The Games We Play
It is often said that body language plays a huge part in conveying the feeling behind what we are communicating. This is followed, not closely but, by tone of voice. The words we choose to use have been relegated to a mere 7% of the context. However, in my opinion, that 7% can be so very powerful if used well.
I was talking to a friend recently about how, whatever we say and do has an impact on how another person thinks and feels. Regardless of our perception of the communication, theirs will be conditional on how they receive the message. Moreover, how they think and feel about the message influences their behaviour.
There is, perhaps, a more important component in the words we use, in that the language can actually effect how we feel about a situation. If for example we use aggressive words to express our disgust about an issue, it is likely that we will believe we are in that state. What good does that really do us? Do we really want to be disgusted, pissed off, furious? It raises our blood pressure, our heart rate, churns the stomach, irritates the ulcer, and mentally makes us feel bad. When we feel like we are losing, it is natural to fight to regain our territory; which raises our blood pressure, etc, etc, etc.
However, if we change the words that we use and smile; we just may be able to influence a different outcome for ourselves and for those we are communicating with.
I admit to being pretty cheesed off, nay peeved with a certain building society (Nationwide) that having taken over Portman a couple of years ago became my mortgage provider by default. I had recently requested an extension to the mortgage terms which I have found to have been processed incorrectly.
There have been six phone calls; none returned including the one where I had been cut off by the operator. I have had one letter with a half hearted apology, and an un-cashable cheque due to an incorrect spelling of my name. Then, Friday I changed my tact after what seemed to me to a whole load of bureaucratic baloney; smiled and said “I am ‘peeved’ that this has got this far. I do believe that this can be corrected. What do I need to do to sort this out?” Of course, this did need to be repeated several times however …
The cheque and a believable apology arrived by recorded delivery this morning. Thank you Sybil, you are forgiven! (Name disguised to avoid embarrassment!)