Keys to Effective Communication

Communication consists of 7% words, 38% tonality, and 55% physiology.

Embracing effective communication requires focus to be on the receiver. It is not about you, it is about those you are trying to communicate with.

The premise of communication is always the same: making sure that your message is properly received. It is not the fault of the receiver for not understanding, it is the giver of the message. It is so much more than just spewing words at someone.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

George Bernard Shaw

In the 7% of words that someone gives you, you can discover their internal processing systems. Their words (specifically the predicates) will indicate if they are thinkers, feelers, listeners, or visual. Some of the predicates may seem to overlap so it takes hearing more than one example used.

Some examples include:

  • Thinkers – sense, understand, think, process, know
  • Feelers – feel, touch, grasp, catch on, make contact, concrete
  • Listeners – hear, listen, ring a bell, resonate, dissonance, question
  • Visual – see, look, appear, reveal, imagine, clear, foggy, crystal

Tonality is about HOW something is being said. I remember being told years ago that it’s not just what you say that is important, it’s how you say it. Physiology is a person’s stance, their eye patterns/blinking, their breathing, the flushing of the skin… Every physical aspect will tell if someone is receiving your message or not. If they are attentive or not.

Being the effective communicator gets far more complicated than what has been given thus far. There is the listening style: how to know if someone is a literal listener or an inferential listener. There is the chunking style: Big chunker (wants as few details as possible), little chunker (wants ALLLLLLLL the details), and everything in-between.

And that isn’t even all of it. Then you have your Why People, What People, How People, and What If People.

In my doctoral degree, the focus was on the comprehension level of the audience, and that most people fit into either a 5th grade level, or kindergarten level of comprehension. In reality, that has nothing to do with receiving a message. If you do not understand the other person’s style, they will never understand what you are saying.

Want to know more about how to expand your communication skills and really start connecting with people?

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