How true is it, that we make assumptions by what may be written alone? Professor Albert Mehrabian’s communications model illustrates how we generally communicate … and word’s, such as you are reading now, are only one very small part.
His studies cited the following:
7% of message relating to feelings and attitudes is in the spoken word.
38% of message relating to feelings and attitudes is the way in which the words are said, tonality).
55% of message relating to feelings and attitudes is in expression, body language.
So how does this relate to the earlier paragraph? Newspapers, during early August, wrote articles on how a town called Dull in Perthshire had been twinned with another in Oregon, USA called Boring. So, with just a little further explanation, a different perspective can be seen.
Much as with business, often we lack the true ability to ‘Communicate’ well. All too often we receive blunt texts that can be read in so many different ways.
Try this line for example “I didn’t say you stole my money” , now repeat it 6 times but each time put the stress on each of the words in turn, ie ‘I’ the first time you say it, ‘didn’t’ on the second, and so forth. Now do you get the idea about how tonality plays such an important part? People put the emphasis on whichever word they chose when reading it without experiencing the other elements of communication.
Often, if our only form of communicating important messages, is via email, text or other written methods, the message can be lost. Worse still, if there is an element within that could be taken personally, no matter what mood you were in when you wrote it, the recipient WILL read it in whatever mood they are currently in when it is received.
When making changes within your organisation it is imperative that you try to communicate the message at all levels to insure that there is no ambiguity as to what is meant. If you have a large team, create spokespersons, to pass the message on themselves through personal contact to promote the tonality and body language as well as the words.
Follow up with the written word rather than put the word out first as people will read into it whatever they see to be the case and it’s difficult to correct thereafter.
Not all communication needs to follow these guidelines but when announcing major changes, it is imperative that the same message gets communicated frequently and in as many different ways to insure the intention and information is clear.
Coaching to Success have seen many cases where structured, planned and delivery of important information has been handled poorly even though the best intention was meant and caused grievances that remained for long periods of time.
Should you or your organisation be looking to make changes where clear communication is important, then start by speaking to Coaching to Success by giving Neila shout on 07761 187238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an informal ‘discussion’ around how we can help.