Startling Little Known Facts
Non-Verbal Communication Over the Phone
How would you like 100% of my unconditional support, love,
acceptance, and attention while you tell me about yourself, your concerns,
your dreams, your hopes, and your goals?
This type of concentration is more
available by phone because there are not the kinds of visual distractions
usually present during an in-person meeting.
It has been said that 97% of all communication is
Mehrabian, in his comprehensive research on communication found that in a
face-to-face encounter, 7% of a verbal message comes from the
words used; 38% is from the vocal tone, pacing, and inflection;
55% of the message is reflected by the speaker’s appearance and
That translates into 45% or
nearly 1/2 of all communication is accomplished without any visual input at all.
Have you ever been surprised as to how much a blind person can tell about
another individual? It can be absolutely astonishing! Their
hearing, acuity or keenness, and perception have usually become extremely
I maintain that most of the 55% that is visual can be
figured out by paying close attention to what is really heard.
I’ve had people worry that doing sessions by phone would
limit communication because you couldn’t see the other person. In fact,
a whole wealth of information about a person can often be deduced through
the phone alone.
How a person may be dressed,
for example, ultra casual to
corporate/professional, their emotional state, level of alertness and
attentiveness are just a few of the characteristics that can be determined
about a person over the phone.
Body language would simply be another
dimension of communication that can be assumed from all the other
The energy in a person's voice
tells me a lot. The more
energy, the more “up” a person is often feeling.
There is a whole
continuum or voice range which can reflect a person’s sense of
Voice tempo, pitch, and forcefulness of tone can also give me
clues as to a person’s emotional status. Examples include telling me if
the person is feeling anxious, panicky, or in pain, whether they feel shy
or confident, excited or calm, whether they are angry, scared or feeling
overwhelmed. A pleasant sounding voice can reflect a smiling face.
I can tell a lot about how a person is breathing from his or
her voice patterns and strength of tone. The breath and emotions are
For example, when an individual is trying to stuff their
feelings, their breathing tends to be shallower, their talking style gets
a little flatter, words are more clipped, and there is more tension in the
Alternately, when a person is thrilled, the breathing will be
quicker and stronger, the voice will be more animated, and breathing will
be more rapid.
Here is an illustration. Suzy is speaking a little more
quickly than usual—she has a slightly higher pitch to her voice, and I
can almost hear the suppressed laughter between the lines, “...you’re sounding really excited about something today, Suzy
there something special going on?”
If a person is speaking more slowly than usual, with a
lowered, low energy, quieter voice, he or she may be sad, tired, or
depressed. That person could be visualized as slouched, eyes looking down,
with disheveled clothing and possibly neglected grooming.
On the other hand, the person may simply be in a contemplative mood. That
sharing my perceptions with the client can keep that channel of
communication fully open.
Listening for word choices can also provide me with
streamlined knowledge for creating better communication and rapport.
People initially process information through their visual (what they see),
auditory (what they hear), and kinesthetic (what they are
feeling / touching / tasting / smelling) senses.
We use all of our senses to reach an
understanding or conclusion; however, one of the above modes will usually
In the case of modes of processing, some people are mostly
visual; some are mostly auditory, and some are mostly kinesthetic.
Giving feedback to the client as to my impressions, and receiving
clarification and verification from the person, can give me more meaning
and understanding as to what I am actually noticing. In addition, the
client can also share his or her impressions and ask questions of me!
Everybody picks up and deduces an amazing amount of information about a
person over the phone. You do the same thing only it is usually at a more
unconscious or subconscious level.
A trained professional is not only aware of all these various features; he
or she is able to identify emotional and cognitive thinking patterns which
serve as a guide for formulating insightful questions, and for offering
effective Life Coaching & Alternative/Holistic Counseling, help, and guidance.
Often, clients report that they
find it easier to talk about more personal problems over the phone.
When they are in a face-to-face session, they sometimes tend to feel too
embarrassed or self-conscious to bring up and discuss whatever is troubling them.
Feeling intimidated by the Alternative Counselor
& Life Coach when working in-person, is
another issue some clients struggle with. Starting with our mothers and
fathers, we are taught to be fearful of adults from the time we are
toddlers, especially adults in authority.
This can include parents, teachers, police officers, bosses, and so on.
Unfortunately, this fear can continue into adulthood creating huge
emotional blocks that stop a person from moving ahead.
When talking on the phone, the client can
often more easily resolve this fear without having to experience it with
their Alternative Counselor & Life Coach. In other words, your
Alternative Counselor & Life Coach can be perceived more as an ally or friend that can
help you, rather than as an authority figure to be feared.
So, is phone communication
effective? You bet!
Create Sacred Space for Your Phone Sessions
Pros and Cons of Sessions by Phone vs In Office
the National Institute of Mental Health, psychotherapy only has a 20%
I have a 97%
success rate, and over 37 years experience.
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responsible for this website is:
Dianne Ruth, CCH, PhD
Dynamic Resources International™
Anxiety Treatment & Care Doctor
DR DIANNE RUTH
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