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Using Your Eyes and Ears

Eilidh Milnes
Use your eyes and ears in communication

80% is looking and listening

I’ve known for decades the truth in the fact that communications is in the soft skills, but I hadn’t thought about it in terms of using your eyes even more than your ears.
Ignoring what you see when communicating with others can cause you to miss a HUGE part othe message, often the most important part.
Suppose you work in the health sector and you’re talking to clinician. You’re telling her something and she says “Yes” to every point you make. Yet her posture clearly shows that she is not buying what you’re trying to sell him. If you’re not observing that part of his reaction, you’ll miss what he’s really conveying.


Or at work, you’ve made a difficult decision and announced it to another person who will be impacted by it. You ask if she’s OK with it and you get the response, “It’s fine.” But her body slumps, and disappointment is written on her face. Are you paying attention to her body language, in addition to her words?

Great Communication is the key

We don’t learn these essential skills in school, and often we focus on the wrong things – what we want to say, the strength of our position or rationale, attempting to persuade the other person to accept our point of view.

Take time to zero in on others – to truly see who they are and how they’re reacting to our message – we’re much more likely to interpret their response accurately.

This dynamic gives you the opportunity to have real dialogue and go deeper. You can address the discrepancy between their words and their body language, and open the door for them to be honest about their real thoughts and feelings.
If you’re genuinely interested in “getting” another person, commit to using your ears AND your eyes in every conversation. You may be astounded at what you learn…and what you’ve been missing.