Keep Emotions and Communication Simple
Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius said: "The more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.”
We are all aware of what is happening in the world outside our homes and we have no control over it. These are disagreeable times however these are times to see what is in our control. One of the things in our control during these times is refining communication with family colleagues and customers alike.
As per Albert Mehrabian's 7-38-55 Rule of Personal Communication.
In a conversation, words will convey only 7% of the meaning and impact. Words will be the base, however, 38% of the impact will come from, how we say what we say. This makes for 38+7= 45 % of impact in a conversation. The maximum impact, at 55%, comes from our body language. The listener will trust what we are saying through our tone of voice and body language (38+55 = 93%).
Now comes the twist! In our current situation and way of working, we are connecting with customers, colleagues and family through electronic mediums. We are not in person with them and therefore we cannot display our body language to add impact to our conversations currently.
So what should be done for now and every telephonic conversation? Let us refer to the old saying ‘the customer can hear your smile?’
Yes indeed!! It is true and our everyday experience proves that we can differentiate a happy mood and unhappy mood by listening to a person’s tone of voice. A smile, therefore, can clearly be heard on the other side of the phone. After all, it is our daily experience that the tone of our voice is directly impacted by our body language.
How does this work?
It’s simple, let us understand it through an example. Please stand up and take a deep breath and lift any reasonably heavy object around you. Very good. You are a strong being.
Now exhale all the air and empty your lungs, without inhaling please lift the same reasonably heavy object. You may find it difficult to lift it compared to the first time when you had enough air in your lungs.
The logic is we have more strength when we have air inside our body. We also speak on the out-breath not on in-breath. We speak more clearly and confidently when we have more air inside our lungs to exhale. And we will have more air only when we maintain an upright posture.
Therefore body language is of the same 55% importance even when the listener cannot see us. So let us practice and maintain a good body posture to communicate better and stay healthier.
In these times we are interacting a lot more with our family in person and I thought it fruitful to reiterate a few communication tips that we already know.
It is your time to inspire your family and especially children by your way of executing work. Anything that your children observe will influence them, be your best self and make the most of the time with your family.
- Solve Problems
Since you are home it is possible that a lot of solutions will be demanded of you to the daily matters of domestic life. Please make sure you attack the problem and not each other.
Every human responds to situations differently and it will be so in your family. Be understanding and calm towards reactions to the current global situation and otherwise.
It will be a good idea to start a family routine of physical activities like pranayama, yoga and other fun activities with family and children. This will further facilitate a sense of well-being.
- Listen not just hear
I always say listening is therapy. When you listen to understand you have further enhanced your bonding with your family.
In conclusion let me quote Epictetus, “First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.” Our mental well-being depends a lot on how we communicate in general and it is especially important in these trying times.
About the Author
Dilip Karan Singh Rathore
Dilip has over twenty years of extensive experience in the field of education and training, involving many facets of human behaviour and psychology. In the last 10 years with NIIT he became a founding member of the NIIT Institute of Process Excellence (NIIT/Genpact JV) and took the operations to a new level before moving into the role of L&D head of the company, his current role. His training and solution expertise ranges from imparting communication skills to enhancing behavioural and leadership skills. Dilip is an accomplished facilitator in the universally acclaimed programme: “7 Habits of highly effective people” by Steven R Covey and has been certified as a trainer by the Franklin Covey Institute, USA. He has also earned recognition as a workshop leader for Service Excellence programmes by Ron Kaufman, the international Service Guru of UP! Your Service, Singapore.