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Effective communication is more than just speaking

The definition of effective communication is dependent on the response you receive from others.

At entreQuest, we’ve found that the dynamics of communication are about truly listening and being flexible and thoughtful in how you intend to communicate. We must also realize that communication is about a connection, an emotional connection. Emotion conveys the urgency and importance of what is being said – it sets the tone for every conversation.

We can’t mention effective communication without referencing a 1967 study conducted by Stanford researcher Dr. Albert Mehrabian. Mehrabian set out to dissect the elements of communication and learn the value of each of its three forms:

•    Words – the actual vocabulary used in speaking and writing.
•    Voice quality – the tone, volume, inflection, and other features of audible expression.
•    Body language – the physical position and movements that occur while speaking.

What he discovered was that only 7 percent of communication came from words and 38 percent from voice quality, while body language accounted for 55 percent of how we communicate!

You’re wondering how this is still relevant: Mehrabian’s study has been tested repeatedly and even the most recent findings show these conclusions to be spot on.

We’re certain that face-to-face interaction holds the most potential for personalized contact and securing the best client experience possible. To encourage yourself to be a better communicator, consider these four timeless examples of the dynamics of communication:

1.    If words alone were all that mattered, the Academy Awards would simply present the Oscar for “Best Script” and get on with the show. Instead, they award individuals as “Best Actor” because his performance is a critical part of the production.

2.    Think about the following statement: “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” Did you hear JFK’s voice dramatically crescendo in your head? Did you see his face take on an expression of conviction? Now, imagine if the president texted that line to every American instead. Would the message have been as memorable?

3.    Do you think fans of The Beatles would start swooning and sobbing into frenzy if they only had pictures of the band while they listened and their albums? Maybe, but in all the footage of The Beatles performing live or being interviewed, you’ll see the crowd’s response was everything from elated cries of joy to non-stop streams of tears and fainting! This is just one example of how in-person interactions truly invoke our emotions.

4.    Before there were computers and before there were phones, there were face-to-face meetings. In fact, it was through face-to-face meetings that phones and computers came into being. Even further back in history, there was simply body movement, and it was the only means of communication. Look how far it’s gotten our species!

Suddenly, a study from 1967 isn’t sounding so old now, is it? So, whenever you have the opportunity to communicate with your prospects and clients, aim to make the experience an in-person one.