Albert Mehrabian (born 1939 in an Armenian family in Iran, currently Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA), has become known best by his publications on the relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages. His findings on inconsistent messages of feelings and attitudes have been quoted throughout human communication seminars worldwide, and have also become known as the 7%-38%-55% rule.

According to Mehrabian,[1] the three elements account differently for our liking for the person who puts forward a message concerning their feelings: words account for 7%, tone of voice accounts for 38%, and body language accounts for 55% of the liking. They are often abbreviated as the “3 Vs” for Verbal, Vocal & Visual.  (all the above from Wikipedia)

We’ve all observed groups where the participants frown, stare out the window, slouch, glare, shake their heads in disgust, and the like.  We also seen people who can bring a smile and create an affirmation without a word.

We read each other before we hear each other.  Our body language and tone can give us away quickly.

What have you seen?  Please email me with your story about this when you get a chance.