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Communication: What’s it all about?

Pop quiz. Did you know there are two outputs to communication?

If you guessed there’s a verbal output (the words we use) and a non-verbal output (what we do with our voice and body) ding, ding, ding, you’ve won yourself the opportunity to read the rest of this post! Ha.

All jokes aside, there are serious considerations to communication you’re overlooking that may be responsible for lacklustre results.

Percentages, percentages

If we were to put numbers to words, there are various studies that aim to quantify just how much of communication is attributed to the verbal versus the non-verbal. At its highest value, the non-verbal output of communication has been cited at 93% of communication. Some studies divide this number further to 55% body language and 38% voice. In either case, this leaves just seven percent for the verbal output of communication.

A word of caution – there are debates over the actual percentages of verbal versus non-verbal communication and whether we can even attribute numbers to them, since context is a huge part of any communication setting. What we want to recognize as our key takeaway is that non-verbal communication accounts for far more of communication than we give it credit for. And I’m going to guess, if you’re like most people, you spend most of your time preparing the verbal.

You don’t know what you don’t know

At this point in the history of humankind, our access to words is at the best it could ever be. Thank you smartphones and dictionary.com! When we’re not getting our point across or connecting with people the way we’d like, it’s not as simple to just say it’s because we used the wrong words. It’s what we’re not consciously accessing that’s causing us to miss our mark. Because it’s not conscious, we’re not even sure of what we’re supposed to be accessing to become the type of confident, articulate communicator we want to be.

Enter A Model for Conscious Communication. There’s a whole system of background inputs – operating unconsciously – that’s feeding our verbal and non-verbal communication. There are five inputs to this system and each one helps to make up our own unique communication blueprint.

Yes, you have a unique communication blueprint

There are reasons why replicating “guaranteed success” communication formulas from experts often ends in frustration and failure. It’s not because you’re not doing it right. What works for them isn’t necessarily going to work for you, because your blueprint is different from theirs. As we explore each input to A Model for Conscious Communication, you’ll see how uniquely you interact with the input and why you’re getting the results you are, and most importantly, how you can shift your results in your favour.

In my next post, we’ll cover the first input feeding communication. I guarantee you, it’s going to give you all the feels… By the way, that was a hint. 😉

You don’t suck at communication

 

You just haven’t learned about its intricacies. It’s also not your fault. Society as a whole is largely unconscious of the layers and complexities of communication.

We spend a significant amount of time worrying about words. Do I have the right ones? Is what I’m going to say going to sound smart? Am I saying too much? Will I sound like I know what I’m talking about? And on-and-on the mind goes.

If we’re in a job, our employer sends us to all sorts of business communication workshops and courses. If we’re business owners, we attend “how-to-make-better-presentations” and “sell-more-with-this-formula” seminars. Yet despite all the personal and professional development, we’re still coming up short. Why?

We’re not going far enough. We’re spending money on treating symptoms and neglecting the roots of our communication problem. Our mainstream approach to communication misses a critical component: YOU.

Words can’t give us confidence. Words can’t give us inner clarity. Those are things we have to find within ourselves.

Beyond words, communication requires presence. Your presence. And your presence is the sum of a number of internal factors that you may not be conscious of. You know that little voice in your head? Yea, that one that was rambling on about words a little earlier – it’s dulling your shine and showing up in the way you communicate, and that’s impacting your results regardless of how amazing the words you’re using are. Wouldn’t you like to know how to take your power back and communicate powerfully to get the results you want?

Over the next several posts, I’m going to give you the goods to help you become a Conscious Communicator – someone who not only has the right words, but also commands the little voice and a presence that aligns your inner with your outer to demonstrate high integrity and build trust.