The other night I was watching TV with my wife when another Pharmaceutical advertisement came on. I can’t really tell you what it was selling because I was extremely interested in the feelings it conveyed while describing potential side effects.
There were beautiful images of lakes surrounded by beautiful lush forests and beautiful people moving through a beautiful world with grace and ease. All the while the narrator is describing how this product can make you vulnerable to infections, TB, it can tear your intestinal lining and it has caused heart attacks and death in some patients.
What was interesting was that my emotional brain was hijacked by the pretty images I was feeling warm and nostalgic and yet my critical brain is asking, “How bad does it have to get to accept those side effects?”
Then because I have been focusing on communication recently I was impressed with the power of non-verbal communication. Going back to Albert Mehrabian and Stanford University studying have shown that our non-verbal communications have a lot more power and influence than the content. That is what we convey in tone and visually.
So as you are engaged in conversation, ask yourself, what you saying when you lean in versus when you lean back and close your arms. On the phone what are you saying with an exasperated voice versus a calm questioning tone?
It is worth being aware of the way we are communicating as well as what we are communicating.