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Face to Face Communication

Face to Face Communication

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Quick Overview

This model describes 3 cake wedges that interfere with bringing a message across:



  •        Body Language: 50%

  •        Tone of Voice: 40%

  •        Content: 10%.


 


Related Models: Drama TriangleTypology of CommunicationPrinciples of Effective LeadershipTeam BuildingPillars of CommitmentTypology of Knowledge WorkersCoachingHerzberg FactorsCoaching ArtsFace-to-Face CommunicationTrust EquationFormula of Trust



$5.20

Face-to-Face Communication Cartoon

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Details

Face-to-Face Communication

 

Background

We are unfamiliar with the background of this model. Much literature exists providing more or less the same description: only 10% of the communicated messages follow from content and text. This percentage is arbitrary and depends on the situation. The American researcher Mehrabian estimated the verbal/non-verbal behaviour ratio. Today the subject matters to us all.

Related Models: Drama TriangleTypology of CommunicationPrinciples of Effective LeadershipTeam BuildingPillars of CommitmentTypology of Knowledge WorkersCoachingHerzberg FactorsCoaching ArtsFace-to-Face CommunicationTrust EquationFormula of Trust

Prior to describing the model we like to provide an alternative classification to find out whether the message is communicated with or without words (verbal/non-verbal) and whether voice is used (vocal/non-vocal)

-      verbal+vocal = spoken language

-      verbal+non-vocal = body language and gestures (systems) with agreed meaning

-      non-verbal+vocal = voice language and paralinguistic  (e.g. tone of voice, intonation)

-      non-verbal+non-vocal = body language, mimics, eye contact, supporting gestures.

 

The model

This model describes 3 cake wedges that interfere with bringing a message across:

-      Body Language: 50%

-      Tone of Voice: 40%

-      Content: 10%.

 

Body language

Body language is essential. For we do not talk all the time but we do send out signals non-stop using body language. We communicate at the content and relationship level. The words that we use (usually) address the content. The relationship level is communicated through body language.

At the relationship level we indicate how the other person should be interpreting words. Lifting your finger while saying “bear that in mind” is a an intrinsic/digital message telling the other person that he must remember something. The lifted finger can be experienced as a threat or fear. This might be experienced differently by people. The same goes for the finger held against the forehead. In the Western world it means you are crazy. In Asian countries it actually means you are smart. This is the analogue language. The sign or gesture expresses what is actually meant.

We use body language all day long to communicate. A tap on the shoulder, a wink or a kiss, usually says much more than a formally written word of thanks sent by mail.

Body language has a high reliability value. This is partly because expressions are more difficult to veil or keep under control; and on the other hand because most people are insufficiently aware of their body language. The host addressing his audience sweating and with trembling hands claiming afterwards that he was not nervous is sending out contradictory signals. People are more inclined to believe non-verbal signals.

The reason as to why we trust body language more easily lies in the past. As a child we learn that smiling means your teeth will be visible, the corners of your mouth will go up towards your ears. Crying means tears and a sad-looking face. Desperation is expressed looking up to heaven and calling out loud with your hands held high. The minute a person feels something of these feelings stirring his body will respond automatically. These expressions can be different. Offshoring with Indian parties we really had to get used to the Indians who almost shake their heads to confirm that they understand you.

 

Tone of voice

A transitional area in-between is the voice or intonation thereof. Apart from what is being said, it is important to watch how something is said. In this the voice has a key role. In fact the voice connects verbal and non-verbal communication. Tone of voice can be used in many ways. The cadence of the spoken sentences can emphasise the most important words. Whispering can make something exciting or secretive. A catch in your voice might indicate that you have become emotional about something. Obviously this is less easy to stimulate. If you can, be careful about it for your body language may give you away.

 

Content

We can indicate content using language or gestures. The existing agreements make it easier for us to explain what we are talking about. The ‘calendar’ letters have nothing to do with a list of agreements. Still, the other person will know what you mean. This is the digital language.

 

How to use it

 

In general you might say that people pay little attention to body language and tone of voice in preparing things. Let’s face it, while preparing a presentation we will spend most of the time making sheets. A better approach would be to keep the setting in mind, assess your audience and develop an idea of how you wish to bring your message across.

 

A few interesting pieces of information and tips exist when body language is involved. If you wish to act successfully, then bear the following aspects in mind:

Body language:

A few tips:

-      Keep your back straight (literally!): straighten your back and keep your shoulders to the back. Stretch yourself to your full length, to communicate self-confidence. Do the same when seated. It shows that you are interested in the other person. Look straight ahead of you while walking and walk sturdily.

-      Try to be aware of your body language. You can make this explicit by asking a person whom you trust to give feedback, for instance after delivering a presentation.

-      Hands: Are you hiding something? Then keep your hands inside your pockets. Otherwise take them out! Show your discussion partner your palms, communicating openness. Shake hands firmly, without squashing the other person’s hand. Hands can be shaken at an equivalent level; the hand is held vertically. If, when shaking hands, the other person turns your hand placing his or her hand sophisticatedly on top … you’ll know how things stand.

-      Eye contact: look your discussion partner straight in the eye. This will confirm your self-confidence and communicate that you are interested in him or her. Also, turn your entire body to the person you are speaking to, instead of turning your head only. Smile every now and then, to make a positive impression.

-      Dress code: dress formally and neatly. Look after yourself, comb your hair and make a professional impression with your clothing, shoes and bag. For ladies: do not show too much skin.

 

Tone of voice

Use tone of voice to:

-      Emphasise certain words in your message

-      Make sure attention is paid to your story

-      Emphasise emotion.

Practise your tone of voice by using it explicitly in a meeting. Study the effects and become more aware of how to use it.

 

Content

Obviously whatever it is that you are saying must be correct (to some extent). Even though the other elements are much more substantial for getting the message across, of course content matters. Usually this content will also be available digitally or on paper. People can read it afterwards. There is no denying what is written down.

Good luck. We wish you lots of mime!

 

Related Models: 

-   Drama Triangle

-   Typology of Communication

-   Principles of Effective Leadership

-   Team Building

-   Pillars of Commitment

-   Typology of Knowledge Workers

-   Coaching

-   Herzberg Factors

-   Coaching Arts

-   Face-to-Face Communication

-   Trust Equation

-   Formula of Trust

 

 

Sources:

-       Wikipedia

 

 

The product:

- Cartoon, full colour, 8000-6000 pixels

- Description, full colour, pdf