Manage This … Getting the Correct Message Across

Why does business communication fail to achieve its intended purpose at least 70% of the time? Two reasons were addressed in earlier e-zines: poor listening and different communication styles. Another reason is how the communicator gets their message across.

Make sure you communicate enough. Statistics illustrate that people need to hear a message between 4 to 21 times before it sinks in. Take into account that some people comprehend better when they hear something while others understand better when they read something. The ideal way to communicate an important message is to tell people first, and then confirm it in writing.

Understand the importance of tone and body language. Studies have shown that only 7% of your message’s impact comes from your actual words. 38% is from your voice tone and 55% is from your body language.

These statistics have direct consequences for the channel you use. Use face-to-face communication whenever possible, as it leaves less room for misinterpretation. While e-mail is very convenient, people overuse it. I challenged one coaching client to completely stop all e-mail communications with a co-worker because they were having so much difficulty communicating. For two weeks, they either met face-to-face or by phone when they needed to talk. Their relationship was markedly improved and they saved time because of fewer miscommunications.

Take responsibility for how you are communicating your messages—do it enough, be cognizant of the impact of tone and body language and use the correct channels. By becoming more aware of how you are communicating with others, you can mitigate the number of failed communications, which directly helps your business success.

If you’re ready to start taking the steps to improve your communication skills, contact Halmi Performance Consulting ( or 510-336-0654) for workshops or one-on-one coaching.

Manage This … do you coach your employees? Learn how to improve your coaching skills right here on the second Monday in October.

Please feel free to call or write with questions or comments. I welcome your feedback.

Please pass this to others who would benefit from it.

If you want specific references for any of the material, please let me know.

Manage This … is a monthly eZine by Kerrie Halmi, Halmi Performance Consulting. Visit

September 2005:

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