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Communication Again!

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Here is a little follow up to our recent blog of communication skills - 5 facts. Again, a little bit of uncomfortable stuff here, but hopefully you will enjoy and make use of some of these thoughts and facts.

1)      We spend an estimated 80% of our day in some sort of communication. A study we saw estimated that 9% of that was in writing, 16% in reading, 30% in speaking and 45% was in listening. Surely this will have to change now with social media etc! Actually quite frightening as to how that might change.....

2)      We speak and think at very different rates. Although if you often find that you “put your foot in it”, you may not believe this. On average we think at a rate of 600-800 words per minute yet we can only speak at 120-150 words per minute. So, what does that mean? Well it actually helps explain why some of us aren’t good at listening. We are only using 25% of our brain capacity to hear the words, so the other 75% is “free" and this often means our minds start to wander.

3)      The time spent  by an individual engaged in eye contact when in a conversation differs greatly. The listener makes eye contact with the talker 75% of the time whilst the talker makes eye contact with the listener only 40% of the time. In fact, as a talker, if you can increase that to 50% of the time, you start to develop an air of authority!

4)      Sometimes you can detect lies by the words used and the emphasis that places on the sentence. The old expression “ I think he doth protest too loudly” springs to mind. For example – in usual conversation we use the phrase “I didn’t…”. But, if someone is being overly empathic and uses “I did not” – it is a giveaway that they may be lying. Likewise, if someone is overly emphatic and tries to distance themselves from an event or person by using the words “that" or "those”, it also can mean they are hiding something. It is an unconscious behaviour. An example would be “I did not kiss that boy” .......oooerrr!

5)      You can sometimes defuse a disagreement fairly easily using certain questioning with certain words! When in conversation, we often hear exaggerations or generalisations. This is just how an individual is using language but it can actually represents their beliefs. You can use some very simple questions to help overcome these beliefs. For example – if someone says to you you always do this…, we can sometimes go on the defensive and say automatically no I don’t!. Instead, try asking the question always?. It can help them change their perspective. Same applies to the statement You never do...", you can ask Never? ....Try it!

Communication is a fascinating world to study. It can so often go wrong, but when done well, it can be very powerful.

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Published on 02/08/2012 by Emma Harle.

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