Clearly we are communicating more than ever with emails, blogs, texts, facebook, of course, the list goes on. The question is, are we communicating more or are we communicating less.

One of the problems with digital communication is that we miss out on a huge percentage of the overall communication range.

The Mehrabian studies indicate that 7% of our communication is verbal and the other 93% is communicated through voice tone and body language. This idea has been debated in recent years because if I tell you the latest stock market update, my nonverbal communication is going to have little effect on the message you receive.

However, where the 93% nonverbal communication comes in is my emotions about the message. That is to say, how do I feel about the stock market, is it up, is it down, have I lost or made money? So the idea that 93% of our communication is nonverbal is true when it comes to the message about the message.

If someone sends you a text that says, “Thanks a lot.”

Can you tell if they’re being genuine or not? Depends on the context.

And that’s what we lose with digital communication. We lose the ability to communicate context nonverbally with our tone of voice and body language.

So while it is okay to send emails and texts as they can be quite convenient. We must also pay attention to the possible ambiguity of our message.

Could it be misinterpreted? If so, we can clarify further in the message but it can be just as quick to call them up or have a face to face meeting.

An in-person meeting itself is also a way to communicate importance. So think of your message as well as what type of message am I sending by sending this message in this way, get the message?

After all, it’s not what you say; it’s how you say it!


John Ryan

Host of Key Conversations for Leaders Podcast, Executive Coach, Consultant, and Trainer

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