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Mediate.com

Are You Safe From Mixed Messages?

by John Ford
December 2015

By John Ford HR Mediator

John Ford
I recently received feedback on a video I had created to promote my online course that focuses on the skills to handle Challenging Workplace Relationships.

 

I recently received feedback on a video I had created to promote my online course that focuses on the skills to handle Challenging Workplace Relationships.

I had posted the video on my personal Facebook page and asked my friends for some honest feedback!

Let’s just say, that wasn’t easy!

But I did it - anyway.

And what I heard, from a number of kind friends, was that there was a disconnect between the use of my hands and my voice!

Also - that I was looking down at my audience. Rather than being on the level!

I can easily change the angle of the camera. But what about the disconnect? How best do I address that?

Very simply, by ensuring congruency between my words, the tone of my voice and my body language.

According to Albert Mehrabian, a communication researcher from UCLA, when we are conveying our feelings or attitudes and there is any incongruency between what is being said, the tone of the voice and the body language, we place the least importance on the words used.

When there is an incongruency, the words have a value of 7%, the tone 38% and the body language 55%.

If someone shouts “I’m not angry” and pounds the desk while glaring, we discount the words. We give primacy to the message of the body.

Sadly, this statistic has been misrepresented to mean that in all communication words only constitute 7% of the message!

I was at a workshop recently where the presenter said exactly that. That’s more like an incorrect message!

This short video called Busting the Mehrabian Myth that makes it crystal clear what the research really says.

To peace at work with peace of mind!

Biography


 

John Ford is the author of Peace at Work and founder of the HR Mediation Academy. He mediates; trains; and consults to organizations that have accepted the inevitability of conflict and are seeking to approach it with greater clarity and confidence. He was the managing editor of Mediate.com from 2000 to 2011, and is a past president of the Association for Dispute Resolution of Northern California. 



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