Words vs. Perceptions: which matter more

Lexicon | Media
In my Performance Management training at work today, I learned something absolutely remarkable: words matter only 10% of what is communicated. Body language and tone account for 30% of the message, while 60% is based on perception and prior prejudices. Absolutely remarkable; I am glad I spent two days in my coworker (and fellow volleyballer) Josh Perlman’s excellent training class.

This might explain the continuing approval ratings by 49% of Americans (an all-time low for him). The President’s words have been nonsense long enough. Perhaps now, following the Abu Ghraib atrocities, the perception will catch up with reality.

Closer to home, the words vs. perception rule is a valuble lesson for my work on Civilities. One of my readers felt that my describing something as “a sham” in my article on the Common Political Grid was “Rather more of a ill tempered rant. But generally in tune with you abrasive email style.” Well, he was likely referring to a curt email I had sent to the DemMeetupHosts list, which I realize now was unnecessary. So I will be more careful to see how I am perceived, and try to ensure that bad perceptions tarnish my communications with readers.