Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tone Up with ContactPoint

There is nothing you have been doing longer in your life than communicating with others.  From your very first moments in this world you began communicating how you feel, and what you want.  As you matured, you began to communicate your thoughts, intention, and meaning.  You also began learning how to receive communication, and understand others.  Of course, this is generally a good thing.  Communication is critical to the quality of our relationships with others.  However, it is precisely because we have been doing it so long that it is harder to change than almost anything else.

When we are communicating with someone in person, there are three elements that comprise that communication: (1) Body Language, (2) Tone, and (3) Words.  You might think that what you say is pretty important, but the truth is “how” you say it matters significantly more.  In person, our communication is comprised of 55% Body Language (facial expression, posture, body position, gestures), 38% Tone (voice inflection, character, volume, and quality), and 7% Words (the actual words we say).  When we are on the phone, the game completely changes; even though the stakes may be the same in terms of the importance of the communication.  Once body language is no longer part of the equation the importance of your words doubles to 14%, which is still not a significant percentage compared to the whopping 86% which will come from your tone.
Your tone of voice can literally convey a smile, warmth, friendliness, confidence, and professionalism.  It can just as easily convey impatience, irritation, distraction, condescension, and apathy.  It is important to keep the end in mind every time you pick up the phone.  What do you want the caller’s experience with you to be?  What do you want them to feel?  What do you want their impression of you and your company to be?  If you truly care about their experience, be “on purpose” with your tone of voice.  Smile, and let that smile shine through on the phone.  Remember, people do business with people they like.
Kip Kint
ContactPoint Solutions NGA WDDA

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