Words that work

The only verbal communication in the workplace that rates as high impact is gossip . Relate a rumor about the boss and her accountant and the whole office will be able to repeat the story a nanosecond later, but that's only because gossip is the modern version of storytelling, and stories fix in the mind because they conjure up strong visual images (although possibly unwanted ones in the case of the boss and the accountant!). So, even interesting verbal communications require strong visual images to back them up .

Straight talking is another way to get your point across unambiguously Take as an example the master of verbal clarity, Simon Cowell . When confronted with yet another talentless singer on American Idol, Cowell might simply say, "I'm sorry, I thought it was dull . " He might use words as weapons but at least he knows that there's very little room for misunderstanding after he's spoken

When you text or email other people you will assume that their understanding of your selected words will be exactly the same as your own, but life proves that assumption wrong several times a day

Keeping Cowell in mind, it's important you don't underestimate the measly 7 percent that is verbal impact. Although our ears are fitted with their own spam filter, especially when we're hearing from parents, teachers, the office bore, or a long-term partner going on about a day at work, some verbal communications do leap off the page and you should watch your words as well as your tone of voice

Continue reading here: Word test finding out why your words dont always count

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