18. Oct, 2017

It Pays To Pay Attention

WARNING There have been more than a few detractors since Mehrabian's original work who have pooh-poohed his idea citing objections that include his work was based on sound-recordings, that it combined different studies, that it relates only to extreme emotions, that only women participated and that body posture was not included.

Judge For Yourself

About 100-years before Albert Mehrabian first put forward his ideas in the late 1960s, the American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "What you do speaks so loud, that I cannot hear what you say" and I think these two great thinkers were agreeing with each other a century apart.

Mehrabian's 7/38/55 Percent Rule suggests ... 

  • What you say ~ your WORDS ~ account for just 7% of your overall communication with another
  • How you say it ~ your TONE ~ accounts for 38% of overall communication, and
  • What you don't say ~ your posture, stance, BODY LANGUAGE ~ accounts for a whopping 55% of overall communication

For example, when you hear a politician, your boss, a customer or even those closest to you and consciously notice their body contradicts what they are saying, you'll know how powerful non-verbal clues really are?

Put It To The Test

The next time you are with someone, pay attention not only to what and how they are saying what they are saying but especially to how they are standing or sitting, their eye contact with you, and where they place and how they use their hands, and you'll get the picture!

Let me know if you disagree/agree with Mehrabian's idea by email return.

Complicated Is Easy! Simple Is Hard!