I’m Anthony, a 27 year old sales trainer, author at artofconversations.com and guest blogger at Techhelper (thanks Nick). In my quest of ‘Mastering the Art of Conversation’ I spend a fair amount of my time using technology to communicate with my friends, family and business colleagues but as technology evolves I have noticed we have stopped using it as a tool and instead started to rely on it as our first point to conversation.

So why is this a problem?

Albert Mehrabian (Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California) is best known for his publication on human communication with a specific focus on verbal and non-verbal messages. His rule was known as the ‘7% – 38% – 55% Rule’.

Prof Mehrabian’s publication discussed that 55% of all human communication is Visual (body language), 38% Vocal (tone of voice etc) and only 7% is Verbal (words). Consider the last time you visited eBay, would you purchase a high priced item ($100+) without a picture? What about if the item listed had a detailed description? Chances are you won’t risk purchasing the item because you aren’t able to make a visual decision (size, colour, quality, value).

Have you ever sent a text message to a friend and it has been taken out of context? Despite being crystal clear with the words you spoke (or typed), somehow it was still misinterpreted  How?!

Using the Mehrabian rule, you have eliminated 93% of your ability to communicate by relying on text. Sounds pretty silly that people would put themselves in that position, doesn’t it?

Time constraints force many of us with a cellular phone or computer to take the quicker option when communicating. Have you ever worked in an office or heard a horror story about a boss emailing a request to a staff member even though they are situated 10-15 meters away? It’s a sad but true reality in corporate Australia.

SO… how do we become better communicators? Return to face to face communication which has been a staple to humanity. The reason why organisation still engage with door to door sales activity is because nothing is more effective and personal then a human conversation.

If you don’t have the option of a face to face conversation, opt to pick up the phone and make the telephone call. While this act may take more time then an email, the benefits of vocal discussion include;

  • Instantly notify the recipient
  • Ensure accuracy through clarity on the request
  • Maintain healthy relationships
  • Improve your speaking and listening skills

Best of all it improves the effectiveness of communication by combining 38% Vocal + 7% Verbal (45%) of Mehrabian’s rule compared to the 7% of pure Verbal of an email.

Remember that technology is merely a support tool and can never replace the effectiveness of human interaction. Being a better communicator won’t just help you at work, it will help you be a better parent, teacher, friend, lover, worker, negotiator and any other time you might come in contact with another human being.

One Response to Communication and Technology

  1. Nick Sozou says:

    That example with eBay is spot on. People do this without realising. 

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About The Author

Anthony Magro

Anthony Magro is a highly qualified and experienced corporate training and sales professional.Though dedication, enthusiasm, creativity, charisma, innovation and influence he is rapidly rising in his career with an industry leader at Salmat. Anthony also authors his own blog. Click the link below to visit his website for more.