“That’s not what I meant!” Ever said that to your spouse before? Perhaps twice today? Even the best intentioned of words sometimes come out sideways. Or on Monday’s sometimes they all come out in Greek.
Classic in marriages is the old: “You are not listening to me!” Which prompts you to think to yourself, I heard every word that just came out of your mouth AND I can repeat it back to you. Yet the communication pattern still isn’t what either person intended.
How can people we love and care about not hear what is actually going on behind our words?
One answer is in our friend Albert Mehrabian. Mehrabian published a book, Silent Messages, in 1971 in which he talks about his finding on the study of non-verbal communication. He concluded that when salespeople were communicating with a prospect, that the prospect based their assessments on something OTHER than the ACTUAL WORDS s/he was saying.
In fact 55% of what people hear is based on the speaker’s body language and 38% to the tone and “music” in their voice. That means that they only heard and INTERPRETED 7% of what was intended via the speakers actual spoken words.
So you are telling me there’s a chance!
Yeah a 93% chance you could be on a pedestal talking to people with EPIC life changing content – yet they only “hear” that you are moving your hands too much or standing overly erect – or speaking with a lisp versus with a deep smooth baritone.
Why does it matter?
It matter because we are all in fact in the sales industry – irrespective of what you do. You children selling lemonade – sales. You are an architect or surgeon, yet again sales. Even in relationship, as husbands and wives, we are still all in sales – perhaps more smiles, hugs and kisses for payments though. It matters not to whom you are talking to, be it your last client of the day or your “honey I’m home” – intonating and body movement matters greatly.
In fact you could probably walk into your office where Jane Future Chiropractic Patient is waiting, and say “I got all the answers for you” throw your hands up in glory and say “follow me” – and you would only get a “no” one time out of 10. Would you take those odds? I know Vegas would.
This means that if you are having a crappy day and you jammed your big toe this morning, you had better suck it up and throw on a happy face and dazzle with jazz hands because people will notice.
My wife will occasionally not feel great – she is after all in her third trimester of pregnancy and babysitting an 18-month toddler full-time. I can tell by her body language she isn’t swell. Then I saunter in “honey are you OK.”
“yeah I’m fine.”
Ding-ding-ding. Captain obvious says that those words fall into the 93%! As I spend the next 20 minutes mopping the floor, I reflect that her tone and preggo posture should have alerted me minutes earlier that something was amiss.
Thus here is the upgrade for you to take into your life today. Have an absolute bullet proof system in business with everything you do. Take the 7% of VERBAL communication out of the “variable” column. OWN your reports. OWN your talks or your phone answering scripts. Leave none of that to chance.
With that variable off the table all you have to do is make sure that you are properly fuelled with food, sleep, exercise and of course a rock-solid “why”. Your why is of course your values. When you are living thru your why, thru your values, that 93% of nonverbal communication that people look to – now that will scream happiness, authenticity and excitement. People will feel your energy and intention and care much less about your words when you are on purpose.
This also frees up will power for when you walk in the door the next day to truly hone in on what verbal and non-verbal cues are being tossed around the kitchen. Like any skill this takes practice, and that is why the Full Circle team is here. We are here to bullet-proof your systems and solidify your why.
What are you waiting for? Don’t just sit there and stare at your screen, take action and hear it from one of the coaches directly with an authenticity call.
Guest written by Authenticity Coach Dr. Jay Breitlow