I heard some very interesting statistics the other day about communication.
Only 7% of words make an impact on what people hear when you speak. 7% - how small is that! That did make me feel pretty good because I'm not a "big word" person! Some people are & they get me staring at them in awe. All the while, I'm thinking, "Remember that word for Scrabble"! But only 7% really makes an impact on what people hear.
Then 38% of effective communication is the tone of your voice! How you voice something makes all the difference. I've learned this myself just being married. There is such a difference in telling my husband, "Pick up your socks now!" with a stern voice versus, "Honey, can you help me straighten up a bit" with that soothing, sickening, lovely voice. (They still don't get picked up - but I get a nicer "no" with the kinder tone) But think of it - can't you feel yourself tense up when you hear someones voice being tight or loud or stern. And then there's the calming, soothing, gentle voices that you are just drawn too. How you say it makes all the difference.
Finally, 55% of effective communication is due to facial expressions & body language. How funny is that! And how true is that! Facial expressions....I'm so bad at not hiding anything from my face. The way I feel is usually right there for all to see. Body Language - how many people have you seen with arms crossed & add a scowl facial expression - what does that tell you about a person?
There is some encouraging thoughts in all this though. So many people have such a hard time witnessing for Christ to others. They're not sure what to say or not sure they'll have the right words to give to someone. Look at what this is saying though....the most effective communication doesn't even have to do with words. It's how you live your life - how others look at you & what they see. When you have a smile on your face at all times - don't you think people want to know what your secret is to happiness? When you are standing next to someone with arms ready to hug - don't you think that makes people feel comfortable enough to want to open up to you more? When you speak to someone in a calm, serene voice about your life - don't you think it makes someone want to get what makes you have that peacefulness within you?
Can you imagine how Jesus did with his communicating? Yes - his words made ALL the difference - but can you picture his body language & his facial expression? I see him sitting on the rock asking all the young children to come to him. Can you picture his arms stretched out, inviting them in? And can't you hear the soothe tone of his voice making all the children feel safe enough to go to him?
Can you imagine Jesus' voice when he was up on the cross suffering & yet still, his voice was calm when he said, "Father, forgive them for they know what they do?" Can you imagine the look of forgiveness & mercy in his eyes instead of anger & resentment? Can you imagine the communication he gave with just those actions he did?
Now think of your own life. The best communication of how God works in your life can make all the difference to someone elses life!
What are you communicating to others through your body language & the way you carry yourself?