Over the past week, we witnessed a historical election in the United States. We saw record setting participation and a result that is still not verified at time of writing this blog on a Friday morning. Before I get too far, I should note that this blog is not meant to be political and the political topic will not be addressed, but what I would like to discuss is the importance of connection. This election has been a case study in connecting and communicating. It has shown us just how important it's to know how to connect and how connection in-turn helps you to effectively communicate across varying sectors. I believe we will see this case study for years to come in the communication books.
In John C. Maxwell's book, "Everyone Communicates, Few Connect", he outlines a study done by UCLA Phsycology Professor Emeritus Albert Mehrabian who stated: In situations where feelings and attitudes are being communicated:
What we say accounts for only 7 percent of what is believed
The way we say it accounts for 38 percent
What others see accounts for 55 percent
More than 90 percent of the impression we often convey has nothing to do with what we actually say
Let's take a moment and think about this information. While we are not running for President of the United States, we are managers, leaders, and people. Turn this information around and reflect on how you connect. When you speak with colleagues, clients, family, your significant other and friends how do they perceive you? If what we are verbally saying accounts for only 7 percent of what is believed, what is your tone, body language, and impression saying to others?
The next time you communicate, take a moment to ask yourself these questions:
How are people seeing you?
Do you make eye contact?
What is your face conveying?
Are your hands folded in front of you or are they relaxed and opened?
Are you communicating in an authentic way or are you not being true to yourself?
Are you listening to the other individual or do you dominate the conversation?
Think about those difficult relationships we have in our lives. How are the people on the opposite side of those relationships perceiving you? If we take a moment to work on connection, you are setting the foundation of effective communication, which then translates into effective relationships, even if there are differing opinions. Your ability to connect is what will be the driving force behind how effective you are as a manager and person.
I end with this quote from John C. Maxwell, " People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude." What attitude and emotion do you convey?