>It ain’t what you say, it’s the way that you say it

>During face-to-face contact, body language and tone of voice determine 85-90% of the impact. That’s the result of research apparently.
There has to be an integrity of what you say and the way that you say it – a bit like the old Fun Boy Three song – “it ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it”.
One of my favourite verses is from Isaiah (chapter 42).

Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out.

Gentleness, humility, patience are fruits of the Spirit – these fruits are evident in what we say and the way that we say it. Without them we will sound in-credible. What is true of individual communication is also true of organisations. What is the body language of government, our bank, our school/college, our church? What is its tone of voice?
Reviewing a book by Stephen Denning on Amazon, Robert Morris points to Howard Gardner’s book Five Minds for the Future, in which Gardner suggests that, to thrive in the world during eras to come, there are five cognitive abilities that need to be developed. Gardner refers to them as “minds” but they are really mindsets.

1. The disciplined mind enables us to know how to work steadily over time to improve skill and understanding;
2. The synthesizing mind enables us to take information from disparate sources and make sense of it by understanding and evaluating that information objectively;
3. By building on discipline and synthesis, the creating mind enables us to break new ground;
4. By “recognizing that nowadays one can no longer remain within one’s shell or one’s home territory,” the respectful mind enables us to note and welcome differences between human individuals and between human groups so as to understand them and work effectively with them;
5. and finally, “proceeding on a level more abstract than the respectful mind,” the ethical mind to reflect on the nature of one’s work and the needs and desires of the society in which one lives

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