Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What percentage of influence do my words have on people?

There are many factors that influence our interaction with other people. Here are the three primary drivers:

1) Words
2) Voice tone, quality and pacing
3) Facial expressions and body language

We interact with people all day long every day in business. So which one of these is more important than the other? It’s a great question with some answers that might surprise you.

Let’s say you tell someone they’re doing a good job….now that’s a pretty good one to make someone feel good. How much influence do you think you have on them with those words? 90%, 60, 50?

How about if you tell them they’re doing a good job and your voice emphasizes the “good job” part, what percent do you think that will affect them? 50%, 75, 100?

Now how about if you smile, shake their hand and tell them they’re doing a good job, what percent do you think that will affect them? 100%, 90, 10%?

There have been all kinds of studies about this kind of thing and here is how our ability to influence people breaks down in the three primary areas:

1) Words 7%
2) Voice tone & Quality 38%
3) Facial expressions and Body Language 55%

Words don’t mean as much as we think without a good tone in our voice and some good facial expressions to go along with it! Keep in mind your facial expressions and body language should still be in “full force” and working even when you’re on the phone.

Make it happen!

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