Conversation is Much More Than Words

Posted by Prospera Financial on May 19, 2021

The world of business is constantly evolving and there are always new ways to grow and make processes much simpler and more effective. One thing that has required adjustment is the difference between this new-age digital communication versus the holy grail—face-to-face communication. Some differences may be minute, but they can change the way we communicate. We have learned how to take advantage of various digital tools to get our message across but digitizing the process often can limit the five major elements to communicating with people.

The following are the five elements to communication, highlighted by entrepreneur Earon Bevans:

1. Diction/Wording

2. Tonality

3. Gestures

4. Facial Expression

5. Body Language

These five elements are a function of the 7-38-55 rule. Albert Mehrabian, a psychology professor from UCLA, founded the 7-38-55 rule to help people understand the composition of communication. After studies and plenty of research, the rule stipulates that 7% of meaning is conveyed through spoken word, 38% is communicated through tone of voice, and 55% is through body language.

Diction & Wording are obviously part of the process, as these are often the central point to a conversation. However, between tonality, gestures, facial expressions, and body language, clients pull even more from our conversations. Always remember how important it is to consider the rest of your communication avenues.

To put this into practice, shifting to digital communication from person-to-person methods we actually lose a few approaches to convey our message. In a forum like Zoom or WebEx, we can still see one another, so we only really lose some degrees of body language. This is because we are often sitting, and the receiver may have to focus harder on lip reading or intently listening to wording due to delays or possible technical issues. On the other hand, when communicating solely with our voice, such as talking over the phone, we lose all physical communication avenues. We can no longer convey our messages with our gestures, facial expressions, or body language. This creates an emphasis on our diction and tonality.

We must continue to realize the adjustments necessary when things change around us, and something as routine as communicating may be a tough one to alter but not impossible. One way to fight the change is to continue to act as if each interaction is one that is in-person. Even when on the phone, talk using gestures, use facial expressions, and convey your message further using your body language. This not only keeps the communication process streamlined, but it often allows the sender to better send the message to the receiver because there would be no variance in our efforts to get the right message across. Additionally, it would help us continue to improve on our all-round communication approach.

If we keep all of this in mind, there’s no reason the quality of our communication has to suffer while our business evolves and becomes more and more digital.

All the best,

Houston Little
Summer Intern

Posted by Prospera Financial