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Word for Today / Seven Seconds (2)

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Seven Seconds (2)

‘Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.’ James 3:13 NIV

In the first seven seconds people often decide they do or don’t want to hear what you have to say. It may not be fair—but it’s a fact. In How to Talk So People Listen, communication expert Sonya Hamlin says when it comes to hearing and seeing, sight is the more important and powerful sense. She writes: ‘We remember 85 to 90 percent of what we see, but less than 15 percent of what we hear. Countless numbers of people have lost sales opportunities, ruined job interviews, or been turned down for dates because their appearance didn’t match someone else’s expectations. If you’re wise you’ll ask your family and friends if you’re inclined to display nonverbal cues that capture their attention and take the focus off what you’re trying to communicate.’

One pastor says: ‘I never realised how many nonverbal mistakes I was making until I saw myself on video. Now it’s my regular practice to go back and watch myself to determine not only what I said, but also how I said it. The tape doesn’t lie.’ Great actors can tell a story without saying a word, simply by using facial expressions. And whether you are aware of it or not, you convey a message by the expression on your face. Even people who pride themselves on ‘playing with a poker face’, and on their ability to not let other people know what they’re really thinking, convey an unspoken message of detachment. And that makes meaningful connection with other people well-nigh impossible. If your face is going to ‘talk’—and it is—make sure you’re communicating the right thing.

written by Bob Gass
 

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