Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nonverbal Communication Makes the Difference!

Some thoughts on communication from our certified coach, MaryEllen Bergh:

Good communication skills can help you in both your personal and professional life. While verbal and written communication skills are important, research has shown that nonverbal behaviors make up a large percentage of our daily interpersonal communication.

According to Albert Mehrabian’s research, 7% of what we communicate to others is the result of the words we say or the context of the communication; 38% of our communication to others is a result of verbal behavior which includes tone of voice, timbre, tempo and volume; 55% of our communication to others is a result of our nonverbal communication – our body posture, breathing, eye contact, facial expressions, and movement. The value of Mehrabian research relates to communications where emotional content is significant, and the need to understand it properly is high. This is often applicable in management and business, where motivation and attitude have a crucial effect on outcomes.

Try these three ways to improve communication:

1) Be aware of non verbal signals.Pay attention to body movements, gestures, facial expressions, and tone of voice. These signals send important information not carried in the words said.
2) Pay attention if the words and nonverbal behaviors do not match. Research has shown that when words fail to match up with nonverbal signals, people tend to ignore what has been said and focus on nonverbal expressions of moods, thoughts, and emotions. For example, someone might tell you they are happy while frowning and staring at the ground. You are not likely to believe what was said!
3) Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you are confused by the words and signals.

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Creative Resources and Research is a consulting firm specializing in grant writing, grant seeking, program evaluation and professional development training. We have worked with hundreds of clients including public and private schools, school districts, universities, non-profit organizations, and social service agencies throughout California, securing over $155 million from federal, state and private foundation funding sources over the past decade. Our primary grant writers and program evaluators have over 50 years of combined experience in the education and social services fields. At CRR we prefer a personal approach to the clients we work with; by developing long term relationships, we are better suited to match client’s needs with available funding sources. We provide a variety of services to help assist you, including grant writing, evaluation consulting, professional development opportunities, and workshops.