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Conscious Communicator Tip #18 – Communication Sin #4: A Lack of Appropriate Tone & Body Language, Pt. 1 (

There are 3 components of communication that must be congruent for our message to have a chance of being accepted as we mean it.

If you’ve had any training on communication chances are you’ve heard about the communication triad of words, tone & body language.

There is a big debate in the sales and influencing communication training industries around this communication triad. For the last 40 years, since the early 70s, there has been a myth promulgated regarding which of the three components has the highest influence on a communicated message.

The myth says that 55% of the meaning of any message is a result of body language, 38% is associated with tone and only 7% is the words used. This model is called the Mehrabian Myth, based on research by UCLA professor Albert Mehrabian. Mehrabian’s research has been misinterpreted and mis-applied for 40-years.

Of course, words matter, and they matter a lot. Much more than just 7 percent.

But, the point of the research is that congruency between all three components is vital for a message to get through as intended.

Conscious communicators will make the effort to ensure that all three components match their intent so the proper message gets through.

In what situations have you noticed an incongruence between each? When there is incongruence you’ve probably noticed it creates confusion and violates Communication Sin #1 “A Lack of Specificity.”

This week start paying attention to your communication to ensure your words, tone and body language are appropriately congruent for the message you want to send.

’til next time, make it a great week!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

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