Creating Effective Conversations
The IUP Journal of Soft Skills, Vol. X, No. 3, September 2016, pp. 54-65
Posted: 30 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 27, 2017
Communication—one skill that we learn and re-learn, yet seem to misinterpret and so many times! Over time with experiments and research, many have finally agreed that the reason for this can be that most people say one thing when they mean something else and what they really mean also gets communicated inadvertently. In fact, if Albert Mehrabian’s (Porter and Roberts, 1972) research is to be taken as a baseline for most communication scenarios, then the ratio of voice and body language having a majority of 38% and 55% impact, respectively on the overall communication means that over 93% of most of our communication literally happens non-verbal than compared to the 7% impact of words. There have been debates over time on the validity of the above numbers across scenarios, including Meharbian’s (Porter and Roberts, 1972) own caution against taking these as a universal formula. However, this paper is not about whether the above percentages are actually accurate but about the author’s take on what comprises these three components. This paper seeks to put together a simple form of a checklist for one to ensure they are leveraging all the three components effectively in any communication process.
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