“Earlier my team used to meet in person. Now we only communicate via online calls. The videos are off. Misunderstandings have grown.” shared a leader I am coaching.
Words are great verbal forms for expression. But it turns out the non-verbal cues speak volumes. Prof. Albert Mehrabian did a lot of research work in this space. According to him, the tone and the body language account for more than 90% of how the other person gets the message.
Turning on videos in an online call and observing the other person fully may definitely help. The limitations of the medium may however not get you the range of emotions or the tone completely.
But the larger point is this: Whether you are in an online call or discussing in person. Whether you are able to see the other person or not. Focusing only on words can tie you in knots.
Words are forms animated by what lies behind them. Like puppets on strings. Look beyond them. Focus on the essence of what the other person is saying. The misunderstandings will reduce.
“The conscious person reads energy first, matter second. The unconscious person reads matter first, energy second.” – Caroline Myss
Words, especially nouns, help us identify, communicate to and understand each other. But they have this tendency to trap us at the mind level. We then fail to connect to the essence of anything, in the moment. We pass by objects and people around us thinking we already know them. We go through conversations focusing on the words spoken. We are unable to get the essence of what the other person is saying. This causes a lot of misery.
Small children show us the way. They are present. Aware. They are so curious to understand something, even if they know it by name. Even if they have seen or heard about it many times.
Let’s be aware. Fully present. And use our amazing minds consciously.