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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.



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?


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.


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.


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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Building a Winning Team – Lessons from Two Great Coaches

Here in the United States, March Madness is winding down. The Final Four NCAA basketball teams will play tomorrow with the winners meeting Monday for the championship.

That got us thinking about how great coaches build winning teams. So we decided to compare the style of two of the greatest – Bobby Knight and John Wooden.

Bobby Knight spent most of his career at Indiana and recently retired from Texas Tech. He won more games than any other coach in the history of college basketball. He also made more NCAA tournament appearances than anyone else. He won three championships (tied for third) and was selected the coach of the year four times.

John Wooden, the Wizard of Westwood, spent most of his career at UCLA. While there he won a record ten championships, including an amazing seven in a row. He holds the record for most games won in a row (88) and most undefeated seasons (4).

Bobby Knight’s way – Build your playbook and recruit the best talent for it.
Bobby Knight was known for his “motion offense” and aggressive man-to-man defense. Knight only recruited players that fit his model. He had a system; his players had to mold themselves to it. This is the most common way to build your team.

Design your playbook. Determine the duties of each position and recruit people to fill it. Then hold them accountable.

John Wooden’s way – Find the best talent and build your playbook around them.
Wooden played the game based on who he had. Some years, that meant great guards; at other times, he built around a big man in the middle. Sometimes he played man-to-man; sometimes he played zone – it all depended on his players.

This isn’t as commonly practiced in business as Knight’s strategy. In basketball, you have seasons. In business, you don’t. But you do have phases.

In each phase, you’re trying to accomplish certain things so you can move on to the next phase. That’s where Wooden’s strategy works – think about what you need to accomplish in this phase and who would best help you accomplish it. Then go get your players!

440 Jake’s Take] – Top 5 reasons your team didn’t make the Final Four

#5 – Your players stayed up too late catching the midnight showing of "Horton Hears a Who."

#4 – Your coach went a little too far with the motivational tools he picked up at Guantanamo Bay.

#3 – Your team was too pre-occupied with midterms and grad school applications to focus on silly things like sports.

– They did the right thing by losing and thus avoiding the inevitable riots and on-campus arson incidents that happen when teams win the national championship.

#1 – At least by losing, they can finally get those cheerleaders and the pep band to shut the heck up.

Our bigg quote today is by Jean-Claude Kelly:

“The best and fastest way to learn a sport is to watch and imitate a champion.”

So learn from these champions to build your winning team.

Next time, we’ll discuss a key component that gets people to buy into your personal brand. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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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.
  • A time for everything, everything in its time
    What’s most important right now, based on the 11 future you’ve visualized]? Work exclusively on what you NEED to accomplish to reach the top of your 144 stairway to success]. 
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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