Have you heard of the 7-38-55 rule?
It states that 7% of the meaning of the message is communicated through spoken words, 38% through tone of voice, and 55 % through body language.
Psychology professor Albert Mehrabian at the University of California developed this rule; he laid out the concept in his book Silent Messages (1971). Experts agree that 70 to 93% of communication is nonverbal; that means posture, body movements, eye contact, facial expressions contribute greatly.
A quick google search shows that “Communication is the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.” However, on the same search result page on the right side of the page, it shows a definition from Wikipedia that says, “Communication is the act of conveying meaning from one entity or group to another through mutually understood signs and symbols, and semiotic rules.” Do you see the difference?
Communication needs to have a reason; it needs to convey the message. It is not just an exchange of text or words, but eventually, most office communication ends up doing it. Whether it’s in-house team communication or with a remote team, you need to make it effective.
As we are living in the post-COVID area, remote working is becoming a norm. Work from home culture was growing before the pandemic itself. Worldwide lockdowns showed that it can work (many improvements are still needed in some areas). When you have a distributed team dispersed across the country or even the world, you need to have a flawless communication strategy and tools to implement it.
Along with regular communication tools like email, messengers, chat apps, and phone calls with their advantages, you need to incorporate video conferencing tools.
Video is not a replacement for face-to-face communication but the next best thing for remote team communication.
Nothing can replace face-to-face meetings; it is the best setting for any communication. But in the remote work setting, it’s the closest option. Videos give non-verbal communication cues; those are not possible with other methods like email, phone calls, chat apps.
Here is a list of 5 nonverbal communication cues that can be observed through a video call and missed by other methods.
Ups and downs in volume, pitch, speaking style, and overall vocal tone hint at hidden, subconscious feelings behind the words.
It can reveal what a person is thinking. For example, eye contact can pose confidence in a person, whereas a lack of eye contact can express fear and uncertainty.
Hand gestures offer extended context to what a person is saying, like the scale, importance, shape, direction, or the size of the things mentioned in the speech. It also expresses a person’s excitement, passion about the topic she is discussing.
Head movements can have different cultural connotations, but they are excellent signals to recognize agreement or disagreement. Some subconscious head movements can represent disagreement with your views. In that case, you can take a pause and revisit the point. This is not possible in emails, chats, and even over a phone call.
Body posture represents a person’s confidence, mood, and overall character. It can tell you how much they are interested or involved in the conversation. A slouching person says that she is not interested, whereas standing upright or forward leaning shows that they are involved, focused, and immersive.
In the post COVID world, remote sales are also likely to pick up. Remote sales can turn out to be faster and scalable compared to traditional methods. You can adopt video calling tools in your sales and after-sales communication too.
Like team communication, you can see your leads’ or customers’ expressions and gestures, giving you varied ways to handle their issues and objections.
Reference: How Body Language & Nonverbal Cues Are Key