arsenal:

It’s not just about the words

Sure the words being spoken are important. But there are other cues for which you should be alert. For example, if you’re talking to someone in-person, pay attention to body language, facial expressions, and voice inflections. Your question very well may come not from what they said, but how they said it.

Use self-prompts

One of the reasons we don’t listen as well as we should is because our brain is busy thinking about what we’re going to say once the other person quits talking. Get over this by providing yourself a one-word cue for your question. Then all you have to do is “cue” your brain when the other person finishes his or her thought.

For example, assume you're talking to a friend abut his new car. He tells you that he can get into it and start it without keys. He then shows you the sunroof. You've put the word "keys" in cue – repeating it several times in your head – until he stops talking. Then you ask how the key system works.  

Practice, practice, practice

Like any good habit, listening attentively won’t happen overnight. Make it a point to practice your new craft – ask good follow-up questions in every conversation you have for at least the next two weeks. By then, you should be a pro!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 



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Are Face-to-Face Meetings a Thing of the Past?

By Bigg Success Staff
06-19-08

Career Builders

face_to_face

We live in a socially connected world. We develop and maintain relationships electronically. LinkedIn. FaceBook. Twitter. And hundreds of more ways to meet and greet people online.

We send text messages, instant messages, chat online or e-mail back and forth. These forms of communication have reduced the number of phone calls in which we engage.

And face time … well, it’s not gone the way of the dinosaur, but who really needs to meet face-to-face?

We all do!

All of the communication tools at our disposal are valuable. However, nothing can replace in-person conversations for richness. We can build higher quality relationships faster when we meet face-to-face.

When we meet in-person, we can see the whole conversation. Body language, facial expressions, vocal inflections. We get the entire dynamic.

We don’t have access to those things when our conversation is electronic. We even miss a lot of it with a phone call. Nothing replaces meeting in-person.

Of course, many of our conversations can be handled with the new methods of communication. But don’t be shy about meeting in person when the situation calls for it. You’ll probably find that you accomplish more than you can with any other means.

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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