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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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(Image in today's post by ilco)

5 Interview Questions for Barack Obama

soft_skillsHere in the United States, it’s convention time with the Democratic National Convention winding down tonight. It’s all about landing the biggest job in the world.

Whenever any of us goes for a job, it pays to think about our strengths. What makes us unique? What sets us apart?

Now when we think of the Democratic Party, we think of donkeys! Note we didn’t say jackasses … we don’t take sides here!

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It may seem strange to you, but we started thinking about what a donkey could say in an interview to stand apart. So we put a tie on our fictional donkey and sent him off for an interview. Although, we must admit, he still didn’t smell that good!

Our donkey emphasized that one of his most significant strengths was … his strength. In many parts of the world, a donkey is a person’s most prized possession. That’s because donkeys carry the burden so you don’t have to. Our donkey emphasized that hiring him would make your work easier.

Our donkey also stressed that he is a protector. In fact, donkeys are often used to scare predators away from farm animals. Predators like cougars (and we’re not talking about the Sex and the City kind). So our donkey asserted that if you hired him, he could keep competitors at bay!

Comedian Jake Novak, of Jake’s Comedy Corner, called in for today’s show. He’s thought about some common interview questions that might be good for the Presidential candidates. Today, he had some questions for Barack Obama. Next Thursday, we’ll share questions for John McCain. 

Jake’s Take – 5 Interview Questions for Barack Obama


Question #1: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Because in five years I’ll be living in Guatemala to avoid your tax hikes.

Question #2: Are you willing to travel for this job?
Because with a name like Barack Obama you’re going to get strip searched at the airport every time.

Question #3: Describe your employment history.

I understand you only need fifteen seconds to answer this, Mr. Obama, so try answering slowly.

Question #4: What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
Besides inspiring us to diet because you’re crazy thin and we all look like blimps next to you, dude.

Question #5: What will you do when you get this position?
Because you’re not going to wake me up with another text message at 3 AM, are you?

Hillary Clinton was going to answer the phone at 3 AM. Barack Obama sends text messages at 3 AM. Guess we prefer a President who texts!

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Next time, we’ll discuss a simple game that helps you improve your strategic decision-making skills. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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5 Interview Questions for John McCain

(Image by cssdteacher, CC 2.0)

Can You Walk And Chew Gum At The Same Time?

A study at UCLA asked participants to sort index cards with various shapes on them. The researchers divided the participants into two groups:

  • Group 1 sorted their cards with no distractions.
  • Group 2 sorted their cards while listening to, and counting beeps.

The researchers found that the two groups sorted equally well. However, the first group remembered what they sorted better than the second group.

So, something suffers when we multi-task. Doesn’t common sense tell us the same thing?

So why do we all try to do so many things at once?
There are many reasons – because we think we can, we get distracted, we’re bored, maybe we’re really just procrastinating, or perhaps we think it’s a competitive advantage.

The problem is … it’s not productive, because we want to be effective AND efficient.

Multi-tasking can be costly
Researchers at the University of Michigan found that, even with the simplest of tasks, it takes time to mentally switch from one to the other. It may only take a second for your brain to catch up, which doesn’t sound like much. But how many times do we do this in a day? And that’s for the simplest of tasks – more complex tasks can take up to a minute!

Not to mention that, multi-tasking requires us to FOCUS on concentrating rather than ACTUALLY concentrating. It also boosts stress hormones in our brain. So, in the short run, we get less done. In the long run, it’s bad for us.

So are these studies saying that we should NEVER multi-task?

You’ll be happy to know that you can walk and chew gum at the same time, because you’re performing two tasks that have become automatic. You don’t have to think about it anymore!

Many people may argue that checking their e-mail or text messages has become second nature.

But there’s a bigg difference – there’s a second human being in the equation. For the communication to be effective, you have to understand what they said, and what they left unsaid. Then, and only then, can you convey an effective return message.

In other words, you have to THINK!

3 tips to break the addiction

  • Admit that it’s a problem.
    If you don’t see it as a problem, you can’t solve it. This is the first step.
  • Out of sight, out of mind.
    Keep one thing in front of you. Everything else should be filed away. If you don’t see it, you won’t be tempted. Reward yourself with something you enjoy AFTER you complete each task.
Tell us what you think about multi-tasking!
Share your bigg challenges! Offer your bigg solutions!
Leave us a Comment below!

Our bigg quote today is actually a definition. No one claims it, perhaps for a reason ….

mul•ti-task•ing (mŭl'tē-tăs'kĭng, -tī-) n.
Screwing up everything simultaneously.

So make sure you stay focused so you only screw up one thing at a time!

Next time, we’ll share an ancient Chinese secret to solve all of your problems. You’ll be amazed at how simple it is! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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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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(Image by weirdvis)

Write an E-mail Letter Now, Send It Later

By Bigg Success Staff
04-15-08

Leading-Edge Application

screenshot 

Have you ever written an e-mail letter that you didn’t want to send right away?

Now there’s an answer – LetterMeLater!

LetterMe Later fills in the gap missing from every e-mail service – the ability to schedule when an e-mail gets sent.

You can schedule any e-mail to be sent on a specific date at the exact time … right down to the minute!

But there’s even more – LetterMeLater! also allows you to schedule text messages!

It works the same way. Just write your text message now and schedule the date and time you want it sent.

You can even send e-mail or messages to yourself as a reminder!

Signing up for this FREE service is relatively easy. Just enter your name, e-mail address (or addresses), time zone, and select a password. Check it out!

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

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Save and Organize Your Text Messages

By Bigg Success Staff
04-07-08

Leading-Edge Application

app_screenshot 

Treasuremytext  helps you save and organize your text messages just like you can your e-mail. You won’t accidentally delete a message or lose it when you change phones.

All you have to do is sign up for a FREE account. Then you’ll just forward any messages you want to save to Treasuremytext . They will archive it and give you options to organize it.

When you want to view your messages, you’ll just login. It’s that simple!

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

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

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Don’t Jot It Down, Jott It!

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