Thursday, April 7, 2011
Mehrabian’s 7% - 38% - 55% Rule
We often heard it been said that, “its not what we say, but how we say it that makes all the difference”. We all intuitively know this from our experience. Indeed, this phenomenon is well established by research.
Studies by professor Albert Mehrabian of UCLA had found that only 7% of the meaning, attitude, and intent of our message is conveyed by our words. The remaining 93% of the meaning, attitude, and intent of our message is conveyed by our tone of voice, and by our body language (like facial expressions, hand gestures, posture, and even the way we breathe).
According to Mehrabian’s research, 7% of what we mean to convey is carried by our words. 38% is carried by the tone of our voice, and 55% is carried by our body language.
Put another way, our non-verbal communication is 10 times more important than words in personal communications.
So to persuade with impact, it is vital to pay attention to our tone of voice, and our body language. Otherwise, we would be missing out on 93% of our message.
Pay more attention to your non-verbal communication, and you won’t need to say “that’s not what I mean” another time.