The 7-38-55 Rule

June 16, 2020



Everyone agrees it's so easy to be around Julie. What makes her like that?

It comes down to the 7-38-55 rule of personal communication, a theory developed in the early 1970s by Albert Mehrabian, a non-verbal communication thinker. Using the results of two studies, Mehrabian found that 7% of what we communicate comes from the words we use, 38% comes from our tone, intonation, and volume, and that 55% comes from our body language. 

That means 93% of how we communicate is non-verbal. 

Julie is always curious, engaged, and attentive in conversations. When she speaks, she is thoughtful with her words, occasionally gesticulating to make a point, but delivering them, usually calmly, in a way that is conducive to the mood of the group. Lastly, although Julie is very attractive, svelte, and close to six-feet tall, it never feels like she wants or does overtake the room for her own purpose.

Of course, we don't want the whole world to be just like Julie, but her non-verbal communication makes everyone I know want to be around her.

So, what is my 7%? What is my 93%?

What is yours? 

My thought challenge to you this month is to think about what you say, how you say it, and what your body is communicating--even when your mouth is closed. Do you see any room for improvement? Potential for change? What would tweakIng look like for you? If you are willing to share, I would love to know! 


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