When Over Half of Communication Comes Through Body Language, Do You Understand How You Interact With Others When You're Not in the Room?

The words you choose to say, or not to say, convey a lot about you.  In an age of digital discourse we cannot rely on body language, eye contact or our presence in the room. 

In 1971 UCLA’s Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Albert Mehrabian, published a book Silent Messages exploring non-verbal communication. He concluded that 55 percent of communication came through body language, and another 38 percent was the tone and music of the voice. Only seven percent of a speakers credibility was assigned to the person’s actual words.  While this study has been hotly contested, we do know that in the era of email and text our phraseology is paramount. 

Let’s take a moment to ponder your digital presence. I’d like to share a few tools that will give prospective on your online communication style and personality, and make you a master at appropriately adapting to your audience. 

First, to discover a little more about your personality try Crystal Knows.

Crystal’s personality assessment gives insights around your natural communication style and behavioral tendencies.  With a deeper understanding of yourself, and how your messages land, you can learn to adapt to others in your professional life and in your personal life. With an enterprise account, everyone in a company can view individual profiles as well as group reports. When it comes to sales, Crystal can predict the personality of a customer, client, or prospect without an assessment.  You can Install Crystal for Chrome to generate predicted personality insights as you browse social media and send emails. The results are often predictable and not too insightful, but it is interesting to experiment with.

Looking for something even more scientific? Cogito was formed in 2007 and received funding from DARPA, among others, to develop an artificial intelligence platform and behavioral models to interpret human communication and detect psychological states. I learned about them through a course I am taking at MIT.

Cogito’s technology was deployed within population healthcare management programs at premier health and insurance companies. Thousands of interactions were analyzed, generating millions of data points to further enhance the effectiveness of their machine learning models. Have a call center? Cogito delivers in-call behavioral guidance to agents, and a real-time measurement of customer perception. It helps thousands of agents enable greater costumer satisfaction, but oddly the company does not have any reviews on G2 Crowd. 

So what if you don’t have a call center?  The polar opposite experience might be musician and producer Ryan Leslie’s mobile start-up, Superphone.  This un-platform builds a 1:1 bond between an artist and fan, or business owner and customer using what is still the single most important point method of contact, your phone number.  Through Twilio’s short message service, users can send messages to their fans and patrons by first making themselves accessible by text message.  If the thought of automated, mass text messaging does not make you cringe, then this could be interesting for you to try. The platform is limiting if you do not have a customer relationship management system with the mobile numbers of your customers and the permission to use them.

Find a better way to connect with your customers, audience and followers today. Be sure to leverage all of the digital tools that, if nothing else, will heighten your self-awareness and engagement.  Perhaps they might even bring a new dimension to how you choose to, or not to, connect with your customers.

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Inc.com

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